Former European Cup winners and past UEFA Champions League contenders are among the teams starting their campaigns this week in the second qualifying round.
The last five places were filled on Tuesday when the first qualifying round ended and among the winners were Northern Ireland’s Linfield. who will host 1967 European champions Celtic in an opening leg moved to Friday.
Celtic made it to the group stage last season, as did several of the clubs entering the fray on Wednesday – København, Ludogorets Razgrad and Legia Warzawa. APOEL, quarter-finalists in 2011/12, are also in action then against Dudelange.
Proceedings begin on Tuesday with competition debutants Samtredia of Georgia visiting Azerbaijan’s Qarabağ. Also involved are Rijeka after ending Dinamo Zagreb’s run of 11 straight Croatian titles. Rijeka, who reached the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2013/14 and 2014/15, will hope for better luck than in their only previous UEFA Champions League tie, a 6-1 aggregate loss to Partizan in 1999/2000.
Before the second legs are played next week, the teams will know their potential opponents as the third qualifying round draw is made at 12:00CET on Friday. All 17 second qualifying round winners go into the champions route alongside three teams given byes, from which five group spots will eventually be filled.
- At a glance
Competiton debutants in action: IFK Mariehamn, Kukës, Samtredia, Spartaks Jūrmala
Former group stage contenders: APOEL (most recent 2014/15), Astana (2015/16), BATE Borisov (2015/16), Celtic (2016/17), København (2016/17), Legia Warszawa (2016/17), Ludogorets Razgrad (2016/17), Maribor (2014/15), Malmö (2015/16), Partizan (2010/11), Rosenborg (2007/08), Salzburg (1994/95), Žilina (2010/11)
Qarabağ (AZE) v Samtredia (GEO)
Hibernians (MLT) v Salzburg (AUT)
Rijeka (CRO) v The New Saints (WAL)
Partizan (SRB) v Budućnost Podgorica (MNE)
Spartaks Jūrmala (LVA) v Astana (KAZ)
Zrinjski (BIH) v Maribor (SVN)
Malmö (SWE) v Vardar (MKD)
Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Honvéd (HUN)
Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA) v Kukës (ALB)
APOEL (CYP) v Dudelange (LUX)
BATE Borisov (BLR) v Alashkert (ARM)
IFK Mariehamn (FIN) v Legia Warszawa (POL)
Žalgiris (LTU) v Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)
Žilina (SVK) v København (DEN)
Dundalk (IRL) v Rosenborg (NOR)
FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL) v Víkingur (FRO)
Linfield (NIR) v Celtic (SCO)