Only eight out of 19 can survive this week


While the opening weekend could be considered as a warm-up, the upcoming second qualification round in the Champions League will see huge fights at all four venues. Only the top two in each group shall keep their hopes to make the main round alive – so eight sides can move one, eleven are to be dropped to the Euro Cup.

This is the ‘melting pot’ where teams having made the cut last season, clubs with Champions League experience from previous years and upcoming new challengers face off to grab the eight play-off spots – two in each group. (According to the new regulations, the third, fourth and fifth placed teams can continue their European campaigns in the second qualification round in the Euro Cup.)

Italy’s Brescia, semi-finalist in the last two editions, Croatia’s Jadran Split and Hungary’s OSC were among those four teams which went all the way in the qualifications a year ago and joined the wild card holders in the main round.

There are other sides which had some ‘big time’ experience from the recent past like Montenegro’s Jadran Herceg Novi and Romania’s Steaua Bucharest. And we have those greats where trophies from the past are reminiscent of a magnificent history and now these are hoping for something big in the reshaping process, like Croatia’s Mladost, Hungary’s Vasas and Montenegro’s Primorac, all appearing on the all-time champions’ list, plus Italy’s Savona, ruler of the second-tier cups some years ago.

Add the second and third best teams from Greece and France, the third ranked Spanish and Serbian sides and the stage is set for four days of thrilling matches – free live-stream will be available from each and every game, according to the plans. 

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Champions League, Qualification Round II (13-16 October)

Group A (Split, CRO)

VK Sabac (SRB), Jadran Split (CRO), Vasas Budapest (HUN), RN Savona (ITA), Steaua Bucharest (ROU)

Group B (Barcelona, ESP)

CN Barcelona (ESP), CN Noisy Le Sec (FRA), CSM Oradea (ROU), Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE), Vitoria Guimaraes (POR)

Group C (Kotor, MNE), 14-16 October

OSC Budapest (HUN), Vouliagmeni NC (GRE), EN Tourcoing (FRA), Primorac Kotor (MNE)

Group D (Athens, GRE)

AN Brescia (ITA), Duisburg (GER), HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO), Panionios GSS Athens (GRE), EVK Zaibas (LTU)