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Reds are Main men

Today marks a fortnight until the Europa League First Qualifying Round draw – and the process has changed significantly since Cliftonville’s last involvement in the tournament.

The competition takes on a new format this season, with the earlier accommodation of sides eliminated from the Champions League necessitating an alternative route through the qualifying stages.

Cliftonville, like fellow Danske Bank Premiership representatives Coleraine and Glenavon, will enter at the First Qualifying Round of the Main Path – however, a preliminary phase will have already taken place to provide seven further additions to the Unseeded pot.

Shortly after the draw, ties for the Second Qualifying Round of the Main Path will also be determined, ensuring that the Reds will be aware of their potential opponents should they get the better of their initial adversaries.

Not only could Cliftonville be paired with previous European rivals Copenhagen and CSKA Sofia along the Main Path, the possibility also exists for a return to the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium – home of Cypriot entrants Anorthosis Famagusta, whose ground provided the scene for our 2016 elimination at the hands of AEK Larnaca.

Over the last few weeks, our dedicated Europa League guide has kept supporters fully up to speed on all developments pertaining to the First Qualifying Round, with full details of the competition’s draw scheduled outlined below.

Europa League 2018/19
Tuesday, June 12: Preliminary Round (Main Path) draw
Featuring teams from Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Kosovo, Lithuania, Malta, San Marino and Wales

Tuesday, June 19: Second Qualifying Round (Champions Path) draw
Featuring teams eliminated from the First Qualifying Round of the Champions League

Wednesday, June 20: First and Second Qualifying Round (Main Path) draws
Cliftonville enter the competition at this stage, as outlined here