Nani and Van Persie come to Greece


Atromitos has been hard done by the Europa League draw on Friday in Switzerland, as it must face Turkey’s Fenerbahce in the tournament’s playoffs, while Panathinaikos and PAOK will probably have an easier ride against Qabala of Azerbaijan and Brondby of Denmark respectively.

Coached by former Olympiakos manager Vitor Pereira, Fenerbahce has spent a lot of money this summer to create a mighty team, enlisting the services of such stars as former Manchester United players Robin van Persie and Nani. They will now ply their trade at the modest surroundings of Peristeri when Fener visits Atromitos on August 20 for the first leg of their tie.

Panathinaikos has had the easiest of the three teams’ draws as it will face Azeri club Qabala, that in the previous round knocked out Apollon Limassol with a 2-1 aggregate score – both of its goals coming from penalties. The first game is in Athens on August 20 and the return at Baku a week later.

PAOK will also play the first leg at home, facing a team that ousted another Cypriot club: On Thursday Brondby, from Copenhagen, scored two precious away goals at Omonia Nicosia for a 2-2 score that saw it through after the goalless draw in Denmark.

Asteras Tripolis has already earned a spot in the group stage of the Europa League.