Liverpool, Juve gear up for Europa league campaign
Some of Europe’s biggest clubs learnt their immediate fates in continental competition on Friday when the third-round qualifying draws for the Champions League and Europa League were made.sports Updated: Jul 17, 2010 01:41 IST
Some of Europe’s biggest clubs learnt their immediate fates in continental competition on Friday when the third-round qualifying draws for the Champions League and Europa League were made.
Liverpool and Juventus have 45 league titles and seven European Cups between them, but enter the second-tier Europa League at the qualifying stage after both finished a dismal seventh in their national leagues last season.
Roy Hodgson’s first competitive match as Liverpool coach will be a home game against either FC Rabotnicki of Macedonia or Armenian club FC Mika. The first leg will be played on July 29 and the return leg is scheduled for August 5.
“It is every bit as difficult as I was expecting,” said Hodgson.
“At this stage of the qualifying round there are a lot of teams from countries you don’t know too well and teams who probably will not make it to the latter stages of the competition.
“I know Rabotnicki are in Europe every year but I don’t know much about Mika, although I know Armenia, having been there as Finland manager.
Greek test for Ajax
Ajax, who have won the European Cup four times, will play Greek side PAOK Salonika, with the first leg of the Champions League taking place on either July 27 or 28 and the return leg following on August 3 or 4.
“They have a number of South Americans, who are usually good players,” Ajax coach Martin Jol told uefa.com.
Ukrainian powerhouses Dynamo Kiev meet Belgian outfit Gent, with Turkish heavyweights Fenerbahce facing Luxembourg minnows Young Boys Differdange and Russians Zenit St Petersburg to play Unirea Urziceni of Romania.