Europa League: Hungarian teams drawn against Israeli, Azeri and Macedonian opposition
Ferencváros face Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel, Újpest FC take on Neftci of Azerbaijan and Budapest Honvéd will be up against Rabotnicki of Macedonia in the first qualifying round of the new season's Europa League competition. None of the Hungarian teams in last Wednesday's draw in the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, were seeded.
Both Honvéd and Ferencváros will start their campaigns at home on 12th July while Újpest get underway with a trip to Azerbaijan, the return legs taking place one week later. Theoretically, Ferencváros have the toughest task in trying to reach the next round, Israeli league runners-up Maccabi Tel-Aviv having participated in the group stages of the Champions League once and the Europa League twice in the last three years. Maccabi have met Hungarian opponents once before, five years ago when they defeated Győri ETO 4-1 on aggregate with home and away wins in the first qualifying round of the Champions League.
If Ferencváros were to progress to round 2, they would likely meet Serbian team Radnicki Nis who will be tasked with overcoming either Sant Julia of Andorra or Gzira United of Malta, who play each other in the preliminary round.
In Neftci PFK, Hungarian Cup winners Újpest will face a team which achieved three draws in the Champions League group phase six years ago but have since then failed to feature on the European stage. The club from Azerbaijan's capital city of Baku has never met a Hungarian side in European competition and has reached continental competition this season courtesy of a third-placed finish in the Azeri league in the last campaign. The reward for the winners of this tie is a contest against three-time winners of the Europa League between 2014 and 2016, Sevilla of Spain.
The club with the least European pedigree due to face a Hungarian opponent in this first round is Macedonian league bronze medallists Rabotnicki who have never made it to the group stage of the Europa League. They did, however, knock Debrecen out of the 2006/07 Champions League qualifiers with a 5-2 aggregate victory. If Honvéd were to defeat Rabotnicki, they would face Qabala of Azerbaijan or Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg.
Europa League 1st round qualifying draw for Hungarian clubs
FERENCVÁROS–Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)
Neftci PFK (AZR)–ÚJPEST
BUDAPEST HONVÉD–Rabotnicski (MCD)