The New Saints welcome Copenhagen

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Rhys Llwyd

Rhys Llwyd

Tuesday, 23 Jul 2019, 13:43

On Tuesday, 23 July, the Welsh champions face the Danish champions in the Champions League second qualifying round first leg.

After seeing off Feronikeli of Kosovo in the last round, The New Saints now aim to reach the Champions League third qualifying round for only the second time in their history.

But that will be a tough challenge against an FC København (or FCK) side full of experienced internationals

FCK beat Carmarthen 4-0 on aggregate in the second qualifying round of the 2005/06 UEFA Cup.

The Danish giants reached the group stage in their first appearance in the Champions League back in 2006/07 but finished 4th in the group that contained Benfica, Man Utd and Celtic.

Despite not losing at home (Benfica 0–0, beat Man Utd 1–0 and Celtic 3–1) FCK were eliminated after losing all three away matches in the group.

Since then, FCK have reached the group stages in Europe on 12 occaions (UCL 4, UEL 8)

Only once in the last 13 years has FCK not made the group stages, and that was in 2015/16, the year they beat Newtown 5-1 on aggregate in the qualifiers before losing out on away goals in the play-offs to FK Baumit Jablonec (Czech).

FC København have played over 200 European matches recording wins against big clubs such as Lazio, Ajax, Celtic, Man Utd, APOEL, Sparta Prague, BATE Borisov and Galatasaray.

2010/11 – FCK reached the last 16 of the Champions league following a draw with Barcelona in the group stage – lost to Chelsea in the last 16.

2016/17 – Reached the last 16 of the Europa League before losing out to Ajax.

2017/18 – Reached the last 32 of the Europa League before losing out to Atletico Madrid.

The winners of this round will go on to face either Red Star Belgrade or HJK Helsinki.

While the losers will drop into the Europa League third qualifying round to play Ludogorets Razgrad or Valur Reykjavik.