Hibs learn potential Europa Conference League opponents

UEFA sorts teams into groups ahead of the draw itself giving clubs some idea of potential opponents
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Hibs could find themselves making a return trip to Andorra or the Faroe Islands in their UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie following the group sorting ahead of the draw later this afternoon.

The Easter Road side are seeded, meaning they avoid some trickier ties, but there are still a few potential banana skins on the other side of the draw. Hibs were drawn in Group 5 with Club Brugge, FC Twente, Rosenborg, and Dundalk or Bruno’s Magpies joining them as fellow seeds.

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Lee Johnson’s men could be drawn to face AGF Aarhus of Denmark; the winners of the first qualifying round tie between Icelandic side Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar, known as KA, and Connah’s Quay Nomads of Wales; Swedish Allsvenskan side Hammarby; and the winners of the first-round ties between Faroe Islands Premier League representatives Víkingur Gøta and Inter Club d’Escaldes of Andorra, and FC Haka Valkeakoski of Finland and Northern Ireland Premier League side Crusaders.

Hibs will learn their Europa Conference League 2QR opponents later todayHibs will learn their Europa Conference League 2QR opponents later today
Hibs will learn their Europa Conference League 2QR opponents later today

AGF

AGF’s last involvement in European competition was a 3-2 defeat by Larne at the second qualifying round stage during the 2021/22 season. They finished third, eight points off winners Copenhagen and four behind Nordsjælland in the 2022/23 Danish Super Liga to ensure their place in the Conference League.

KA or Connah’s Quay Nomads

Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar, or KA for short, qualified for Europe for just the fourth time in their history after finishing second in last season’s Icelandic Besta deild karla. Their first involvement was in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970/71 where they lost 14-1 on aggregate to Zürich.

Connah’s Quay Nomads of Wales need little introduction to Scottish football fans, having beaten Kilmarnock in the first qualifying round of the Europa League back in 2019/20 – one of just two wins in European competition for the Nomads. They finished second in last season’s Cymru Premier.

Hammarby

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Swedish side Hammarby are no strangers to Europe having competed in the Cup Winners’ Cup, the UEFA Cup/Europa League, the Intertoto Cup, the Champions League, and the Conference League. They finished third in the 2022 Allsvenskan competition and currently lie ninth after 13 games of the 2023 edition.

Víkingur Gøta or Inter Club d’Escaldes

Víkingur Gøta of the Faroe Islands, founded in 2008 following a merger between GÍ Gøta and Leirvík ÍF qualified for Europe after finishing second in last year’s Betrideildin. They have played 30 times in Europe, winning seven, drawing five, and losing 18.

Andorrans Inter Club d’Escaldes finished just two points behind their Escaldes-Engordany neighbours Atlètic d'Escaldes in the 2022/23 Primera Divisió. This is their seventh excursion in Europe.

FC Haka or Crusaders

FC Haka is perhaps best known as the club where former Hibs striker and manager Mixu Paatelainen began his senior career. They qualified for the Conference League by beating VPS in the Finnish play-off final. They made their continental debut in the 1961/62 European Cup.

Haka will look to overcome Crusaders, who have played 50 European matches since debuting in the 1967/68 Cup Winners’ Cup. They qualified for the Conference League after winning the 2022–23 Irish Cup.