- The Opponents of Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, PAOK -
The three Greek teams that will compete in this year’s Europa League Group Stages found out their opponents in today’s draw. Olympiacos was paired with APOEL, Young Boys, and Astana. PAOK will play Fiorentina, Slovan Liberec, and Qarabag while Panathinaikos will face off against Ajax, Standard Liege, and Celta.
As expected, Olympiacos was given the “easiest” group in the Europa League due to their seed in pot 1. The Greek Champions will play in Group B against Young Boys (SUI), Astana (KAZ), and Cypriot Champions APOEL. Without a doubt, if Olympiacos finds their European form of the previous seasons they will not only progress to the Round of 32 but will win the group. APOEL will have the “first say” in qualifying out of the groups along with Olympiacos. The Greek Champions will play their first match away to Young Boys on September 15th. For Olympiacos’ full schedule click here.
PAOK will be content with today’s draw as they were placed in Group J along with Fiorentina (ITA), Slovan Liberec (CZE), and Qarabaq (AZE). PAOK was seeded in pot 2 and was expected to be paired with a “major” European Club, in this case Fiorentina. The Italians will be the favorites to advance as group winners with PAOK having the upper-hand to progress in second. However, Slovan Liberec and Qarabag will prove to be tough opponents if PAOK underestimates the two sides. The Dikefalos tou Vora will host Fiorentina on the first matchday on September 15th. For PAOK’s full schedule click here.
Seeded in pot 4, Panathinaikos received the “toughest” draw from the three Greek Teams. The Prasini will play in Group G along with Ajax (NED), Celta (ESP), and Standard Liege (BEL). The group looks to be very even on paper with Ajax deemed favorites to win the group. Standard Liege will be a tough opponent with their vast European experience, but a good Panathinaikos can overcome the Belgian side. The Trifylli was unfortunate to draw Celta from the 3rd pot, looking as the “toughest” team from the other possible opponents. Although they are not a “big” name in European football they play in one of Europe’s top leagues and will also be a contender to progress from the Group Stages. Panathinaikos will play Ajax in Athens for the opening game in Group G. For Panathinaikos’ full schedule click here.