The possible opponents for the three local clubs representing Malta in UEFA competitions have been confirmed by the European body. BOV Premier League champions Birkirkara will be representing Malta in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. U*BET FA Trophy winners and Premier League runners-up Valletta and third-placed Sliema Wanderers will be playing in the UEFA Europa League – in the second qualifying round and first qualifying round respectively.
This will be the first time in seventeen years that Malta will be represented by just three clubs in Europe. This is due to the fact that Malta fell further down in the UEFA Country Ranking and is ranked 52nd – second from bottom, just ahead of San Marino.
However in 2011, Malta stands a good chance of moving back to the 51st place and hence have four clubs playing in the two UEFA competitions.
The draws for the first two qualifying rounds of both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League will be held in Nyon on Monday 21st June.
In the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, there will be another three teams in the draw besides local champions Birkirkara, namely FC Santa Coloma of Andorra, Tre Fiori of San Marino and Rudar Pljevlja of Montenegro. FC Santa Coloma and Tre Fiori are both seeded and therefore Birkirkara are set to meet one of these two teams.
First qualifying round matches will be played on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 June for the first leg, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 July for the second leg.
Winners will reach the second qualifying round where they will be facing one of the following teams:
PFC Litex Lovech (BUL), AC Sparta Praha (CZE), Rosenborg BK (NOR), FC Salzburg (AUT), FK Partizan (SRB) , Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR), AC Omonia (CYP), AIK Solna (SWE), MŠK Žilina (SVK), Lech Pozna? (POL), NK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), HJK Helsinki (FIN), FK Ekranas (LTU), Bohemian FC (IRL), SK Liep?jas Metalurgs (LAT) ,
FC Koper (SLO), FC BATE Borisov (BLR), FK Željezni?ar (BIH), Debreceni VSC (HUN), FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL),
FC Sheriff (MDA), FC Olimpi Rustavi (GEO), FK Renova (FYROM), FC ?nter Baku (AZE), FC Levadia Tallinn (EST), KS Dinamo Tirana (ALB), FK Aktobe (KAZ), FC Pyunik (ARM), The New Saints FC (WAL), Linfield FC (NIR), HB Tórshavn (FRO) and AS Jeunesse Esch (LUX).
Second qualifying round matches will be played on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 July for the first leg, Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 July for the second leg.
In the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, Sliema Wanderers are one of the unseeded teams along with Tobol Kustanai (KAZ), Olimpija Ljubljana (SLO), Flora Tallinn (EST), EB Streymur (FAR), ETO Gyor (HUN), Zalaegerszeg TE (HUN), Glenoran (NIR), F91 Dudelange (LUX), Trans Narva (EST), Khazar Lenkoran (AZE), Fylkir Reykjavik (ICE), Metalurg Skopje (FYROM), Shakhtyor Karaganda (KAZ), Banants Yerevan (ARM), KF Laci (ALB), Llanelli FC (WAL), NSI Runavik (FAR) Ulisses Yerevan (ARM), Port Talbot Town (WAL), CS Grevenmacher (LUX), Zeta Golubovci (MON), Portadown (NIR), UE Santa Coloma (AND), FC Lusitanos (AND) and Faetano (SMR).
The seeded teams and hence possible opponents for Sliema are:
Anorthosis Famagusta (CYP), Randers FC (DEN), Kalmar FF (SWE), Bnei Yehuda (ISR), FC Nitra (SVK), Rabotnicki Skopje (FYROM), MyPa-47 (FIN), Gefle IF (SWE), Zrinjski Mostar (BIH), Garabag Agdam (AZE), Ruch Chorzow (POL), NK Sibenik (CRO), Dnepr Mogilev (BLR), Torpedo Zhodino (BLR), Siroki Brijeg (BIH), Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO), Skonto Riga (LAT), KR Reykjavik (ICE), Dacia Chisinau (MOL), Dundalk (IRE), TPS Turku (FIN), SK Tirana (ALB), FK Tauras (LIT), FC Zestafoni (GEO), Olimpia Balti (MOL) and Mogren Budva (MON).
First qualifying round matches will be played on Thursday July 1st for the first leg and Thursday July 8th for the second leg.
Twenty-six teams will qualify from this stage to the second qualifying round where Valletta will be one among the unseeded teams. Besides the winners of the first qualifying round ties, the other possible opponents for the Citizens are:
Olympiakos Piraeus (GRE), Besiktas (TUR), Dinamo Bucuresti (ROM), Levski Sofia (BUL), Austria Wien (AUT), Brondby IF (DEN), Rapid Wien (AUT), APOEL Nicosia (CYP), Wisla Krakow (POL), Karpaty Lviv (UKR), Maritimo Funchal (POR), Banik Ostrava (CZE), IF Elfsborg (SWE), FC Utrecht (NED), Motherwell (SCO), Lausanne Sports (SWI), Cercle Brugge (BEL), Stabaek IF (NOR), FK Ventspils (LAT), Molde FK (NOR), Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR), Dukla Banska Bystrica (SVK), Honka Espoo (FIN), NK Maribor (SLO), Dinamo Minsk (BLR), OFK Belgrade (SRB), Spartak Zlatibor Voda (SRB), FK Baku (AZE), Cibalia Vinkovci (CRO), Suduva Marijampole (LIT), Iskra-Stal Ribnita (MOL), Sporting Fingal (IRE), Shamrock Rovers (IRE), FC Vaduz (LIE), FK Borac Banja Luka (BIH), FK Siauliai (LIT), FK Jelgava (LAT), FC Fehervar (HUN).
Other teams in the draw include Sant Julia (AND), Breidablik (ICE), Teteks Tetovo (FYROM), Bangor City (WAL), FK Atyrau (KAZ), Kalev Sillamae (EST), Mika Ashtarak (ARM), Besa Kavaje (ALB), Differdange 03 (LUX), Buducnost Podgorica (MON), Vikingur (FAR), Cliftonville (NIR) and Tre Penne (SMR).
Second qualifying round matches will be played on July 15 and July 22 respectively.