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FK Qarabag await winner of Ħamrun Spartans-Lincoln Imps Red Champions League tie

Ħamrun Spartans president Joseph Portelli celebrates with the league trophy. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Ħamrun Spartans will face Azerbaijan giants FK Qarabag in the second qualifying round of the Champions League should they manage to pass the first hurdle in this season’s UEFA elite competition.

The European governing body of football staged the draw of the second qualifying round and the Spartans were handed a very tough task should they reach this stage of the competition.

On Tuesday, Ħamrun Spartans were handed a ‘kind’ draw when they were pitted against Gibraltar champions Lincoln Reds Imps in the first qualifying round.

The Gibraltar side are more or less of the same level of the Spartans and the Malta champions will be hopeful they can book their place in the second qualifying round to boost their hopes of reaching the group stages of the UEFA Conference League.

A potential clash against FK Qarabag will be a major challenge for the Spartans as the Azeri side have established themselves as a team who plays in the group stages of UEFA club competitions every season.

Last season, the Azeri giants reached the last 16 of the Europa League.

Should the Spartans reach the second qualifying round, and lose to Qarabag they will slip into the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.

However, if Ħamrun Spartans fail to overcome Lincoln Red Imps, they will slip into the second qualifying round of the UEFA Conference League where they will face the loser of the Champions League tie between Kosovo’s FC Ballkani and UE Santa Coloma, of Andorra.

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