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Favourable draw for Birkirkara and Gżira United in UEFA Conference League

Gżira United and Birkirkara were handed a very favourable draw in the first qualifying round of the newly-formed UEFA Europa Conference League.

The Maroons, the only seeded side among the Maltese team were drawn to face UE Sant Julia, of Andorra, while Birkirkara will be up against San Marino side La Fiorita.

Mosta FC, who are making their first ever appearance in a UEFA club competition, were handed a tough-looking draw when they were paired against Slovakian side Spartak Trnava.

For Gżira United, who qualified for the UEFA Europa Conference League after placing third in the Premier League last season, this will be a second meeting against Andorran side UE Sant Julia.

In fact, the Maroons faced the Andorran side in the UEFA Europa League in 2018, when on that occasion they emerged as 2-0 winners in Andorra before sealing their qualification with a 2-1 win at the Centenary Stadium.

On the other hand, Birkirkara will also fancy their chances of reaching the second qualifying round of the competition when they face San Marino’s La Fiorita.

The San Marino side do not boast a positive record in Europe. In fact in the last two season they bowed out in the Preliminary round of the Europa League when going down to Engordany, of Andorra and Northern Ireland’s Coleraine.

The toughest pick of the draw was surely for Mosta FC.

The Blues face Slovakian giants Spartak Trnava who are one of the most successful sides in the Slovakia.

Looking at the club’s history, Spartak Trnava reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1968-69 and the quarter-finals of the competition twice in 1973 and 1974.

Last season, they had a disappointing run in the Europa League when they bowed out in the second qualifying round to Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv on the away goals’ rule after the tie ended on a 3-3 aggregate.

The UEFA Conference League first qualifying round will be played on July 8 and 15.

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