AEK’s path to the UEFA Europa League group stages
AGONAsport’s Sarantos Kaperonis explains AEK’s path to the UEFA Europa League group stages breaking down the possible opponents, the qualifying format, and key dates during the qualifying process.
Greece’s representatives for the 2019/20 UEFA season
At the end of the 2017/18 UEFA season, Greece finished 15th in UEFA's Associations’ Club Coefficient Ranking. With this placement, the 2018/19 Greek Super League and Cup yielded a total of five representatives for next year's 2019/20 UEFA Champions League and Europa League. The top two teams from the Super League will enter the Champions League (PAOK, Olympiacos) while the third through fifth placed teams of the Super League (AEK, Atromitos, Aris) will enter the UEFA Europa League (fifth placed Aris were granted a place in Europe due to PAOK winning the Greek Cup).
AEK’s path to the Europa League group stages
Similar to last season, Europa League qualifying will be separated into two groups: the Champions Route, consisting of teams that won their domestic leagues and were eliminated in Champions League qualifying, and the League Route, consisting of teams that did not win their domestic leagues (majority of the teams). As a non league champion, AEK will participate in the League Route.
As Greece’s Super League third placed team, AEK will enter the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (League Route), meaning the Kitrinomavri will need to progress through TWO qualifying rounds (third round and playoffs) to qualify for the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League group stages. A defeat in any of the qualifying rounds will end AEK’s European campaign for the season.
All qualifying rounds consist of a two-legged playoff and the team with the most goals over two legs (on aggregate) will progress to the next round. In the case of a tie on aggregate after two legs, the team with the most away goals will advance. For more clarification on the qualifying process, follow the link to the full Europa League Format.
AEK’s possible opponents
Due to AEK’s mediocre placement in UEFA's Club Coefficient Ranking (85th), the Enosis will be "seeded" for the third qualifying round draw and could be seeded in the playoffs depending on other results in qualifying.
Some notable possible opponents in the third qualifying round include: Vidi (HUN), Austria Wien (AUT), Trabzonspor (TUR), Brondby (DEN), Utrecht (NED), Sturm Graz (AUT), Aberdeen (SCOT), and Rangers (SCO).
If AEK advance to the Europa League playoffs, their possible opponents will depend on if they are seeded or unseeded in the draw. If AEK are unseeded, notable possible opponents include: Roma (ITA), Sparta Prague (CZE), Braga (POR), Eintracht Frankfurt (GER), FCSB (ROU), Feyenoord (NED), Espanyol (ESP).
If AEK are seeded, notable possible opponents include the clubs mentioned above in the third qualifying round plus Rijeka (CRO), Apollon Limassol (CYP), Hapoel Beer Sheva (ISR), AZ (NED), Vitoria Guimaraes (POR)
Important Europa League qualifying dates for AEK
22 July: Third qualifying round draw
5 August: Playoff round draw
8 August: Third qualifying round, first leg
15 August: Third qualifying round, second leg
22 August: Play-off round, first leg
29 August: Play-off round, second leg