Hibernians take on Spartak Trnava of Slovakia, Birkirkara meet Diósgyőri VTK of Hungary while Sliema Wanderers face Hungarian giants Ferencvárosi TC in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League following the draws which were held in Nyon on Monday. Three teams who had already been paired with local clubs in past.
Hibernians and Sliema Wanderers play the first leg at home while Birkirkara will be playing the first leg away from home. The two legs are scheduled for July 3 and 10 with the reward for the winners a place in the second qualifying round on 17 and 24 July.
Should they qualify for the second qualifying round, Hibernians would meet FC Zestafoni of Georgia, Birkirkara would face FC Veris Chișinău of Moldova or PFC Litex Lovech of Bulgaria while Sliema Wanderers would take on HNK Rijeka of Croatia.
This will be the second time Hibernians face Spartak Trnava as in 1969, in the first round of the Champions Cup, the two teams met with Hibs holding Spartak in a 2-2 draw at The Stadium but lost 4-0 away from home. In 1997, Spartak Trnava met Birkirkara in the UEFA Cup, beating the Stripes 1-0 at Ta’ Qali and 3-1 at home.
Diósgyőri VTK had eliminated Sliema from the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1998, beating them 2-0 at home and 3-2 in Malta.
On the other hand, this will be Ferencvárosi’s third visit to Malta after meeting Floriana in the Cup Winners Cup in 1972, losing 1-0 at The Stadium and beating them 6-0 at home and beating Birkirkara 5-0 at Ta’ Qali and 1-0 at home behind closed doors in the UEFA Cup in 2003.
FC Spartak Trnava is one of the most successful clubs in Slovakia, having won both the Czechoslovak First League and the Czechoslovak Cup five times, and reaching the semi-final of the European Cup in 1969 and the quarter-finals in 1973 and 1974.
Since the establishment of the Slovak Super Liga, they are yet to claim the championship but finished second in 1996/97. 1997/98 and 2011/12. Their last major honour was the Slovak Cup, they won in 1997/98.
They qualified for this year’s UEFA Europa League after finishing their commitments in third place on 53 points, twenty-two behind champions Slovan Bratislava and ten behind runners-up Trenčín.
Their best run in Europe in recent years was in the UEFA Europa League in 2011/12 when they eliminated FK Zeta of Montenegro, KF Tirana of Albania and PFC Levski Sofia of Bulgaria, only to lose to FC Lokomotiv Moscow of Russia in the play-offs.
The winner of the two-legged clash between Hibernians and Spartak Trnava will be meeting FC Zestafoni of Georgia.
Diósgyőri VTK is one of the most popular teams in the Hungarian League and are based in Miskolc, Hungary. In fact, in recent years Diósgyőr had the highest average attendance in the top division of the Hungarian League.
Their best placing in the Hungarian top division was a third place in season 1978/79 season of the Hungarian League. Diósgyőr lifted the Hungarian Cup twice in 1977 and 1980. Last season, they won the Hungarian League Cup – the Ligakupa – after beating Videoton 2-1.
Diósgyőri VTK are taking part in the UEFA Europa League as losing finalists of the Magyar Kupa when they lost to Újpest FC on penalties. However since the latter did not obtain a UEFA licence, they were replaced by Diósgyőri.
This is only Diósgyőri’s fifth participation in UEFA competitions – the last being participation in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1998. Their best run was in the UEFA Cup 1979/80 whey they eliminated Rapid Wien and Dundee United, losing to FC Kaiserslautern.
The winner of the two-legged clash between Birkirkara and Diósgyőri will be meeting the winner of the clash between FC Veris Chișinău of Moldova and PFC Litex Lovech of Bulgaria.
Ferencvárosi Torna Club is the most successful Hungarian team on both home and international turf. They won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1964-65 and reached the final of the Cup Winners CUp in 1974/75. They won the Championship (NB I) 28 times and the Hungarian Cup 20 times. Ferencváros participated in all the first division championships since the start of Hungarian Football Championships in 1901 until the 2006/07 season in which they were relegated to the NB II for not meeting financial criteria. The team returned to the first Hungarian League after three years in the second division.
In the Nemzeti Bajnokság I (the Hungarian First Division), Ferencvárosi placed third on 57 points, five behind champions Debreceni and Győr who both ended their commitments on 62 points.
In recent years, Ferencvaros’ best run was in the 2004/05. They took part in the UEFA Champions League, eliminating FK Tirana but losing to Sparta Prague. Then they took part in the UEFA Cup, eliminating Milwall but in the group stage featuring Feyenoord, Schalke, Basel and Hearts, they finished fourth.
The winner of the two-legged clash between Sliema Wanderers and Ferencvárosi TC will be meeting the winner of the clash between HNK Rijeka of Croatia.
First qualifying round (3 and 10 July)
FC Sioni Bolnisi (GEO) v KS Flamurtari (ALB)
FC Tiraspol (MDA) v İnter Bakı PİK (AZE)
Hibernians FC (MLT) v FC Spartak Trnava (SVK)
UE Sant Julià (AND) v FK Čukarički (SRB)
FC Koper (SVN) v FK Čelik Nikšić (MNE)
FK Turnovo (MKD) v FC Chikhura Sachkhere (GEO)
FC Shirak (ARM) v FC Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ)
Qäbälä FK (AZE) v NK Široki Brijeg (BIH)
Diósgyőri VTK (HUN) v Birkirkara FC (MLT)
FC Vaduz (LIE) v College Europa FC (GIB)
FC Veris (MDA) v PFC Litex Lovech (BUL)
UE Santa Coloma (AND) v FK Metalurg Skopje (MKD)
FC Kairat Almaty (KAZ) v FK Kukësi (ALB)
SS Folgore/Falciano (SMR) v FK Budućnost Podgorica (MNE)
RNK Split (CRO) v FC Mika (ARM)
PFC Botev Plovdiv (BUL) v AC Libertas (SMR)
FK Lovćen (MNE) v FK Željezničar (BIH)
FK Shkëndija 79 (MKD) v FC Zimbru Chisinau (MDA)
Sliema Wanderers FC (MLT) v Ferencvárosi TC (HUN)
FC Pyunik (ARM) v FC Astana (KAZ)
NK Rudar Velenje (SVN) v KF Laçi (ALB)
FC Differdange 03 (LUX) v FK Atlantas (LTU)
VPS Vaasa (FIN) v IF Brommapojkarna (SWE)
B36 Tórshavn (FRO) v Linfield FC (NIR)
Fram Reykjavík (ISL) v JK Nõmme Kalju (EST)
Rosenborg BK (NOR) v FK Jelgava (LVA)
Derry City FC (IRL) v Aberystwyth Town FC (WAL)
Aberdeen FC (SCO) v FK Daugava Rīga (LVA)
Tartu FC Santos (EST) v Tromsø IL (NOR)
Crusaders FC (NIR) v FK Ekranas (LTU)
Stjarnan (ISL) v Bangor City FC (WAL)
AS Jeunesse Esch (LUX) v Dundalk FC (IRL)
Myllykosken Pallo-47 (FIN) v ÍF Fuglafjørdur (FRO)
FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL) v Glenavon FC (NIR)
JK Sillamäe Kalev (EST) v FC Honko Espoo (FIN)
FK Banga (LTU) v Sligo Rovers FC (IRL)
Víkingur (FRO) v FC Daugava Daugavpils (LVA)
IFK Göteborg (SWE) v CS Fola Esch (LUX)
FK Haugesund (NOR) v AUK Broughton FC (WAL)
Second qualifying round (17 and 24 July)
Győri ETO FC (HUN) v IFK Göteborg (SWE)/CS Fola Esch (LUX)
Molde FK (NOR) v ND Gorica (SVN)
FK Lovćen (MNE)/FK Željezničar (BIH) v UE Santa Coloma (AND)/FK Metalurg Skopje (MKD)
Fram Reykjavík (ISL)/JK Nõmme Kalju (EST) v KKS Lech Poznań (POL)
FC Dinamo Minsk (BLR) v Myllykosken Pallo-47 (FIN)/ÍF Fuglafjørdur (FRO)
FC Neman Grodno (BLR) v FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL)/Glenavon FC (NIR)
Hapoel Beer Sheva FC (ISR) v RNK Split (CRO)/FC Mika (ARM)
FC Slovan Liberec (CZE) v MFK Košice (SVK)
Víkingur (FRO)/FC Daugava Daugavpils (LVA) v Tartu FC Santos (EST)/Tromsø IL (NOR)
FC Petrolul Ploieşti (ROU) v FC Sioni Bolnisi (GEO)/KS Flamurtari (ALB)
UE Sant Julià (AND)/FK Čukarički (SRB) v SV Grödig (AUT)
CFR 1907 Cluj (ROU) v FK Jagodina (SRB)
Motherwell FC (SCO) v Stjarnan (ISL)/Bangor City FC (WAL)
Hibernians FC (MLT)/FC Spartak Trnava (SVK) v FC Zestafoni (GEO)
Crusaders FC (NIR)/FK Ekranas (LTU) v VPS Vaasa (FIN)/IF Brommapojkarna (SWE)
Aberdeen FC (SCO)/FK Daugava Rīga (LVA) v FC Groningen (NED)
Bursaspor (TUR) v FK Turnovo (MKD)/FC Chikhura Sachkhere (GEO)
Neftçi PFK (AZE) v FC Koper (SVN)/FK Čelik Nikšić (MNE)
B36 Tórshavn (FRO)/Linfield FC (NIR) v AIK Solna (SWE)
HNK Rijeka (CRO) v Sliema Wanderers FC (MLT)/Ferencvárosi TC (HUN)
SS Folgore/Falciano (SMR)/FK Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) v AC Omonia (CYP)
FK Mladá Boleslav (CZE) v Qäbälä FK (AZE)/NK Široki Brijeg (BIH)
FC Luzern (SUI) v Saint Johnstone FC (SCO)
NK Rudar Velenje (SVN)/KF Laçi (ALB) v FC Zorya Luhansk (UKR)
Rosenborg BK (NOR)/FK Jelgava (LVA) v FK Banga (LTU)/Sligo Rovers FC (IRL)
FC Differdange 03 (LUX)/FK Atlantas (LTU) v FC Shirak (ARM)/FC Shakhter Karagandy (KAZ)
FK Sarajevo (BIH) v FK Haugesund (NOR)/AUK Broughton FC (WAL)
SV Zulte Waregem (BEL) v Zawisza Bydgoszcz (POL)
JK Sillamäe Kalev (EST)/FC Honko Espoo (FIN) v FC Krasnodar (RUS)
PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL) v FK Shkëndija 79 (MKD)/FC Zimbru Chisinau (MDA)
Derry City FC (IRL)/Aberystwyth Town FC (WAL) v FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR)
Ruch Chorzów (POL) v FC Vaduz (LIE)/College Europa FC (GIB)
Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) v FC Pyunik (ARM)/FC Astana (KAZ)
FK AS Trenčín (SVK) v FK Vojvodina (SRB)
FC Veris Chisinau (MDA)/PFC Litex Lovech (BUL) v Diósgyőri VTK (HUN)/Birkirkara FC (MLT)
PFC Botev Plovdiv (BUL)/AC Libertas (SMR) v SKN St Pölten (AUT)
Asteras Tripolis FC (GRE) v RoPS Rovaniemi (FIN)
HNK Hajduk Split (CRO) v AS Jeunesse Esch (LUX)/Dundalk FC (IRL)
FC Kairat Almaty (KAZ)/FK Kukësi (ALB) v Esbjerg fB (DEN)
IF Elfsborg (SWE) v FC Tiraspol (MDA)/İnter Bakı PİK (AZE)