The final hurdle before the UEFA Champions League group stage is almost upon us with tomorrow's draw for the third qualifying round.
The 14 winners from this month's second qualifying round will link up with the 18 sides entering at this stage, including former European champions Manchester United FC, FC Internazionale Milano and AFC Ajax. The draw will take place from 12.00CET at UEFA heaquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
The ties will be played over two legs on 9/10 and 23/24 August, with the 16 victorious teams joining the 16 automatic qualifiers for the group stage, starting in September. In the third qualifying round, clubs from the same association cannot be drawn together. The one exception is holders Liverpool FC, who have special dispensation to play in this season's competition and could, therefore, face neighbours Everton FC.
Because of this rule, the winner of the FC Dynamo Kyiv-FC Thun tie will not be paired with either FC Shakhtar Donetsk or FC Basel 1893. The same applies to the Vålerenga IF-FC Haka duel, with the winner being kept apart from Rosenborg BK.
The second qualifying round will be completed on Wednesday 3 August. If any team competing in this round has an individual coefficient entitling them to be seeded in the third qualifying round, the potential winner of their second qualifying round match will automatically be seeded for the third qualifying round draw.
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