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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019

The 9 teams Dundalk could face in the Champions League first qualifying round

Meanwhile, Scottish champions Celtic are also set to learn their fate.

The Dundalk team (file pic).
The Dundalk team (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

REIGNING SSE AIRTRICITY League Premier Division champions Dundalk are set to discover their Champions League fate on Tuesday.

The Oriel Park outfit have been seeded for the draw, meaning they will avoid a clash with high-profile clubs such as Celtic, Rosenborg and BATE Borisov.

The opening-round teams have been divided into three groups, with the seeded sides highlighted in bold.

Group 1

Astana (KAZ)
Ludogorets (BUL)
Crvena zvezda (SRB)
Shkëndija (MKD)

Sūduva (LTU)
CFR Cluj (ROU)
Ferencváros (HUN)
Nõmme Kalju (EST)
Ararat-Armenia (ARM)

Group 2

Celtic (SCO)
Qarabağ (AZE)
Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)
F91 Dudelange (LUX)
Slovan Bratislava (SVK)

Valletta (MLT)
Sarajevo (BIH)
Sutjeska (MNE)
Partizani (ALB)
Saburtalo (GEO)

Group 3 

BATE Borisov (BLR)
Maribor (SVN)
Rosenborg (NOR)
HJK Helsinki (FIN)
Dundalk (IRL)
The New Saints (WAL)

Winners of the preliminary round – Feronikeli (KOS), Lincoln Red Imps (GIB),  Tre Penne (SMA) or FC Santa Coloma (AND)
Piast Gliwice (POL)
Valur Reykjavík (ISL)
Linfield (NIR)
HB Tórshavn (FRO)
Riga (LVA)

As Uefa’s official website explains: “For each group, the balls containing the names of the seeded teams will be placed in one bowl and the balls containing the names of the unseeded teams will be put into another bowl. One ball will be taken from each bowl and placed in a large empty bowl in the middle, where they will be shuffled. The first team drawn will play its first match at home against the second team drawn.”

Therefore, Dundalk could potentially play one of the nine unseeded teams — five teams will definitely join them in the first round: Piast Gliwice (POL), Valur Reykjavík (ISL), Linfield (NIR), HB Tórshavn (FRO) and Riga (LVA). In addition, one further team will progress from the preliminary stages. The two ties for those games take place on 25 June, with Feronikeli (KOS) and Lincoln Red Imps (GIB) contesting one semi-final and  Tre Penne (SMA) and FC Santa Coloma (AND) featuring in the other. The winners of the two semi-finals will then meet in the final on 28 June to determine who joins the other teams in group 3.

As the Uefa website notes: “Clubs’ coefficients are now determined EITHER by the sum of all points won in the previous five years OR by the association coefficient over the same period – WHICHEVER IS THE HIGHER.”

Therefore, as one the higher-ranked sides in terms of their coefficient, Dundalk are seeded.

It takes place in Nyon, Switzerland, tomorrow at 1.30pm Irish time, with the draw for the second qualifying round also taking place.

Dundalk will also learn their potential second-round opponents should they qualify, as they bid to become the first-ever Irish side to reach the Champions League group stages.

Below is a rundown of the dates for all the games they could potentially be involved in…

Champions League first qualifying round

First leg: 9-10 July 2019.

Second leg: 16-17 July 2019.

Champions League second qualifying round

First leg: 23-24 July 2019.

Second leg: 30-31 July 2019.

Champions League third qualifying round

First leg: 6-7 August 2019.

Second leg: 13 August 2019.

Champions League play-off round

First leg: 20-21 August 2019.

Second leg: 27-28 August 2019.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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