AEK’s possible opponents in UEL third qualifying round
AEK will enter Monday’s UEFA Europa League third qualifying round draw as a seeded side. AGONAsport takes a closer look at the Enosis’ possible opponents.
AEK, as the Super League’s third-placed team, will begin their European journey in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (August 8, 15). The Enosis will need to overcome two opponents to qualify for the group stages of the competition.
The draw for the third qualifying round will take place on Monday in Nyon (15:00 GR) with AEK entering the draw as a seeded side. A number of teams will enter Monday’s draw and will be separated in 26 seeded teams/pairs and 26 unseeded teams/pairs. As a seeded side, AEK, will draw a theoretically easier opponent from the unseeded pot.
For simplification in the draw’s proceedings, the long list of teams will be separated into five mini-groups, four groups of ten teams (five seeded and five unseeded) and one group of 12 teams (six seeded and six unseeded), on Monday before the draw.
AEK will be paired with one of 24 teams/pairs. The Kitrinomavri cannot be drawn with another Greek side and thus will avoid a pairing with either Atromitos/Dunajska Streda (SVK) or Aris/AEL Limassol (CYP).
AEK’ possible opponents in the UEL third qualifying round
Fehérvár (HUN) v Vaduz (LIE)
Lokomotiv Plovdiv (BUL) v Spartak Trnava (SVK)
AEK Larnaca (CYP) v Levski Sofia (BUL)
Austria Wien (AUT)
Lechia Gdańsk (POL) v Brøndby (DEN)
Malatyaspor (TUR) v Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN)
Utrecht (NED) or Zrinjski (BIH)
Haugesund (NOR) v Sturm Graz (AUT)
Gabala (AZE) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)
Pyunik (ARM) v FK Jablonec (CZE)
Mladá Boleslav (CZE) v Ordabasy Shymkent (KAZ)
Aberdeen (SCO) v Chikhura Sachkhere (GEO)
CSKA-Sofia (BUL) v Osijek (CRO)
Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR) v Esbjerg (DEN)
Luzern (SUI) v KÍ Klaksvík (FRO)
Rangers (SCO) v Progrès Niederkorn (LUX)
Ventspils (LVA) v Gzira United (MLT)
Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv (ISR)
IFK Norrköping (SWE) v Liepāja (LVA)
Budapest Honvéd (HUN) v Universitatea Craiova (ROU)
At an initial look, AEK will look to avoid the likes of Austria Wien (AUT), Trabzonspor (TUR), Antwerp (BEL), and Rangers (SCO)/Progrès Niederkorn (LUX) as theoretically weaker opponents could be drawn.
Aris and Atromitos, who play AEL Limassol and Dunajska Streda in the second qualifying round, respectively, will enter the third qualifying round draw as unseeded sides.
As it stands now, if AEK advance to the Europa League playoffs, they will be unseeded for the draw. However, if three teams ranked higher in the UEFA club coefficient rankings are eliminated in the second qualifying round (the playoff draw is held before the start of the third qualifying round), then AEK will move up to the seeded pot for the playoff draw.
AEK will hope that three of the following teams (in bold) are eliminated in the UEL second qualifying round:
Legia Warszawa (POL) v KuPS Kuopio (FIN)
Gent (BEL) v Viitorul (ROU)
Flora Tallinn (EST) v Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
Alashkert (ARM) v FCSB (ROU)
Espanyol (ESP) v Stjarnan (ISL)
Domžale (SVN) v Malmö (SWE)
Connah's Quay (WAL) v Partizan (SRB)
Wolverhampton (ENG) v Crusaders (NIR)
Torino (ITA) v Debrecen (HUN)