Bruges beckons for Panathinaikos in Champions League


All three Greek teams involved in the European competition draws on Friday at Nyon in Switzerland were satisfied with the outcome, that keeps their chances for entry to the group stages of the tournaments open.

Panathinaikos was happy to land arguably the easiest of its possible opponents in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, as Belgium’s Club Bruges is hardly the giant that would generate fear among the Greens’ fans.

The first match between the two teams will take place on July 28 or 29 in Athens and the return leg is scheduled for a week later in Belgium. The two sides have already met this month in a friendly game in the Netherlands that Bruges won 2-1.

This is the second consecutive year Panathinaikos has drawn a Belgian side, after going down to Standard Liege at the same stage last season.

In the Europa League PAOK and Atromitos have also avoided any impossible missions, but must be very cautious if they are to advance to the competition’s play-offs.

If PAOK goes past Lokomotiva Zagreb (trailing 2-1 from Thursday’s first leg) it will face the winner of the tie between Spartak Trnava of Slovakia and Linfield of Northern Ireland, while Atromitos will meet one of AIK Stockholm and Shirak of Armenia.