Group contenders last season, FC Zenit and FC København will encounter new opposition in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
In the draw in Nyon on Friday, André Villas-Boas's Zenit were paired with AEL Limassol FC while FCK will play FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, who are back in the European Cup after a 25-year absence.
There will also be a first meeting of Feyenoord and Beşiktaş JK – who today announced the €6m signing of forward Demba Ba from Chelsea FC – and of Grasshopper Club and LOSC Lille. The only teams in the league route to have previously faced one another, 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 16 opponents R. Standard de Liège and Panathinaikos FC, contest the other tie.
In the champions route, 2011/12 quarter-finalists APOEL FC will start their campaign against FK Rabotnicki or HJK Helsinki, and two-time group stage participants Aalborg BK were pitted with GNK Dinamo Zagreb or VMFD Žalgiris.
There may also be a repeat of a tie from this juncture 12 months ago. PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and FK Partizan – who hold healthy leads following their second qualifying round first legs – went head-to-head in the third qualifying round last term, when the former prevailed 3-1 on aggregate.
The third qualifying round unfolds over two legs on 29/30 July and 5/6 August, with the 15 victorious sides two games away from the group stage. The ten winners in the champions route advance to the play-offs; Arsenal FC, FC Porto, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, SSC Napoli and Athletic Club await the five clubs that progress through the league route.
Third qualifying round (29/30 July and 5/6 August)
Valletta FC (MLT)/Qarabağ FK (AZE) v FC Salzburg (AUT)
Cliftonville FC (NIR)/Debreceni VSC (HUN) v FC BATE Borisov (BLR)/KS Skënderbeu (ALB)
ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK)/The New Saints FC (WAL) v FC Sheriff (MDA)/FK Sutjeska (MNE)
Aalborg BK (DEN) v GNK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)/VMFD Žalgiris (LTU)
Legia Warszawa (POL)/Saint Patrick's Athletic (IRL) v KR Reykjavík (ISL)/Celtic FC (SCO)
FC Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)/FK Aktobe (KAZ) v Strømsgodset IF (NOR)/FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU)
HŠK Zrinjski (BIH)/NK Maribor (SVN) v FC Santa Coloma (AND)/ Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)
FK Rabotnicki (MKD)/HJK Helsinki (FIN) v APOEL FC (CYP)
AC Sparta Praha (CZE)/FC Levadia Tallinn (EST) v Malmö FF (SWE)/FK Ventspils (LVA)
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)/F91 Dudelange (LUX) v FK Partizan (SRB)/HB Tórshavn (FRO)
AEL Limassol FC (CYP) v FC Zenit (RUS)
FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR) v FC København (DEN)
Feyenoord (NED) v Beşiktaş JK (TUR)
Grasshopper Club (SUI) v LOSC Lille (FRA)
R. Standard de Liège (BEL) v Panathinaikos FC (GRE)
The list is provisional and is subject to pending legal proceedings and final confirmation from UEFA. Please note the UEFA Emergency Panel decisions on Russia, Ukraine and Israel.
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