Ajax will meet APOEL Nicosia or FK Qarabag in the play-offs of the Champions League, provided that the team from Amsterdam settle with PAOK in the third preliminary round. That determined the draw in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday.
If Ajax is eliminated by PAOK, the reigning national champion continues in the play-offs of the Europa League.
There were also draws for the Europa League play-offs on Monday, so Ajax also knows which club will be hit if PAOK turns out to be too strong. The Ten Hag team will then play on 22 and 29 August against the winner of the diptych between Slovan Bratislava and FC Dundalk.
Ajax will play PAOK on Tuesday at 7 PM and the return will be at the Johan Cruijff ArenA a week later at 8.30 PM.
The first matches play-offs in the Champions League are played on 20 and 21 August and the returns are on 27 and 28 August. Last year Ajax managed to survive the preliminary rounds and the club pushed through to the semifinals of the million ball.
In 2014 Ajax won 4-0 against APOEL through goals from Schöne (twice), Klaassen and Milik. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Ajax has already played against APOEL
With APOEL and Qarabag, Ajax won the champions of Cyprus and Azerbaijan on Monday. Five years ago, APOEL was still an opponent of Ajax in the group phase of the Champions League. The team of then coach Frank de Boer won 4-0 at home and a 1-1 draw in Cyprus.
The last time APOEL was in the Champions League main tournament was in the 2017/2018 season. Then the Cypriots were last in a group with Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund.
Last season, APOEL, which has a Dutchman in the selection with goalkeeper Boy Waterman, stranded in the first qualifying round of the Champions League against Sūduva Marijampolė from Lithuania.
Qarabag plays its home games at the Olympic Stadium in Baku. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Qarabag won the main tournament once
Qarabag has never been an opponent of Ajax, but the club played against FC Twente in 2009 and 2014 in the preliminary round of the Europa League. The first time Twente went ahead and in 2014 Qarabag was the strongest.
Only once, in the 2017/2018 season, Qarabag won the Champions League main tournament. In a group with AS Roma, Atlético Madrid and Chelsea, the club finished last with just two points. Last season, the Qarabag Champions League adventure ended in the third heat against BATE Borisov.
The first match of the diptych between APOEL and Qarabag is on Tuesday at 7 pm in Nicosia. At the return in Baku a week later, the kick-off is at 6:30 pm.
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