The list of potential rivals in the Europa League play-off draw has been narrowed down to five: Real Betis (Sevilla FC), Stuttgart, PAOK Thessaloniki, Spartak Moscow and Chornomorets Odesa

Today at 2 pm the draw will be held for the play-off round of the Europa League, with the first leg to be played on the 22nd of August and the return leg a week later. This morning UEFA divided the 62 participating clubs into groups, leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv with just five potential rivals for this prelude to the group stage of the competition.

Real Betis (Spain)

The green-clad side from Sevilla finished last season seventh in La Liga, thereby earning an automatic ticket to the play-off round of the Europa League. The club, returning for the first time in eight years to European competition, was established one year after Maccabi (1907) and returned to Spain's top flight in 2011 after two seasons in the second tier.

VfB Stuttgart (Germany)

Stuttgart reached the play-off stage by defeating Bulgarian side PFC Botev Plovdiv in the third round of the competition. In the past they've twice won the Intertoto Cup and have reached the group stage of the Champions League three times. Only once have they reached the last 16, where they were knocked out by Spanish giants Barcelona.

PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece)

Like Maccabi, PAOK were eliminated from the qualifying rounds of the Champions League, in their case by the Ukranian side FC Metalist Kharkiv. They have had earlier encounters with Israeli clubs, among them against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League qualifiers in the 2004/05 season, last season against Bnei Yehuda in the Europa League qualifiers and in 2000/01 against Beitar Jerusalem in the now moribund UEFA Cup.

Chornomorets Odesa (Ukraine)

In the past, this Ukrainian harbour town side played Maccabi's municipal rival Hapoel Tel Aviv in the UEFA Cup. They returned to Ukraine's top flight in the 2010/2011 season and in the past have featured a number of players who in the 1990's also featured in the Israeli top flight, among them defender Sergei Tartiak, who played for Beitar Jerusalem and Hakoach Ramat Gan, and striker Ivan Gazko, who played for Maccabi Haifa.