Hibernians and Sirens also in Monday’s draw
Valletta FC’s chances of making good progress in this season’s UEFA Europa League were given a boost on Sunday night when the Citizens were named as one of the seeds for Monday’s first qualifying round draw that will be held in Nyon, Switzerland, starting at 1pm.
The Citizens are one of three Maltese sides competing in this season’s Europa League alongside Hibernians and Sirens, who are making their first-ever appearance in a UEFA club competition.
Last season, Valletta managed to reach the third qualifying round of the Europa League only to be eliminated by Kazakhstan side Astana, who went on to reach the group stages of the competitions.
That performance continued to improve Valletta’s coefficient in the UEFA ranking which now stands at 5.250 points, which earned the right to the capital club to be one of the seeded teams in Monday’s draw.
UEFA has split the participating teams in Monday’s draw in different groups and Valletta are likely to be facing a team from Luxembourg after being paired with Differdange and Union Titus.
The other unseeded team in Valletta’s section are Welsh side Bala Town.
Last season, Valletta have fond memories of facing opponents from Luxembourg after last season they were drawn against Dudelange in the first qualifying round of the Champions League and managed to go through on the away goals’ rule after the tie ended in a 3-3 draw.
Hibernians, on the other hand, are unseeded and will face either FC Vaduz, of Liechtenstein, Swiss side Servette and The New Saints, of Wales.
Should the Paolites end up facing Servette it would be a second meetings for the two teams in European football after they had met in the first round of the 1961-62 Champions Cup with the Swiss side going through 7-1 on aggregate.
Sirens, on the other hand, are bracing themselves for a difficult tie as they were pitted in Group 13 and face the prospect of playing either FC Progres Niederkorn, of Luxembourg, Romanian giants Steaua Bucharest and CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria.
The first qualifying round ties of the Europa League are scheduled to be held on August 28.
MALTESE TEAM’S POSSIBLE OPPONENTS
Bala Town (Wales), Differdange (Luxembourg), Union Titus (Luxembourg)
Servette (Switzerland), The New Saints (Wales), FC Vaduz (Liechtenstein)
FC Progres Niederkom (Luxembourg), Steaua Bucharest (Romania), CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria).