UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw

Ajax will face Mario Balotelli and Nice in the third qualifying round after the draw – which also featured, among others, Celtic, CSKA Moskva, Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiacos – was made in Nyon.

UEFA Deputy General Secretary Giorgio Marchetti draws out the name of Slavia Praha
UEFA Deputy General Secretary Giorgio Marchetti draws out the name of Slavia Praha ©Getty Images for UEFA

Group stage regulars CSKA Moskva, Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiacos, plus 2017 UEFA Europa League runners-up Ajax, were among the clubs who discovered their next UEFA Champions League opponents when the third qualifying round draw was made in Nyon.

The draw, which was split into the league and champions routes, also threw up a potential Nordic derby between København and Malmö, cities linked by the Øresund Bridge.

Third qualifying round draw (matches 25 & 26 July/1 & 2 August)

League route

Ajax lost to Manchester United in the Europa League final in May
Ajax lost to Manchester United in the Europa League final in May©Getty Images

FCSB (ROU) v Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)
Nice (FRA) v Ajax (NED)
Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) v Young Boys (SUI)
AEK Athens (GRE) v CSKA Moskva (RUS)
Club Brugge (BEL) v İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR)

Champions route

Slavia Praha (CZE) v BATE Borisov (BLR)/Alashkert (ARM)
Spartaks Jūrmala (LVA)/Astana (KAZ) v IFK Mariehamn (FIN)/Legia Warszawa (POL)
Zrinjski (BIH)/Maribor (SVN) v FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL)/Víkingur (FRO)
Žilina (SVK)/København (DEN) v Malmö (SWE)/Vardar (MKD)
Linfield (NIR)/Celtic (SCO) v Dundalk (IRL)/Rosenborg (NOR)

Salzburg are well placed to reach the third qualifying round
Salzburg are well placed to reach the third qualifying round©Domenic Aquilina

Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR)/Honvéd (HUN) v Žalgiris Vilnius (LTU)/Ludogorets (BUL)
Viitorul (ROU) v APOEL (CYP)/Dudelange (LUX)
Hibernians (MLT)/Salzburg (AUT) v Rijeka (CRO)/TNS (WAL)
Qarabağ (AZE)/Samtredia (GEO) v Sheriff (MDA)/Kukësi (ALB)
Partizan (SRB)/Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) v Olympiacos (GRE)

ROAD TO KYIV: FULL 2017/18 SEASON CALENDAR

Points of interest

FCSB (ROU) v Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)
Plzeň have not beaten Romanian opposition in four previous attempts, all in the UEFA Europa League. They picked up one point in two games against Astra Giurgiu in last season's group stage and were knocked out 5-2 on aggregate by Petrolul Ploiești in the 2014/15 play-offs. They drew both away matches and lost both at home.

Filipe Teixeira, Júnior Maranhão and Constantin Budescu all joined FCSB from Astra this summer; all featured against Plzeň last term.

Nice (FRA) v Ajax (NED)
Ajax defeated French opposition in the shape of Lyon in last season's UEFA Europa League semi-finals. Leading 4-1 from the first leg, the Dutch side resisted a strong comeback to advance 5-4 on aggregate. Their overall record against French teams is W13 D5 L8.

Nice have never previously met Dutch opposition.

Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) v Young Boys (SUI)
Dynamo midfielder Derlis González faced Young Boys three times during his season with Basel in 2014/15, winning one, losing one and drawing the third – a point that sealed the title.