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UEFA Futsal Cup preliminary round preview

Italian newcomers Pescara, former elite round regulars Nacional Zagreb and Luxembourg's maiden entrants are among the 29 teams in this week's preliminary round.

The UEFA Futsal Cup preliminary round starts on Tuesday
The UEFA Futsal Cup preliminary round starts on Tuesday ©Sportsfile

The 2015/16 UEFA Futsal Cup kicks off on Tuesday with a week of action as 29 teams compete in eight preliminary round groups across Europe. UEFA.com looks ahead to the mini-tournaments, from which each of the eight group winners progress to the main round – with the draw for the next phase already made.

• Fourteen sides are making their debuts including first Luxembourger entrants Differdange. Their presence takes the number of clubs to play in the UEFA Futsal Cup to 251.

Group A: Tuesday to Friday 
Kremlin Bicêtre United (FRA), Stella Rossa Wien (AUT, hosts), Istanbul Üniversitesi (TUR), Inkaras (LTU)

• While Inkaras are making their first appearance, Kremlin Bicêtre reached the main round on their only previous entry in 2010/11. The other two teams have seven preliminary round exits between them.

Marco Ercolessi was a Futsal EURO 2014 winner
Marco Ercolessi was a Futsal EURO 2014 winner©Sportsfile

Group B: Wednesday to Saturday 
Pescara (ITA), Encamp (AND, hosts), Futsal Gentofte (DEN), St Andrews (MLT)

• Pescara are debutants with a squad including Italy's UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 winner Marco Ercolessi (who has claimed the last three Serie A titles with three different clubs), one of Montesilvano's victorious 2011 UEFA Futsal Cup contingent, Rogério, and new signing Grello. St Andrews are also newcomers.

Group C: Wednesday to Saturday
Nacional Zagreb (CRO), Blue Magic (IRL), Titograd (MNE), Cardiff University (WAL)

• While Nacional have plenty of experience in this competition, three times advancing to the elite round, all the other sides in this group are in Europe for the first time.

Group D: Wednesday to Saturday 
Grorud (NOR), Sievi (FIN), Santos (SCO), Lynx (GIB, hosts)

• Another group with just one team previously in Europe, Scotland's Santos.

Flamurtari Vlorë in action last season
Flamurtari Vlorë in action last season©apoel.com.cy

Group E: Tuesday to Friday 
Hamburg Panthers (GER), Flamurtari Vlorë (ALB), Víkingur Ólafsvík (ISL, hosts), Differdange 03 (LUX)

• Differdange are blazing a trail for Luxembourg in this sport while Hamburg aim to repeat their run to the main round on their last entry in 2013/14.

Group F: Thursday to Saturday
Zelezarec Skopje (MKD, hosts), Ben Gurion (ISR), Augur (EST)

• Debutants Augur will be the 250th team to play in this competition when on Thursday evening they face Zelezarec, who have made it past this round three times in five seasons.

Group G: Thursday to Saturday
Halle-Gooik (BEL)*, Progress Chisinau (MDA, hosts), ASUE Yerevan (ARM)

• Progress, who went out unbeaten on debut last term, are the only side with European experience although Halle-Gooik have a seasoned squad that features Karim Chaibai.

Group H: Thursday to Saturday 
Centar Sarajevo (BIH), Göteborg (SWE), Mobulu Futsal UNI Bern (SUI, hosts)

• The hosts are the sole debutants, though their opponents both exited in this round on their only previous entries.

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Main round draw (29 September to 5 October)
Group 1: TTG-Ugra Yugorsk (RUS), Georgians Tbilisi (GEO), APOEL Nicosia (CYP, hosys), Winner preliminary round Group A

Group 2: Benfica (POR), Grand Pro Varna (BUL), Dobovec (SVN, hosts), Winner preliminary round Group H

Group 3: Lokomotiv Kharkiv (UKR), City'US Târgu Mureş (ROU, hosts), Winner preliminary round Group B, Winner preliminary round Group E

Group 4: Slov-Matic Bratislava (SVK, hosts), Eindhoven (NED), Winner preliminary round Group D, Winner preliminary round Group F

Group 5: EP Chrudim (CZE), Nikars Riga (LVA, hosts), Athina '90 (GRE), Winner preliminary round Group G

Group 6: Győri ETO (HUN, hosts), Baku United (ENG), Lida (BLR), Winner preliminary round Group C

Elite round & Final tournament
• The top two in each of the six groups will join the four top seeds in the elite round draw on 14 October.

Bye to elite round: Kairat Almaty (KAZ, holders), Inter FS (ESP), Tulpar Karagandy (KAZ), Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB)

• The four elite round group winners, to be decided between 10 and 15 November, will compete in the final tournament in late April with the hosts picked from among them.