Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa will be among 40 clubs waiting to learn their fate today when the draw for the UEFA Cup group stage takes place this afternoon in Nyon, Switzerland. The 40 participants will be drawn into eight groups of five, with each team playing two matches at home and two away. These 40 sides will be allocated to five pots, in accordance with their respective club coefficients.
Hapoel Tel Aviv is in the fourth pot, while Maccabi Haifa is in the fifth. The coefficients are based on the teams' performances in Europe over the past five years and on the European competition achievements of teams from their country over the past five years.
Hapoel and Haifa cannot meet in the group stage, as teams from the same country cannot be drawn against each other.
The group stage is scheduled to kick off on October 19, with Haifa hosting a top pot team, while Hapoel Tel Aviv will host a team from the second pot.
"It doesn't matter who we draw," Haifa's Abbas Suan said yesterday. "Our goal is to reach the next stage. I hope we draw two attractive teams and two less attractive teams that will improve our chances of qualifying for the knock-out stage. We will know today whether the draw was good for us or not. "
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