Champions League, Qualification Round II – preview

Draw sets up three thrilling days at four venues

The draw for the second round of the qualifications in the Champions League has been conducted – this crucial phase will halve the field as only the top two of each group can go through.

The top two finishers of the first round will see some tough challenge – perhaps Savona’s road seems to be rockier as they face last season’s Euro Cup winner Szolnok and Greece’s second ranked side Vouliagmeni and also Montenegro’s recent Champions League participant Jadran Herceg Novi.

On contrary, OSC Budapest, achieving a perfect 6/6 last week, will have a clash with last season’s semifinalist Brescia but they may find beating France’s Noisy a bit easier though face a tricky encounter with Spain’s Terrassa.

Group D in Zagreb is to offer a traditionally thrilling Croatian-Serbian battle between Mladost and Zvezda, and Montpellier – undefeated in the first round – and Apolon had some fine matches, so it’s going to be three demanding days for everyone.

The other group to be played in Croatia also features four quality sides and it’s a tough call to predict the outcome. Both teams coming from the first round, Jadran and Primorac did well last week so Barcelona and Oradea cannot take anything granted.

The top two ranked teams will advance to the third round where the group winners shall be drawn against the second placed clubs and the four winners will get the Champions League berths while the losing sides can continue in the Euro Cup.

Champions League, Qualification Round II – 8-10 October

Group C – Szolnok (HUN) Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN), Vouliagmeni NC (GRE), RN Savona (ITA), Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE)

Group D – Zagreb (CRO) HAVK Mladost (CRO), BVK Crvena Zvezda (SRB), Montpelier WP (FRA), GS Apolon Smyrnis (GRE)

Group E – Paris (FRA) AN Brescia (ITA) Noisy le Sec (FRA), OSC Budapest (HUN), CN Terrassa (ESP)

Group F – Split (CRO) CN Barcelona (ESP), CSM Oradea (ROU), Jadran Split (CRO), Primorac Kotor (MNE)