What First Place in the SuperLeague Playoffs Means
AGONAsport.com explains what it means for the team that finishes first in the Greek Superleague playoffs.
After three playoff fixtures, AEK sit on top of the table with 6 points. PAOK follow with 5 points whereas Panionios and Panathinaikos have 4 and 2 points, respectively. However, the above standings will likely change as PAOK are expected to be awarded three points for last week’s abandoned game with Panathinaikos at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium.
The team that finishes first in the Greek Superleague Playoffs will earn the second and final Greek ticket to next year’s UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds. The Superleague champions, Olympiacos, will be the other Greek representative in next year’s Champions League.
The playoff winner will not partake in the same qualifying route as the champions Olympiacos, but rather in a separate qualifying procedure of 15 teams that includes two qualifying rounds (the third qualifying round and then the playoffs) named the non-champions route or league route.
The winner of the Superleague playoffs will enter the League route’s third qualifying round (first leg on July 25/26 and leg two on August 1/2) which consists of 9 non-champion teams. Among them will be the third placed team of France and the second placed teams from Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and Romania. The draw will take place in Nyon on July 14th.
If the Greek team advances past the third qualifying round, they will take part in the playoff qualifying round. The draw for this phase of the competition will be held on August 4th with the fixtures scheduled to take place on August 15/16 (first leg) and August 22/23 (second leg). There, the five teams that advanced from the third qualifying round will be joined with the fourth placed teams of England, Spain, Germany, and the two third placed from Italy and Portugal.
The playoff qualifying round is the final round of qualifying and the 5 teams that advance from this stage will qualify for the Champions League Group stage. The teams eliminated in the playoffs will continue on to the Europa League Group Stage.
The teams that are eliminated in the third qualifying round will continue in the Europa League playoffs qualifying round and will need to advance past this one stage of qualifying to play in the Europa League group Stage.
A reminder that the remaining three teams in the playoffs will go on to play in Europa League qualifying.
Three games remain in the playoffs and it looks like it will come down to PAOK and AEK for the magical ticket to next year’s Champions League. The two teams meet in Athens on matchday 5 of the playoffs.