Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Valletta, Balzan discover potential Europa League opponents
Jul 23, 2018
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Valletta are now focusing on the Europa League. Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
Valletta are now focusing on the Europa League. Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Valletta are now focusing on the Europa League. Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Balzan have progressed to the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

The UEFA Europa League third qualifying round draw was made on Monday afternoon with Valletta and Balzan, the two remaining Maltese sides in the competition, now knowing their potential opponents if they manage to progress from the second round.
 


The competition’s third qualifying round consists of two paths: Champions Path and Main Path.

 

In the Champions Path, Maltese champions Valletta will set up a Europa League third round match against either Bulgarian side Ludogorets or Hungarian newcomers Vidi if they get past Bosnian champions Zrinjski.

 

The Citizens have moved into the Europa League following their disappointing elimination from the Champions League, having conceded a late equaliser in the home leg of their match against Albanian side Kukesi.

 

Valletta are away for the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round match against Zrinjski on Thursday with the return the following week at the Centenary Stadium.

 

From this season, the European competitions have evolved with some changes to the qualifying format. Teams eliminated in the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League get a second chance in the UEFA Europa League, hence Valletta’s presence in the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

 

Balzan host Slovakian side Slovan Bratislava in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie at the Centenary Stadium this Thursday (18.00).

 

A tough test for Balzan but if they beat the odds and qualify, a two-legged match against Austrian team Rapid Wien awaits in the third round of the Europa League.

 

Rapid finished third in their domestic league last season behind glamorous sides Salzburg and Sturm Graz.

 

Balzan are still relishing their historic achievement following their 5-3 aggregate win over Azeri team Keshla in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.


 

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