When is Conference League group stage draw? Is it on TV? Hearts pots, potential opponents, fixture dates

Hearts were unable to overturn the 2-1 first-leg loss to FC Zurich in the Europa League play-off.

Robbie Neilson’s men lost 1-0 in the second leg at Tynecastle on Thursday night, with the Swiss champions progressing to the Europa League group stage 3-1 on aggregate.

There is, however, a consolation prize for Hearts and the raucous support which cheered them on at Tynecastle Park.

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Last season’s third-place finishers in the Premiership will drop into the Conference League group stage.

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While Celtic and Rangers are competing in the Champions League, Hearts will be the first Scottish side to take part in the group stage of UEFA’s new third competition and the first Scottish team to outwith the Old Firm to play group stage football since Aberdeen in 2007/08.

Even if it is the third tournament, there are still some big names waiting in the wings which Hearts could draw, such as Partizan Belgrade, Dundee United conquerors AZ, Villarreal and West Ham United.

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Here are all the details you need to know ...

How many teams are in the Conference League?

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Hearts will compete in the Europa Conference League. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

There will be 32 teams in total, split into eight groups of four.

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When is the Conference League group stage draw?

The draw will take place on Friday, August 26. The ceremony is being held in August and is scheduled to take place at 1.30pm (UK).

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How can I watch the draw?

UEFA will be streaming the draw live from HERE. BT Sport will also be providing live coverage.

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Which Pot are Hearts in?

The pots are decided by club coefficient rankings established at the beginning of the season. Hearts are in Pot 3.

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Who are in the other Pots?

Pot 1: Villarreal, Basel, Slavia Prague, AZ Alkmaar, Gent, Istanbul Basaksehir, Partizan Belgrade, West Ham United, CFR Cluj.

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Pot 2: Molde, Steaua Bucharest, Fiorentina, FC Koln, Apollon, Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Slovan Bratislava.

Pot 3: Nice, Anderlecht, Zalgiris Vilnius, Austria Vienna, Hearts, Shamrock, Sivasspor, Vaduz.

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Pot 4: Dnipro-1, Lech Poznan, Slovacko, Silkeborg, Djurgårdens IF, Pyunik Yerevan, RFS, Ballkani.

When are the fixture dates?

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Fixture confirmation, in terms of when Hearts play home and away, should arrive in the next 24 hours. The key dates are:

Matchday 1: 8 SeptemberMatchday 2: 15 SeptemberMatchday 3: 6 OctoberMatchday 4: 13 OctoberMatchday 5: 27 OctoberMatchday 6: 3 November

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