Malta Football Association
Birkirkara and Gżira United await Europa League opponents
Jun 12, 2018
Posted in:
BOV Premier League

The 2018/19 Europa League kicks off today (Tuesday) when the Preliminary Round draw is made at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon.

Birkirkara and Gżira United will discover their opponents in the Europa League on Tuesday while Balzan must wait another week as they start their European adventure in the first qualifying round on the back of their runner-up finish in the 2017-18 BOV Premier League.


For Birkirkara, it’s a return to European competitions after missing out last season while Balzan are making their third consecutive appearance in the Europa League.


Gżira United are making their debut in the Europa League after competing in the Cup Winners’ Cup for the first and only time in season 1973/74.


Birkirkara and Gżira United are likely to face opponents with a lower coefficient from countries such as Andorra, Wales and Faroe Islands.


The potential opponents for the Maltese duo are Cefn Druids of Wales, Sant Julià of Andorra, KI Klaksvik from the Faroe Islands, St Joseph's FC from Gibraltar, Engordany of Andorra, Kosovo representatives FC Prishtina, and Tre Fiori of San Marino.


The first legs of the Europa League Preliminary Round ties are scheduled for June 28th, with the return legs a week later on Thursday 5th July.


Both Birkirkara and Gżira United have strengthened their squads significantly ahead of their European assignments.


The Stripes have been very active in the transfer market, re-signing Malta midfielder Paul Fenech from Balzan and also acquired Malta captain Michael Mifsud who was out of contract.


Nigerian winger Uchenna Calistus, formerly of Valletta, and Brazilian duo Eduardo and Marcelinho have also join Birkirkara who qualified for the Europa League on the back of their fourth-place finish in the BOV Premier League.


Gżira United have also brought in a host of reinforcements. They completed the signing of former Hibernians duo Rodolfo Soares and Jorge Pereira da Silva and Italian wing-back Thomas Veronese, who played for Mosta last season.


Meanwhile, the first qualifying round draw of the Europa League will be made on June 20. Balzan are among the unseeded teams for the draw which comprises a total of 94 clubs.


The preliminary round draw of the 2018/19 Champions League will also take place on Tuesday. Four clubs – FC Santa Coloma (Andorra), Lincoln Red Imps (Gibraltar), La Fiorita (San Marino) and FC Drita (Kosovo) will compete in a mini-tournament, being played in Gibraltar, with the winner progressing to the first qualifying round proper of the Champions League.


Valletta, the 2017-18 Malta champions, are among the unseeded teams for the first qualifying round draw, to be held on June 19.


The losing teams at this stage of the Champions League will transfer to the champions path of the Europa League second qualifying round.


Official Sponsors
Commercial Partners