Champions Birkirkara FC were drawn with NK Maribor of Slovenia in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The draws were made at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti.
The first leg will be played on the 16 or 17 July in Malta while the second leg will be played on the 23 or 24 July at the Ljudski Vrt Stadium in Maribor, Slovenia.
Maribor won the championship in Slovenia on 78 points, eight ahead of Olimpija Ljubljana and eighteen ahead of NK Domžale. They won the double after defeating NK Celje 1-0 in the Slovenian Cup.
This will be Maribor’s third visit to Malta as they were drawn with Hamrun Spartans in their first ever participation in UEFA competitions back in 1992. In the qualifying round of the Cup Winners’ Cup, Maribor eliminated Hamrun with a 5-2 aggregate score following a 4-0 win at home and a 1-2 defeat at Ta’ Qali. In 2007, Maribor were paired with Birkirkara in the Intertoto Cup. The Slovenian side won 3-0 at the Hibs Ground and 2-1 at home.
In season 1999/2000, they reached the group stage of the UEFA Champions League after eliminating Genk of Belgium and Olympique Lyon of France.
Over the past two years, they made it to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League twice. In 2011/12, they eliminated F91 Dudelange of Luxembourg in the qualifying round of the UEFA CHampions League. They lost to Maccabi Haifa of Israel in the third qualifying round but in the fourth qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, they eliminated Glasgow Rangers to reach the group stage.
In 2012/13, they eliminated Zeljeznicar Sarajevo of Bosnia and F91 Dudelange of Luxembourg in the second and third qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League, losing to Dinamo Zagreb of Croatia in the fourth qualifying round. However they still made it to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
First qualifying round draw (2/3 and 9/10 July)
FC Shirak (ARM) v SP Tre Penne (SMR)
FC Lusitans (AND) v EB/Streymur (FRO)
Second qualifying round draw (16/17 and 23/24 July)
Neftçi PFK (AZE) v KS Skënderbeu (ALB)
FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU) v FK Vardar (MKD)
FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) v FK Željezničar (BIH)
FC Sheriff (MDA) v FK Sutjeska (MNE)
Birkirkara FC (MLT) v NK Maribor (SVN)
Sligo Rovers FC (IRL) v Molde FK (NOR)
IF Elfsborg (SWE) v FC Daugava Daugavpils (LVA)
HJK Helsinki (FIN) v JK Nõmme Kalju (EST)
FK Ekranas (LTU) v FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL)
The New Saints FC (WAL) v Legia Warszawa (POL)
Celtic FC (SCO) v Cliftonville FC (NIR)
GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v CS Fola Esch (LUX)
Győri ETO FC (HUN) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)
FC BATE Borisov (BLR) v FC Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ)
Winner first qualifying round Match 1 v FK Partizan (SRB)
ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK) v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)
FC Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Winner first qualifying round Match 2