The New Saints’ potential European opponents

Rhys Llwyd

Rhys Llwyd

Friday, 2 Jun 2017, 11:33

On June the 19th the names will be drawn for the first qualifying rounds of the 2017/18 Champions League and Europa League.

The New Saints will represent Wales in the Champions League for the sixth consecutive season, while Bala Town, Connah’s Quay and Bangor City will compete in the Europa League.

There are only five possible opponents that TNS could face in the Champions League first qualifying round, while there are a 100 clubs going into the draw for the Europa League first qualifying round.

TNS potentially could return to San Marino for the second year running, or could be heading to Armenia, Gibraltar, Estonia or Kosovo.

Alashkert – Armenia
Armenian champions, Alashkert are the highest unseeded team that could be drawn against The New Saints.

They play their home games in the Armenian capital, Yerevan and they boast several international players in their current squad.

Alashkert have won their opening European ties in each of the last two seasons, beating Scottish side St Johnstone in 2015/16, also knocking out Santa Coloma of Andorra in 2016/17.

SP La Fiorita – San Marino
The Saints tasted victory against Sanmarinese opponents when they beat Tre Penne in the 2016/17 Champions League first qualifying round.

La Fiorita have been crowned league champions in the Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio this year, led by captain Andy Selva, who is San Marino’s all time leading goal-scorer.

Andy Selva scored against Wales in October 2007 in a qualifier match for Euro 2008 (San Marino 1-2 Wales).

Europa FC – Gibraltar
Europa FC were crowned Gibraltan Champions this season for the first time since 1952, and brought Lincoln Red Imps’ impressive run of 14 consecutive league trophies to an end.

Europa beat FC Pyunik of Armenia in Europe last year before being knocked out by AIK Solna who had beaten Bala Town in their previous round.

Amongst the several international players in their squad is the Ghanaian, Ibrahim Ayew, who is the half-brother of Andre Ayew (West Ham) and Jordan Ayew (Swansea).

FCI Tallin – Estonia
FCI Tallin have won the Estonian league for the first time in their history and will make their first ever appearance in the Champions League.

They made their European debut last season when they lost against Hearts (Scotland) in the Europa League first qualifying round.

Three of the top four clubs in the Estonian Premier League last season were based in the capital, Tallinn, including Levadia Tallinn who beat Bala Town on aggregate in 2013.

KF Trepca ’89 – Kosovo
KF Trepca ’89 will be the first ever side to represent Kosovo in the Champions League.

The Vala Superliga of Kosovo ran outside of FIFA and UEFA until Kosovo was admitted to both organisations last year.

KF Trepca ’89 have won the league for the first time in their history and are the lowest ranked team to enter the Champions League this year.

19/06/17 – All draws made
27+28/06/17 – UCL R1 (1st leg)
29/06/17 – UEL R1 (1st leg)
04+05/07/17 – UCL R1 (2nd leg)
06/07/17 – UEL R1 (2nd leg)

11+12/07/17 – UCL R2 (1st leg)
13/07/17 – UEL R2 (1st leg)
18+19/07/17 – UCL R2 (2nd leg)
20/07/17 – UEL R2 (2nd leg)