SPORTS

Olympiakos lands Rubin, PAOK gets Udinese

Luck was on the Greek teams? side in the draw for the Europa League round of 32 in Switzerland on December 16 as Olympiakos was drawn with Russia?s Rubin Kazan, while PAOK will face Italy?s Udinese.

Both Greek teams will play their first match away and the return at home. They will be happy to have avoided such giants as Ajax, Lazio and Porto that they could have faced.

The ties will be played on February 16 and 23.

Pablo Orbaiz of Olympiakos stated after the draw that ?the first game at Kazan will be very difficult as it will be particularly cold in Russia in February.?

PAOK defender Bruno Cirillo commented that ?this was one of the toughest possible opponents, but we have the desire to do very well.?

If it beats Udinese, PAOK will have a tougher task in the round of 16 as it will face the winner of the AZ Alkmaar vs Anderlecht tie.

Olympiakos was happy to hear that if it qualifies to the last 16 it will face the winner of the Salzburg vs Metalist Kharkiv tie.

Again the two Greek sides will have the second leg at home if they make it to the last 16 of the competition.

In the draw for the Champions League that was also conducted on Friday, Cypriot champion APOEL was drawn with French side Lyon, with the first match in France on February 14 or 15 and the return in Nicosia a week later.