Midtjylland were knocked out of the Champions League play-offs on away goals by the Cypriot champions APOEL Nicosia.
Southampton booked their place in the play-offs with a 5-0 aggregate victory over Vitesse Arnhem. They won 2-0 in the Netherlands on Thursday night, following their 3-0 victory at St Mary’s.
The tie represents new ground for Southampton as they have never previously met Danish opposition in their eight European campaigns.
Midtjylland’s majority shareholder is Brentford owner Matthew Benham, who pumped millions into the club and turned them into the Danish Superliga champions, employing stats-based analysis.
The strategy relies less on traditional scouting methods than statistical analysis, or ‘sabermetrics’, developed by Oakland Athletics baseball team general managers Sandy Alderson and Billy Beane.
Beane, who once said “it’s all about evaluating skills and putting a price on them”, became the subject of a best-selling book “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis, which was turned into a film starring Brad Pitt.
The first leg will be played at St Mary’s on 20 August, with the second leg in Midtjylland’s home town of Herning, northern Denmark, a week later.
The winners will go through to the group stages which start in September.
Europa League play-off round:
Altach (Aut) v Belenenses (Por)
M Orhei (Mol) v Saint-Etienne (Fra)
Zilina (Svk) v Athletic Bilbao (Esp)
Jablonec (Cze) v Ajax (Ned)
Steaua Bucharest (Rom) v Rosenborg (Nor)
Young Boys (Swi) v Qarabag (Aze)
Zorya Luhansk (Ukr) v Legia Warsaw (Pol)
Molde (Nor) v Standard Liege (Bel)
Viktoria Plzen (Cze) v Vojvodina (Ser)
PAOK (Gre) v Brondby (Den)
Bordeaux (Fra) v Kairat Almaty (Kaz)
Panathinaikos (Gre) v Qabala (Aze)
Lech Poznan (Pol) v Videoton (Hun)
Southampton (Eng) vs. Midtjylland (Den)
Dinamo Minsk (Blr) v Salzburg (Aut)
Astra Giurgiu (Rom) v AZ Alkmaar (Net)
Rabotnicki (Mac) v Rubin Kazan (Rus)
Odds (Nor) v Borussia Dortmund (Ger)
Slovan Liberec (Cze) v Hajduk Split (Cro)
Krasnodar (Rus) v HJK Helsinki (Fin)
Atromitos (Gre) v Fenerbahce (Tur)
Thun (Swi) v Sparta Prague (Cze)