Olympiacos & AEK’s possible opponents in Champions League qualifying
Olympiacos and AEK will find out on Friday who will be their opponents in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
As the Superleague champions, Olympiacos will enter the UEFA Champions League 3rd qualifying round Champions Route and will only play other domestic club champions in qualifying. With the champions from the associations ranked 1st-12th earning an automatic place in the competition’s groups stages, Olympiacos can only be paired with champions from associations ranked 13th and above.
Olympiacos will be the highest seeded team in Friday’s draw based on UEFA Coefficient rankings and will be the heavy favorites to advance to the next round. However, the Erythrolefki will be favorites only on paper especially after last year's early exit at the expense of Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
Tomorrow Olympiacos will likely found out which pair they will be matched up with in the 3rd qualifying round (unless they draw Slavia Prague or Viitorul) as the 2nd qualifying round’s second legs are scheduled to take place next week. Although Olympiacos will be considered the favorites, some teams that would like to be avoided in the draw include Malmo, Astana, Partizan, Rosenborg, Slavia Prague, and last year's opponents Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
Celtic (SCO) or Linfield (NIR) - [First leg on Friday]
Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) or Hibernians (MAL) - [RBS leads 0-3]
FC Kobenhavn (DEN) or Zilina (SVK) - [FCK leads 1-3]
Ludogorets (BUL) or Zalgiris (LIT) - [ZAL leads 2-1]
BATE Borisov (BLR) or Alashkert (ARM) - [Tied 1-1 at BATE]
Legia Warsaw (POL) or Mariehamn (FIN) - [LEG leads 0-3]
APOEL (CYP) or Dudelange (LUX - [APOEL leads 1-0]
Maribor (SVN) or Zrinjski (BIH) - [MAR leads 1-2]
Qarabag (AZE) or Samtredia (GEO) - [QAR leads 5-0]
Malmo (SWE) or Vardar (FYROM) [Tied 1-1 at Malmo]
Astana (KAZ) or Spartaks Jurmala (LAT) - [AST leads 0-1]
Partizan (SRB) or B. Podgorica (MNE) - [PAR leads 2-0]
Rijeka (CRO) or TNS (WAL) - [RIJ leads 2-0]
Rosenborg (NOR) or Dundalk (IRE) - [Tied 1-1 at Dundalk]
Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA) or Kukes (ALB) [SHE leads 1-0]
Hapoel Be’er Sheva (ISR) or Honved (HUN) - [HBS leads 2-1]
Slavia Prague (CZE)
FH (ISL) or Víkingur (FRO) - [Ties 1-1 at FH]
AEK, as Greece’s runner-ups, will also enter the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, but will play in the League route meaning they can only be paired with teams that did not win their respective domestic leagues. This will include teams only in the associations ranked 1st-15th. Unlike Olympiacos, AEK will be the lowest ranked team in the draw and will find themselves in the unseeded pot.
AEK will find out their opponents tomorrow as the teams that play in the League Route did not have to play in the early qualifying rounds of the Champions league. The teams that would be favorable to avoid include Ajax and CSKA Moscow, while Viktoria Plzen and Club Brugge are inviting opponeints on paper.
Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)
CSKA Moskva (RUS)
Club Brugge (BEL)
Young Boys (SUI)
İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR)
AEK Athens (GRE)