Shamrock Rovers will face off against Albania side KF Teuta Durres in the third qualification round of the Europa Conference League.
The reigning League of Ireland champions are once again starting to show the form that guided them to their 18th title last season. They’re coming into this clash, fresh off a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Dublin rivals, St. Patrick Athletic.
While they crashed out of the Champions League, due to a difficult draw against Slovan Bratislava. Rovers knew they had this competition to fall back on, to keep their European hopes alive.
But what about Teuta, how does this Albanian outfit shape up?
KF Teuta Durres
In terms of European exploits, this is the furthest Teuta have ever went in one of UEFA’s major club competitions.
They made their Champions League debut back in July, crashing out to Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol.
This meant the ‘Boys of the Sea’ dropped down to take part in the inaugural Europa Conference League.
Teuta faced Inter Club d’Escaldes from Andorra, in a thrilling second qualification round tie.
Despite losing the first leg 2-0, Teuta came back to win 3-2 in the return fixture. With an extra-time, penalty from Sherif Kallaku confirmed passage into the next round.
The European novices first arrived on the scene, during the 1994/95 UEFA Cup qualification round. Losing 8-3 on aggregate, to Apollon Limassol of Cyprus.
Since then, they’ve been involved in 18 other ties across the Champions League, Europa League, and the now disbanded UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup, facing known sides like Parma, SK Rapid Wien, Valletta, and Granada.
Domestically, Republic of Ireland champions Shamrock Rovers, will be facing Albania Superliga winners Teuta. Albeit, the title was won via goal difference, in what was a razor close title race in Albania’s top-flight.
Teuta’s squad is packed with Albanian talent, with a sprinkle of North Macedonia names added in there too.
In their ranks veteran striker Sebino Plaku signed during the summer break, with Teuta becoming his 21st club throughout his career.
In all honestly, it’s a favourable tie for Shamrock Rovers.
The fact the winner of this tie, will face the loser of the Omonoia and Flora Tallin in the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off round. Stephen Bradley’s side will fancy their chances of continuing on this current European run.