UEFA Champions League qualifiers
As the football season begins there are teams all around Europe that had their seasons begin early for the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
For some fortunate football teams in Europe, they go straight into the group stages of the most elite competition in European football which is, of course, the UEFA Champions League, but for most teams in Europe, they have to go through a qualification process.
There are 6 rounds in total before the group stages of the competition, there are 2 Prelim rounds which have 4 teams playing 2 matches, the winner of the 2 matches played each other in the 2nd prelim round and the winner of that progresses.
There is then the first, second and third qualifying round which teams from all over Europe compete in, the winner of the matches progress through the rounds.
The 6th round is the "play-off" round which is the final round before the group stages, the winners of this round progress to the UEFA Champions League group stage where they can meet European giants such as Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and more!
There has been some controversy over the way the UEFA Champions League is run as some teams who come 4th place in their countries league can go straight into the group stage whereas other teams who come 1st place in their countries league have to go through qualifying rounds.
Celtic FC from Scotland have been champions of their countries league for 8 years in a row now but they have to go through every qualifying round from the very first round.
Ajax has to go through the 3rd qualifying round and the play-off stage even though they have won their countries league and got to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League last season which is a major shock to most.
The management and boards of both Celtic and Ajax believe that their clubs along with some others should be guaranteed group stage places after winning their countries leagues but UEFA thinks different.
This week the first leg of the 3rd qualifying round is being played, I will list all the teams playing this week below along with the scores of matches that have already been played on Tuesday 6th August 2019.
Tuesday 6th August 2019
PAOK 2-2 Ajax
APOEL 1-2 Qarabag
Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Ferencvaros
Club Brugge 1-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Crvena Zvezda 1-1 Kobenhavn
Wednesday 7th August 2019
Krasnodar vs Porto
Istanbul Basaksehir vs Olympiacos
CFR Cluj vs Celtic
CFR Cluj vs Celtic
Maribor vs Rosenborg
LOOKING AT THE TEAMS ABOVE WHO DO YOU THINK WILL PROGRESS TO THE PLAY-OFF ROUND?
WHO DO YOU THINK WILL PROGRESS FURTHER TO THE GROUP STAGE?
LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!