UEFA Champions League - Valletta drawn with FK Kukesi Published on: 19-06-2018



Valletta FC were drawn against FK Kukësi of Albania in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The draws were held earlier today in Nyon, Switzerland.
 
There were 32 teams in the first round of the UEFA Champions League. The teams were divided into three groups, Valletta F.C. were not seeded in the third group. 
 
FK Kukësi are based in the city of Kukës. The club plays its home games at the Zeqir Ymeri Stadium and they currently compete in the Albanian Superliga, which is the highest tier of Albanian football. For much of its history since 1930, FK Kukësi played in the lower divisions prior to their 2012 promotion to the Albanian Superliga, where they have finished as runners up three times in 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15 and 2017-8. They won the championship in 2016/17, the Albanian Cup in 2015/16 and the Super Cup in 2016.
 
Last season, they finished as runners-up in the Albanian Superliga, nine points behind Skënderbeu Korçë but they replace them in the Champions League as the latter received a 10-year ban for match fixing.
 
In their first adventure in the UEFA Europa League in 2013/14, they eliminated Flora Tallinn on the away goals rule, Sarajevo with a 3-2 aggregate score and Metalurh Donetsk 2-1 on aggregate but were eliminated by Trabzonspor in the Play-Off. The following season, they had an early exit from the Europa League after losing narrowly to Kairat. In 2015/16, they eliminated Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino and Mladost Podgorica but lost to Legia Warsaw. In 2016/17, they eliminated Rudar Pljevlja but exited the second qualifying round after losing to Austria Wien. Last year, they took part in the UEFA Champions League for the first time but despite a 2-1 win at home, they lost 0-1 away from home to FC Sheriff Tiraspol.

The winners of the first qualifying round ties move on to the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round while the losers would move to the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
 
The matches will be played on 10 and 11 July, with the return matches will be played on 17 and 18 July.