THE potential opponents for the Wingmakers in the Europa League are now taking shape as the majority of European domestic competitions reach a climax.

Although the regulations no longer require the use of regional groups as used before 2009, UEFA still uses some kind of regionalization in the first qualifying rounds. 

As a result, it is likely that Airbus will face a team from the seeded side of the first qualifying round based in northern Europe.

Using this yardstick, clubs that could face Andy Preece's men include Linfield from Northern Ireland, Sligo Rovers (Republic of Ireland) and Scottish Premier League outfit Aberdeen.

Depending on the coefficient of clubs yet to qualify, Crusaders from Belfast could also be on the list of opponents.

Also confirmed in the first stage are Norwegian trio Rosenborg, Tromso and Haugesund, Ekranas Panevezys (Lithuania), FH Hafnarfjardar (Iceland), IFK Goteborg and Brommapojkarna (Sweden), Differdange 03 (Luxembourg), MyPa-47 and Honka Espoo (Finland) and Kalju Nomme (Estonia).

Last season, Airbus faced a trip to Latvia to face Ventspils, who are in this season's Champions League, with their countrymen Daugava Daugavpils in the Europa League.

Fellow Welsh Premier qualifiers Aberystwyth Town are also on the unseeded side of the draw but, in any event, two sides from the same country cannot be drawn against each other in the qualifying rounds.

Photo: Nicky Ward celebrates with goal scorer Chris Budrys against Ventspils last season.

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