07 August 2018

Last hurdle of matches before entering group stage

We all know that in the next three days (and nights) fierce fighting will commence for the fourth qualifying (also known as play off) round. Although it will only be their first 90 minutes starting from tomorrow in the third stage, for the last phase the European football organization conducted the draw for both leagues on this unusual day.

Better known as the elite competition (with fewer goals), the little Champions league balls were the first to mix and show. Those balls have determined the pairs who is going to be played over two days and this phase will end in one week time.

Three matches are going to start on 21 August, while on 29 is the second 90 (or more) minutes. These duels are:
Champions path:
Crvena Zvezda / Spartak Trnava - Red Bull Salzburg / Skendija.
Qarabag / BATE Borisov - PSV Eindhoven.

League path:
Benfica / Fenerbahce - PAOK / Spartak Moscow.

Twenty four hours later are the following three duels with its second leg or at 22 and 28 August have to be expected:
Champions path:
Young Boys Bern - Astana / Dinamo Zagreb.
Malmo / Videoton - Celtic / AEK.

League path:
Standard Liege / Ajax - Slavia Prague / Dynamo Kyiv.

If the above is elite, this tournament can be called super elite (with lots of goals). Clubs that are competing here do not mind about the result, but instead they are giving plenty of goals to enjoy from. That is why the Europa league is more entertaining and thrilling competition than its predecessor. First legs from the fourth stage are going to be played on 23 August, while second are on 30 August. And to complicate things even further, we are encountering two paths in here as well.

Champions path:
Olimpija Ljubljana / HJK Helsinki - Crvena zvezda / Spartak Trnava.
Hapoel Beer Sheva / APOEL Nicosia - Astana / Dinamo Zagreb.
Cork City / Rosenborg - Red Bull Salzburg / Skendija.
Legia / F91 Dudelange - Alashkert / CFR Cluj.
Spartaks Jurmala / Suduva - Celtic / AEK.
Sheriff Tiraspol / Valur - Qarabag / BATE Borisov.
Malmo / Videoton - TNS / Midtjylland.
Torpedo Kutaisi / Kukesi - Ludogorets / Zrinjski.

The above 8 duels consists some of Champions league matches as well. Only the losing teams will play in the play-off round.

League path:
Sigma Olomouc / Kairat - Sevilla / Zalgiris.
Sarpsborg 08 / Rijeka - Pyunik / Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Jagiellonia / Gent - Mariupol / Bordeaux.
Nordsjaelland / Partizan - Besiktas / LASK Linz.
Slovan Bratislava / Rapid Vienna - Hajduk / Steaua.
Apollon Limassol / Dinamo Brest - Vitesse / Basel.
Glasgow Rangers / Maribor - Ufa / Progres Niederkorn.
Hapoel Haifa / Atalanta - CSKA Sofia / FC Copenhagen.
Dinamo Minsk / Zenit Saint Petersburg - Hibernian / Molde.
TrencĂ­n / Feyenoord - Sturm Graz / AEK Larnaca.
Genk / Lech - Spartak Subotica / Brondby.
Olympiacos / Luzern - Basaksehir / Burnley.
Zorya Luhansk / Braga - RasenBallsport Leipzig / Universitatea.

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