• Analysis

Preview – Champions League third qualifying round

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
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The Champions League third qualifying round is ‘on the menu’ next week, with the first legs being scheduled for Tuesday (August 06) and Wednesday (August 07).

Four former European Cup winners, with eight trophies between them, will feature in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round next week.

As you already know, the UCL qualifiers system is separated into two different draws – the Champions Path and the League Path.

The Champions Path includes all league champions which do not qualify directly for the group stage, while the League Path consists of the league non-champions which have to fight for the place in the group stage through the qualifying system.

We’ll have a look at both draws separately and suggest the games you should watch in the upcoming Champions League qualifiers.

Champions Path

  • APOEL vs Qarabag – Tuesday, 19:00 (CET)
  • PAOK vs Ajax – Tuesday, 19:00 (CET)
  • Dinamo Zagreb vs Ferencvaros – Tuesday, 20:00 (CET)
  • Red Star Belgrade vs Copenhagen – Tuesday, 20:45 (CET)
  • CFR Cluj vs Celtic – Wednesday, 20:00 (CET)
  • Maribor vs Rosenborg – Wednesday, 20:15 (CET)
Game to watch

PAOK vs Ajax is our pick as the most interesting encounter from the Champions Path of the Third round qualifiers.

The Thessaloniki side won the Greek championship for the third time in history last season and finally ended the domination of the Athens-based teams, which lasted more than 30 years.

AFC Ajax, on the other side, enjoyed an amazing 2018-19 campaign, reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 1997. They won their 34th Dutch Eredivisie title and lifted the KNVB Cup for the 19th time, completing their first domestic double in 17 years.

The Jews will open their 2019-20 Champions League season in the third qualifying round and already have a big task ahead of them, as they travel to Greece for the first leg of their encounter against PAOK.

League Path

  • Club Brugge vs Dynamo Kyiv – Tuesday, 20:30 (CET)
  • Krasnodar vs Porto – Wednesday, 19:00 (CET)
  • Istanbul Basaksehir vs Olympiakos – Wednesday, 19:45 (CET)
  • Basel vs LASK Linz – Wednesday, 20:00 (CET)
Game to watch

An encounter between Turkish and Greek side is always interesting, so make sure you don’t miss the game between Istanbul Basaksehir and Olympiakos.

Basaksehir, who finished in second in the Turkish Super Lig last season will be looking to book their place in the Champions League group stage for the first time in history. They reached the playoffs two years ago, but lost to Sevilla 4-3 on aggregate.

Olympiakos are a regular side in the European competitions. They are eyeing a Champions League return this season, after playing in the Europa League last season.

The Greek giants started their qualifying campaign in the second round, where they defeated Viktoria Plzen with a 4-0 home victory in the second leg.