Hibs braced for UEFA Youth League draw as potential opponents are confirmed

Hibs will find out their opponents in the UEFA Youth League next week.

The title-winning performance of the club’s under-18s last season catapulted the Easter Road side into the competition for the first time since its conception in 2013.

Celtic’s Scottish Premiership title win and Rangers reaching the Champions League group stages thanks to aggregate wins against Union Saint-Gilloise and PSV Eindhoven means Scotland has three representatives in the Youth League.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Champions League path mirrors the senior draw.

Hibs are in the Domestic Champions side of the draw but UEFA will split the 32 teams in that section into four groups defined by ‘sporting and geographical criteria’.

While we don’t know exactly which teams will be grouped with Hibs, we can take a guess based on previous editions of the competition.

There are no teams from England, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Austria, or Denmark in the Domestic Champions path at this stage meaning Hibs are the fourth-highest ranked team based on UEFA country coefficient – France, the Netherlands, and Belgium are all ranked higher.

The geographical aspect of the draw suggests Hibs are likely to be in an eight-club group along with the representatives from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – Shamrock Rovers and Coleraine – while teams from the Nordic Region have often been grouped with Scottish teams.

Hibs will learn their UEFA Youth League opposition in next week's draw

If this is the case then Sweden’s AIK could be part of Hibs’ group along with Molde of Norway. French side Nantes are also a good shout, given that France’s representative has been in the same group as the Scottish team in the last three editions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Other possibilities include teams from Serbia, Romania, Switzerland, Greece, Latvia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Ukraine which could mean Hibs are placed with Red Star Belgrade, FK Csíkszereda Miercurea Ciuc, Young Boys, Panathinaikos, Jelgava, Trenčín, Slavia Sofia, Galatasaray, or Rukh Lviv.

Hibs will be drawn to face one of their seven group colleagues in a two-legged first-round tie. The 16 first-round winners advance to the second round, with the eight victorious teams progressing to the play-off round of the knockout stages where they meet the eight runners-up from the eight Champions League groups.

The competition then progresses to the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final.

The draw takes place at midday Scottish time on Wednesday August 31.