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UCL begins! FC Levadia meets Crusaders FC in Belfast

Current Estonian champions FC Levadia Tallinn will start theit journey in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round today at Seaview in Belfast as the meet the Northern Ireland champions Crusaders FC.

The kickk-off will be at 7:45 pm local time which is at 21:45 Estonian time.

According to Rumori di Spogliatoio reporter Chris Johns, the Crusaders FC midfielder Gavin Whyte is a slight doubt. Manager Stephen Baxter will not be at either leg as he is on holiday.

FC Levadia goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko misses out through suspension

This is how UEFA.com describes the clubs.

Crusaders FC
• Current manager Stephen Baxter was involved in the club’s last UEFA Champions League venture as a player in 1997/98. He scored in the 3-1 first-leg defeat at Seaview to FC Dinamo Tbilisi but was red carded in the 5-1 second-leg loss in Georgia.

• Crusaders played Liverpool FC in the first round of the 1976/77 European Champion Clubs’ Cup – losing 2-0 at Anfield and 5-0 at Seaview. The English club went on to lift the trophy with a 3-1 victory over VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final.

FC Levadia Tallinn
• The nine-time Estonian champions are the country’s most successful side in Europe having beaten teams such as FC Twente and Wisła Kraków in their 54 continental matches. The most impressive run came in 2006/07 when the Tallinn side progressed through two UEFA Cup qualifying rounds to make the first round proper, before a 3-1 aggregate defeat by Newcastle United FC.

• They boast Estonia internationals in the shape of experienced goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko – who returned to the club earlier this year after spending almost 15 years in Russia and Poland – Artjom Artjunin, Artur Pikk, Ilja Antonov, Dmitri Kruglov, Siim Luts and Ingemar Teever.