UEFA Champions League-Play-off round draw-Nyon, Switzerland - Friday 8 August 2014 12.00CET


Champions Route-19/20 and 26/27 August

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League Route-19/20 and 26/27 August

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Champions Route

  • SalzburgSalzburg(AUT)
  • SteauaSteaua(ROU)
  • CelticCeltic(SCO)
  • LudogoretsLudogorets(BUL)
  • MariborMaribor(SVN)
  • Slovan BratislavaSlovan Bratislava(SVK)
  • MalmöMalmö(SWE)
  • AaBAaB(DEN)

League Route

  • ArsenalArsenal(ENG)
  • PortoPorto(POR)
  • ZenitZenit(RUS)
  • LeverkusenLeverkusen(GER)
  • NapoliNapoli(ITA)
  • AthleticAthletic(ESP)
  • KøbenhavnKøbenhavn(DEN)
  • Standard LiègeStandard Liège(BEL)
  • BeşiktaşBeşiktaş(TUR)


Thanks for joining us in the DrawCentre for this play-off draw, which has thrown up some intriguing and outstanding ties. We will have full coverage of those when they kick off on the 19 August, but stay with UEFA.com for the rest of the day as more reaction will follow. Remember, for all the latest news, follow @ChampionsLeague on Twitter. Enjoy your day.
Richard Lásik, Slovan Bratislava midfielder: We have got a good team to play against, but on the other side we do not underestimate them. We have got the team we wished to play. Our chance of advancing is good, that is for sure, it does not matter we play the first leg at home.
UEFA Champions League play-off drawJosu Urrutia, Athletic Club president: It will not be easy. It is a Champions League game against a great opponent We all know that over the past few years Napoli have improved, but we also know that no team wanted to draw us. To continue in the tournament we have to win.
Rafael Benítez (SSC Napoli)Rafaél Benítez, Napoli coach: We were paired with the most difficult side of the five we could have faced, Athletic are the strongest of them all, no doubt about that. They play good football and the great support of the 50,000 fans at the San Mamés make them difficult to beat for anybody. I think we will see two beautiful games, played with great intensity by both sides. I think Napoli are well prepared to play a great game and reach our objective, which is playing in the group stage.
Markus Rosenberg (Malmö FF)Olof Persson, Malmö assistant coach: All the teams we could have drawn are good, and of course [Salzburg] are a super tough opponent. But we will have to grab the bull by the horns straight away. It is difficult to rate our chances in terms of percentage, but it is good to begin away. We were not completely pleased when drawing Sparta Praha [in the previous round] but that turned out alright in the end.
Jakob Ahlmann Nielsen (Aalborg BK)Jakob Ahlmann, AaB defender: We definitely have the chance to proceed to the group stage over two matches. Having put out a team such as Dinamo Zagreb, I definitely think we have a good chance against APOEL. They are usually particularly strong at home, but I still I find this draw to be OK, and anyway we are happy to have escaped Salzburg.
Constantin Gâlcă, Steaua coach: Ludogorets are a very good team, with plenty of international players. I am confident that my team will give its best and I hope to overcome this team. I do not think that the qualification will be decided in the first leg, because both matches will be very even. . I trust my team and we will do everything to qualify.
Georgi Dermendzhiev (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad)Georgi Dermendzhiev, PFC Ludogrorets Razgrad coach: Steaua are a great side and they play regularly in the group stages in the UEFA competitions. If we are wise and approach the games totally focused like we did against Partizan, we can go through.
Immediate reaction from the Romanian newspapers, who believe Steaua have landed a tough draw. "Bad luck for Steaua. Our champions will play against the most difficult possible opponent from the second pot. Ludogorets played friendlies against Steaua and Dinamo [Bucureşti] and won both of them with the same score, 4-2," writes Gazeta Sporturilor.
Roger Schmidt (FC Salzburg)Roger Schmidt, Leverkusen coach: København is a team with a lot of quality, but we cannot just look at them. Our priority is to focus on ourselves. If we want to achieve something, we need to deliver a top performance. You can only influence the opponents' performance if you are well prepared tactically. We have a lot of work ahead of us in that regard. [København coach] Ståle Solbakken has been very successful in Scandinavia and is able to prepare his teams very well, otherwise FCK wouldn't be here.
APOEL have a good recent history against Danish opposition. In 2009/10 they eliminated København 3-2 on aggregate to book their place in the group stages.
UEFA Champions League play-off drawGiorgos Donis, APOEL coach: As I said before, we had a 50-50 chance against all of our opponents. We will be playing a good opponent [AaB] who are the champions of Denmark and who just had an excellent season. But I believe that we will be ready to face them and seize any chance we have of moving into the group stages.
Ståle Solbakken, København coach: [Leverkusen] have a very good played in Stefan Kiessling, and they have been reinforced by Kyriakos Papadopoulos from Schalke, so they have a really strong team, but we will simply have to work hard for the win.
Do not fear that defensive walls are not the appropriate distance away from a free-kick taker!! Vanishing spray paint will be a new addition to this season's UEFA Champions League.
Nicolai Jørgensen (FC København)Leverkusen will be reunited with Nicolai Jörgensen in their tie with København. The Danish striker spent three years in Germany, two of those playing for Bayer. He only made ten Bundesliga appearances for them though and may have a point to prove.
It is no surprise that #UCLdraw is trending on Twitter right now. Use the hashtag to join the conversation, and make sure you follow @ChampionsLeague for all today's reaction and outstanding coverage throughout the season.
12.30 Standard have drawn Zenit – will there be another dramatic moment like this one in their play-off tie when goalkeeper Sinan Bolat's last minute header on the last day of the group stage in 2009 defeated AZ Alkmaar. What a celebration! Let's hope for more scenes like this over the next year.
Dick Advocaat (Zenit)Has the draw provided a good omen for Zenit? They beat Standard in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup first round, en route to lifting the trophy. Can they do the same in the UEFA Champions League this time?
The dates of the fixtures will be announced later today at 13.00CET. The first legs will be played on the 19 and 20 August, with the returns a week later.
Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal FC)Arsenal played Turkish opposition in the shape of Fenerbahçe SK in last season's play-offs, winning 5-0 over two legs. Will Beşiktaş provide a tougher test this season?
These will be play-offs full of firsts, as none of the ten teams in the champions route have played their play-off opponents before.
The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body have announced that Legia have been sanctioned for fielding a suspended player in their second leg against Celtic. The match has been declared as forfeit and Legia have lost the match 3-0. As a consequence, Celtic have qualified for the play-offs on away goals (agg: 4-4) and Legia will compete in the UEFA Europa League play-offs. Full details here.
Óscar de Marcos (Athletic Club)Óscar De Marcos, Athletic Club: It would be really nice to get into the group stage. The game at home will be very important. We have the advantage of our fans and the stadium, both of which can spur us on. At home we are very stable.
The first team drawn in each tie will play the first leg at home, with the second side hosting the second. Which is preferable? Either way, the home tie will be crucial according to Athletic Club's Óscar De Marcos …
Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş JK)Porto – one of Beşiktaş's possible opponents – include Ricardo Quaresma among their ranks. The Black Eagles fans remember the winger's skills fondly from his time with the club between 2010 and 2012 but hope he won't be able to repeat the highs he achieved in Istanbul should the two sides be paired. Quaresma took part in 46 league matches and scored eight goals in his two-year stay at Beşiktaş.
UEFA Champions League play-off drawThings are all prepped and ready to go in Nyon. Just a few more minutes until the draw gets under way.
Danny (FC Zenit)Over in Russia there is trepidation ahead of the draw regarding Zenit's chances, despite the fact they are seeded, according to sports daily Sport-Express. "Even if FC Zenit are a seeded team it doesn't make their life easier. There's no underdog among their potential opponents. Whoever are Zenit's opponents, a hard challenge waits them."
Beşiktaş fans picked Zenit as the side they would most like to be drawn against, and it seems Athletic Club followers are of the same viewpoint, reports Joe Walker. In a vote run by the newspaper Marca 36.2% of participants selected the Russian side as the team they would most like to face, with Napoli, again, beating Arsenal and Porto as the least desirable opponents.
Jelle Van Damme (R. Standard de Liège)Jelle Van Damme, Standard Liège captain: Let it be Arsenal! We know we have to play against a top team. We want to give the fans a gala match. Everything we now achieve is a pure bonus for us.
For Standard's Jelle Van Damme the bigger the tie the better …
The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body have announced that Legia have been sanctioned for fielding a suspended player in their second leg against Celtic. The match has been declared as forfeit and Legia have lost the match 3-0. As a consequence, Celtic have qualified for the play-offs on away goals (agg: 4-4) and Legia will compete in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
Giorgos Donis (APOEL FC)Giorgos Donis, APOEL coach: I don’t believe that we should be scared of any of our potential opponents. There are obviously some good teams in the draw and whoever we play, the chances will be 50-50. We have very little time to prepare for the play-offs so we need to see what condition the players will be in. But I would say that our team will be competitive and disciplined and in a position to challenge for a place in the groups.
Goal (Cypriot newspaper)According to Cypriot newspaper Goal, APOEL "need a bit of luck" in the draw if they are to make the group stage, but coach Giorgos Donis is preaching a gospel of "no fear", despite rating his sides' chances as 50-50 …
Constantin Gâlcă (FC Steaua Bucureşti)Constantin Gâlcă, Steaua coach: We want to be in the group stage, that was our target from the beginning. Do not ask me about opponents which I would like to meet or to avoid. My only thoughts are about my team. If we play well, we will qualify. It does not matter against whom we play. I believe we will qualify because I have excellent players.
Listening to Steaua coach Constantin Gâlcă, whoever they draw will be in for a tough time. In the group stage last season, the Romanian champions sound in determined mood to make it back again …
Athletic Club players celebrateJoseph Walker, on the beat in Madrid, has this update from the local papers: "The general gist in Diario AS is, it has been 16 years since their last Champions League campaign, and in that time all they have to show is a Europa League runners-up spot. They are not a seed, and therefore they'll get a tough opponent, with Arsenal the strongest team in the draw, and therefore the team to avoid, whilst Napoli are also the others to look out for."
Nicolai Larsen (Aalborg BK)Nicolai Larsen, AaB goalkeeper: I do not have an opponent I particularly want or fear. We know Salzburg very well, and it might be easy to say that they were the opponent we feared the most. However, BATE may be at least as good, and they have been in Europe many times. No matter who we meet it will be a challenge, but a challenge we are ready for.
They may be the lowest ranked side in the draw, but there is no fear from the Aalborg players. "We are ready," was the rallying call …
Slaven Bilić (Beşiktaş JK)Those inside the club may be remaining diplomatic when it comes to saying which side they would prefer to face, but the Beşiktaş fans are having no such trouble, reports Turkey correspondent Türker Tozar. On a poll of over 52,000 supporters on fan site karakartal.com 35.4% chose Zenit as the side they would most like to face. Leverkusen follow with 30.2% of the vote, while Napoli, polling just 6.7%, are the side the Istanbul club's fans want the least. Will they get their wish?
Ståle Solbakken (FC København)Ståle Solbakken, København coach: Arsenal, Zenit and Napoli are all teams I would like to avoid. If we could choose, I would prefer Porto or Leverkusen.
It is tough to choose who you would prefer to face when looking at the seeds in the league route, but København's Ståle Solbakken has managed to make his pick between a rock and a hard place ...
Agim Ibraimi (NK Maribor)Agim Ibraimi, Maribor defender: I came back from Italy to Maribor because that's my town, that's my club. And we all have just one aim – it doesn't matter who will be on the other side, we want to progress to group stage of the Champions League. We have been in the Europa League many times, now it the time to go further.
Determined words from Maribor's Agim Ibraimi. Lovely to see …
10.47 If you want to know the kind of thing we are in for when the play-offs get under way, how about catching up with the best play-off goals from previous seasons. Check out these stunners from 2009/10.
FC Porto lift the UEFA Champions League trophy, 2004Our man in Portugal, Pedro Marques, reports on how the country is bullish on Porto's prospects after their summer overhaul: "Newspaper Record makes note that the Dragons "will always be favourites, no matter who they draw, due to their vast experience in the most prestigious UEFA competition". The paper picks København and Standard Liège as the best draw for Porto, while a tough meeting with Athletic Club would be the worst possible outcome in their opinion."
Kevin Kampl (FC Salzburg)Kevin Kampl, Salzburg midfielder: Maribor is my home town in Slovenia and it would be nice to be on the pitch there against them. That would be a great game for me.
František Straka (Arka Gdynia)František Straka, ŠK Slovan Bratislava coach: I would prefer BATE Borisov. Theoretically, I see the clearest route to the group stage through them. I know that club the best of all our possible opponents. The other four teams look more dangerous.
Plenty of people are sitting on the fence when it comes to picking who they would prefer to draw, but two men – in the shape of Slovan's coach František Straka and Salzburg's Kevin Kampl – know exactly who they would like to face …
Tony Watt (Celtic FC) Standard Liège's summer signing from Celtic FC, Tony Watt, can't pick who he would prefer to face ...
Arsenal FC celebrateFor a more in depth look at each club involved, including how they qualified, their UEFA Champions League pedigree and record against potential opponents, take a peek at our team profiles. Here are the clubs in the league route.
Ibai Gómez (Athletic Club)Ibai Gómez, Athletic Club: For me, each of the five teams are of equal difficulty. Whoever we draw they will have a lot of respect for us and I'm sure they will be worried about drawing Athletic. We know it won’t be easy, but we believe in ourselves.
There has been plenty of talk about which team each club would prefer to be drawn against and who they would prefer to avoid, but for the likes of Athletic Club's Ibai Gómez, he is thinking of only of his own side …
You will notice in the pots section of the draw centre that Legia Warszawa are in italics. This is because we are waiting to hear the outcome of Legia's disciplinary case this morning. We will let you know as soon as a decision is made.
UEFA Champions League play-off drawAs you can see from the pots, there are five seeded teams (those in bold) in each section and five unseeded. Balls containing the seeded teams will be placed in one bowl, and the unseeded clubs in another. A ball will be taken from each and placed in a bowl in the middle, where they will be shuffled. The first team drawn will play their first match at home, against the second side drawn. It's as simple as that.
UEFA Champions League play-off drawThere are two categories of club in the draw; those who have made it to this stage through the league route, and those who are here through the champions route. Sides can only face other teams within their category.
Ties will be played on 19/20 and 26/27 August, the ten winners joining the 22 teams automatically qualified for the group stage.
Demba Ba (Beşiktaş JK)Five clubs – in the shape of Arsenal FC, Athletic Club, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, SSC Napoli and FC Porto – join the competition at this stage, with the 15 others having battled through qualifying, which concluded on Wednesday night.
UEFA Champions League play-off drawWelcome to the UEFA.com DrawCentre where we are all set to take you through the draw for the UEFA Champions League play-offs. We have build up before the ties are picked at 12.00CET in Nyon and will bring you all the reaction afterwards.



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