One ‘guaranteed spot’ for Hungary and Croatia, Italy may have two more teams
The draw for the Champions League third qualification round set up two national derbies between the two Croatian and Hungarian sides respectively, while the two Italian clubs avoided the ‘in-house clash’.
Two great derbies will be played in the play-off round of the Champions League qualifications, one with the Croatian and one with the Hungarian teams. The showdown between Jadran Split and Mladost Zagreb has long tradition, while the clash of Szolnok and OSC is the re-match of last season’s Euro Cup finals (Szolnok won in a penalty shootout).
The two Italians could make their way to the main round, though they both face a tough test: Savona has to visit Belgrade to face Crvena Zvezda, while Brescia, semi-finalist last May, will have two challenging matches with CN Barcelona.
Together with the duels, the usual letters were also drawn – this determines the spot of the eventual winners in the groups in the main round. It’s already envisioned that whoever goes through from the four pairs, both groups will only get even more balanced. The losers in the third round will continue in the Euro Cup quarter-finals.
Champions League, Qualification Round III
Game A: Jadran Split (CRO) vs HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO)
Game B: Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN) vs OSC Budapest (HUN)
Game C: RN Savona (ITA) vs Crvena Zvezda (SRB)
Game D: CN Barcelona vs AN Brescia (ITA)
Dates: 16 and 20 October