UEFA.com sets the scene for Friday's third qualifying round draw – streamed live from 12.00CET – and profiles the 13 clubs in the hat for the first time this season.
Top-Medien-Inhalte des Artikels
UEFA.com surveys the 13 teams due to start their UEFA Champions League campaigns in the third qualifying round ahead of Friday's draw.
The third qualifying round draw, streamed live on UEFA.com from 12.00CET, will contain a total of 47 clubs; 34 of those in the pot will be midway through their second qualifying round ties, which are set to conclude during the week beginning 21 July.
The draw's split format – introduced in 2009/10 – means all the sides in the hat are allocated to either the champions route or the league route, with the two sets of clubs kept apart until their potential group stage participation. The champions route involves the winners of the second qualifying round ties plus the champions from the associations ranked next highest (14–16 on the list). The teams boasting the best UEFA coefficient are seeded.
While there will be a number of ifs, buts and maybes following the draw, there are 13 clubs certain to be in action when the third qualifying round commences at the end of the month.
Aalborg BK (DEN)
Aalborg secured their fourth Danish Super League title in their penultimate fixture of last season – a goalless draw at FC Vestsjælland.
AEL Limassol FC (CYP)
AEL feature in UEFA Champions League qualifying for only the second time; they lost 3-2 to RSC Anderlecht in the 2012/13 play-offs.
APOEL FC (CYP)
Cypriot double winners last term, APOEL reached the quarter-finals of this competition under Ivan Jovanović in 2011/12, eventually suffering an 8-2 aggregate defeat by Real Madrid CF.
Beşiktaş JK (TUR)
Beşiktaş have figured in the group stage five times, most recently in 2009/10.
FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR)
Dnipro are back in the European Cup after a 25-year absence, making their UEFA Champions League debut having finished second in the Ukrainian Premier League.
Feyenoord, who contributed five players to the Netherlands squad that came third at the FIFA World Cup, are now under the charge of Fred Rutten.
Grasshopper Club (SUI)
Having won 27 national titles, Grasshoppers are the most-decorated club in Switzerland; Servette FC are next with 17.
FC København (DEN)
FCK looked set for the UEFA Europa League until their final two matches of last season, when they won 3-2 at second-placed FC Midtjylland and beat Odense BK by the same scoreline.
Lille were third in the 2013/14 French top flight, having occupied the same position from 5 October onwards.
Panathinaikos FC (GRE)
Panathinaikos are back in European competition following a one-year absence, having previously been involved without interruption since the 1998/99 campaign.
FC Salzburg (AUT)
With 110 goals last term, Salzburg registered an Austrian Bundesliga record and clinched the title with a record eight games to spare.
R. Standard de Liège (BEL)
Standard finished top of the Belgian top flight after the regular 30-match competition but were subsequently pipped by Anderlecht in the six-team play-offs.
FC Zenit (RUS)
Zenit have missed out on just one European campaign in ten years, when they ended sixth in the 2005 Russian Premier League. They won the UEFA Cup in 2008.