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Five Greek teams enter Monday’s UCL and UEL draws

Five Greek teams enter Monday’s UCL and UEL draws

All five Greek teams will enter Monday’s UEFA Champions and Europa League third qualifying round draws. AGONAsport takes a closer look at the possible opponents for PAOK, Olympiacos, AEK, Atromitos, and Aris.

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On Monday in Nyon, Switzerland, the third qualifying round draws for the UEFA Champions and Europa League will take place with all five Greek representatives set to find out their opponents in their respective competitions. Both PAOK and Olympiacos will enter the UEFA Champions League draw while AEK, Atromitos, and Aris will enter the UEFA Europa League draw. Olympiacos will also partake in the Europa League draw as elimination to Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League second qualifying round will send Olympiacos to the Europa League third qualifying round.

PAOK (UEFA Champions League)

As Super League champions, PAOK will begin their European journey in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. They will be unseeded in Monday’s draw and will be paired with one of the following seeded sides:

Ajax (NED)

Celtic (SCO) - Kalju Nomme (EST)

Kobenhavn (DEN) - The New Saints (WAL)

Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) - Saburtalo Tbilisi (GEO)

BATE Borisov (BLR) - Rosenborg (NOR)

APOEL (CYP) - Sutjeska Niksic (MNE)

PAOK will be unseeded along with:

Cluj (ROU) - Maccabi Tel Aviv (ISR)

Ferencváros (HUN) - Valletta (MLT)

Dundalk (IRL) - Qarabag Agdam (AZE)

Red Star Belgrade (SRB) - HJK Helsinki (FIN)

Maribor (SVN) - AIK Stockholm (SWE)

The Thessalnokiks will surely want to avoid last year’s UEFA Champions League semi-finalists, Ajax, as a pairing with the Dutch side will pose an extremely difficult task. The Dikefalos tou Vora will also hope to avoid a draw with Scottish champions, Celtic, as they always pose a threat on the European stage. Last season, however, AEK defeated Celtic over two legs in the same round of qualifying before knocking off Vidi in the qualifying playoffs to reach the group stages.

OLYMPIACOS (UEFA Champions League & Europe League)

As the Super League runner-ups, Olympiacos will begin their European journey in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round and will matchup against Viktoria Plzen for a place in the third qualifying round. For Monday’s third qualifying round draw, Olympiacos will be seeded and be paired with one of the following unseeded sides:

Basaksehir (TUR)

LASK Link (AUT)

Club Brugge (BEL)

Krasnodar (RUS)

Olympiacos/Viktoria Plzen will be seeded along with:

Porto (POR)

Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)

Basel (NED)/PSV Eindhoven (NED)

At an initial look, Olympiacos will want to avoid a draw with Krasnador, theoretically the strongest side of the four. In addition, a pairing with Krasnador means that Olympiacos will have a much higher possibility of playing FC Porto in the playoffs (if they qualify) as Krasnador cannot be drawn with a Ukrainian team, in this case, Dynamo Kyiv. Basaksehir came close to winning last year’s Turkish Super Lig title and are another club Olympiacos would like to avoid while draws with LASK Linz and Club Brugge will be inviting opposition.

If Olympiacos are eliminated in the second qualifying round, they will continue their European campaign in the Europa League second qualifying round. As a result, Olympiacos will also enter the Europa League third qualifying round and will be seeded in the draw. The Reds will be paired with one of the following unseeded sides:

Austria Wien (AUT)

IFK Norrköping (SWE) v Liepāja (LVA)

Gabala (AZE) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)

Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR) v Esbjerg (DEN)

Antwerp (BEL)

AEK (UEFA Europa League)

As the Super League third-placed team, AEK will begin their European journey in the UEFA Europe League third qualifying round. They will be seeded in Monday’s draw and will be paired with one of the following unseeded sides:

Trabzonspor (TUR)

Utrecht (NED) v Zrinjski (BIH)

CSKA-Sofia (BUL) v Osijek (CRO)

Luzern (SUI) v KÍ Klaksvík (FRO)

Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv (ISR)

Budapest Honvéd (HUN) v Universitatea Craiova (ROU)

AEK will surely want to avoid a draw with Trabzonspor and Utrecht as the list of other opponents will surely pose a weaker threat (theoretically).

ATROMITOS (UEFA Europa League)

As the Super League fourth-placed team, Atromitos will begin their European journey in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round and will matchup against Dunajska Streda for a place in the third qualifying round. For Monday’s third qualifying round draw, Atromitos will be unseeded and be paired with one of the following seeded sides:

Wolverhampton (ENG) v Crusaders (NIR)

Legia Warszawa (POL) v KuPS Kuopio (FIN)

Gent (BEL) v Viitorul (ROU)

Midtjylland (DEN)

AZ Alkmaar (NED) v Häcken (SWE)

Atromitos will have a tough task at hand if drawn with Wolverhampton or AZ Alkmaar while a pairing with any of the other sides will surely be a challenging, but more manageable (theoretically).

ARIS (UEFA Europa League)

As the Super League fourth-placed team, Aris will begin their European journey in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round and will matchup against AEL Limassol for a place in the third qualifying round. For Monday’s third qualifying round draw, Aris will be unseeded and be paired with one of the following seeded sides:

Braga (POR)

Alashkert (ARM) v FCSB (ROU)

Spartak Moscow (RUS)

Molde (NOR) v Čukarički (SRB)

Strasbourg (FRA) v Maccabi Haifa (ISR)

At first glance, Aris will have a very difficult matchup in the third qualifying round. The Thessalonikis will surely want to avoid Braga and Spartak Moscow while a pairing with Strasbourg (or Maccabi Haifa), who compete in the French Ligue 1, will also be unfavorable. The best scenario on paper is a pairing with Molde/Cukaricki.

 

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