Though the second round matches have yet to take place, Uefa will today draw the potential opponents for the third qualifying round of the Europa League.
Three Scottish clubs will be involved: Aberdeen, Hibs and Rangers. The trio all face tricky second round ties but will be keeping a keen eye on events anyway as they bid to reach the group stages of the competition.
The Dons have the toughest fixture of the second qualifying round as they face off against English Premier League side Burnley. Sean Dyche’s team made a run at finishing in the top six last season and will be heavy favourites given the financial clout of clubs down south. However, should Aberdeen manage to conquer them over two legs, they will be treated to what is (on paper) an easier opponent in the next round as the seeded team.
There are four second round ties which Burnley and Aberdeen could be drawn against, while Turkish side Istanbul Başakşehir (entering the draw for the first time) are another potential opponent.
Those games are:
Tobol Kostanay v Pyunik
Dunajská Streda v Dinamo Minsk
St Gallen v Sarpsborg
Dundalk v AEK Larnaca
Neil Lennon’s men will face off against Greek opponents Asteras Tripolis with the first leg taking place at Easter Road this coming Thursday. They are in a different situation to Aberdeen because, while the Dons are in the seeded batch for the next round, Hibs will be unseeded and could face one particularly formidable opponent.
Their potential opponents if they qualify are...
Sevilla or Újpest
Molde or Laç
Kairat Almaty or AZ Alkmaar
Rudar Velenje or FCSB
Just like Hibs, Steven Gerrard and his side will not be seeded for the third round, meaning they could also face a fearsome European opponent should they manage to defeat Croatian side Osijek to get there.
Their potential opponents are...
Ventspils or Bordeaux
Chikhura Sachkhere or Maribor
Stjarnan or Copenhagen
READ MORE - Osijek with eyes on humbling seeded Rangers