The Europa League Playoff round draw was made yesterday. Olympiakos will head to Portugal to face FC Arouca as they look to put Wednesday’s disappointment behind them and secure qualification for the Europa League.
FC Arouca are a small club located 60km south east of Porto. The Arouquenses play their games at their humble 5,000 capacity Estádio Municipal.
Arouca are currently enjoying making history. Spending much of their existence playing in Portugal’s regional leagues, the past decade has seen them rise from a regional side to Portugese reprasentatives in continental competition. The fairytale began with Arouquenses experiencing back-to-back title success, claiming the Aveiro Regional League title in 2007 and the Third Division title in 2008. They were only in the Second Division for two years, before gaining promotion to the Primeira Liga after claiming the second tier title in 2010.
Finishing 5th in the 2015/16 Primeira Liga, this is FC Arouca’s first season of European football. The Portugese side faced Heracles of the Netherlands in the third qualifying round. Arouca came through that round with an aggregate score of 1-1, profitting from the away goal ruling after their second leg finished a score draw in Holland.
Thrylos will travel to Portugal for the first leg on 18 August. FC Arouca will then be welcomed to the Karaiskakis the following week (25th). The tie’s winner will be entered into the group stage draw the following day, with the draw taking place in Monaco on the 26th August.
Elsewhere in the draw PAOK will take on Dinamo Tbilisi of Georgia. While Panathinaikos have been draw against Danish side Brøndby, in what promises to be a tough test for PAO after the Danes disposed of Germany’s Hertha BSC in impressive style.
The Europa League Playoff Round draw in full:
- Astana (KAZ) v BATE Borisov (BLR)
- AEK Larnaca (CYP) v Slovan Liberec (CZE)
- Arouca (POR) v Olympiacos (GRE)
- Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v PAOK (GRE)
- Midtjylland (DEN) v Osmanlıspor (TUR)
- Austria Wien (AUT) v Rosenborg (NOR)
- Trenčín (SVK) v Rapid Wien (AUT)
- Beitar Jerusalem (ISR) v Saint-Étienne (FRA)
- Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO) v Genk (BEL)
- Vojvodina (SRB) v AZ Alkmaar (NED)
- Maribor (SVN) v Qäbälä (AZE)
- Gent (BEL) v Shkëndija (MKD)
- Slavia Praha (CZE) v Anderlecht (BEL)
- Istanbul Başakşehir (TUR) v Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
- Astra Giurgiu (ROU) v West Ham (ENG)
- Sønderjyske (DEN) v Sparta Praha (CZE)
- Fenerbahçe (TUR) v Grasshoppers (SUI)
- Sassuolo (ITA) v Crvena Zvezda (SRB)
- Brøndby (DEN) v Panathinaikos (GRE)
- IFK Göteborg (SWE) v Qarabağ (AZE)
- Krasnodar (RUS) v Partizani Tirana (ALB)
- Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) v Hajduk Split (CRO)