We're less than a week away from the start of qualifiers, where the minnows will battle it out for a chance to get smothered in the group stage by clubs that occupy a higher caste in European soccer's financial system. In the group stage, it's a group of familiar faces with the exception of RB Leipzig who qualified in their first season in the Bundesliga. Hoffenheim are starting in the final round of the non-champions qualifying bracket and could also make their CL debut. Both clubs will be hindered by their lack of European experience, which guarantees that they will have shitty seeds every step of the way. As a result of their first domestic title since 1998-99, Feyenoord will play in the group stage for the first time since 2002-03. Some notes from the qualifying brackets. Five qualifying slots are given to champions of countries that aren't ranked highly enough to earn direct entry to the group stage. Five qualifying slots are given to non-champions of better ranked countries. The latter is always a tougher draw. Kosovar clubs are playing in Europe for the first time this season. Trepça 89 will represent their league in the first qualifying round against Víkingur Gøta of the Faroe Islands. Viitorul Constanța, which was founded by Gheorghe Hagi in 2009, won the Romanian league for the first time and will enter qualifiers in the 3rd round. AEK Athens are back in Europe after a financial crisis that pushed it down to Greece's third tier a few years ago. Croatia are represented by NK Rijeka, who ended Dinamo Zagreb's streak of 11 consecutive league titles.