- “Easy” for Olympiacos, PAOK Meets Ajax Again -
Olympicos received a rather “easy” draw for the UEFA Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round (Champions Route) and will play the winner between Sheriff Tiraspol and Hapoel Beer Sheva. PAOK will meet Ajax once again in the UEFA Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round (League Route). The first legs will take place July 26/27 and the return legs will be held one week later.
Olympiacos was seeded in today’s draw for the UEFA Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round (Champions Route). They were paired with the winner of the match between Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova) and Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel), who are currently playing in the 2nd Qualifying Round. Hapoel Beer-Sheva won the first leg 3-2 in Israel. It is a good draw on paper, with Olympiacos avoiding teams like Rosenborg and Crvena Zvezda. The first leg will be in Greece on July 26/27 and the return leg will be played away on Aug 2/3. In 2010, Olympiacos was paired with Sheriff Tiraspol in Champions League Qualifying where the Greeks won 0-2 away and 1-0 in Greece to advance to the Group Stage.
PAOK was unseeded in today’s draw for the UEFA Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round (League Route). They were paired with Ajax, who finished 2nd in last year's Dutch Eredivisie. It is a tough draw on paper as a more favorable opponent would have been Anderlecht or Sparta Praha. Since the League Route consists of non-domestic league champions (the higher domestic league champions qualify automatically for the Group Stage), the opponents are much more difficult that the Champions Route. The first leg will be in Holland on July 26/27 and the return leg will be played in Greece on Aug 2/3. In 2011, PAOK was paired with Ajax in the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round with both games ending in a draw (1-1, 3-3). However, Ajax advanced on away goals after drawing PAOK 3-3 in Thessaloniki. Current PAOK coach, Vladan Ivic, scored PAOK’s only goal in Holland during the first leg’s 1-1 draw.