Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Champions League and Europa League qualifying draws
The draws for the qualifying rounds of the Champions League and Europa League for 2012/13 took place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland yesterday. There were four Meistriliiga teams involved in the draw - Flora, Kalju, Levadia and Trans.
The draws were as follows:
Champions League second qualifying round
Flora Tallinn v FC Basel
To be played during weeks of 17th/18th July and 24th/25th July
Europa League first qualifying round
Inter Baku (Azerbaijan) v Narva Trans
FC Šiauliai (Lithuania) v Levadia Tallinn
Xäzär Länkäran FK (Azerbaijan) v JK Kalju
Matches to be played on 5th and 12th July
So not an easy draw for Flora, but some potentially winnable ties for the Europa League teams. In a wonderful footballing twist of fate, Kalju's tie pits full back Tihhon Šišov against his former club, Xäzär Länkäran, with whom he had a long running dispute for non-payment of wages before finally being released from his contract and allowed to join Kalju at the end of last year. Levadia should also know something about Šiauliai from near neighbours Lithuania. Trans may want to tap up Estonian international Dmitri Kruglov for some tips on Inter Baku as he played for the club for a year in 2010/11, and had played in Azerbaijan since 2008 before a move to FC Rostov in Russia last year.
Should Kalju overcome Xäzär Länkäran, they will face either Lech Poznan (Poland) or Zhetysu Taldykorgan (Kazakhstan) - I know who I'd rather play - in the second qualifying round. Levadia could face Anorthosis Famagusta (Cyprus) and Trans would meet Asteras Tripolis (Greece).