Champions Leaguecreated at: 2013-07-26

Having dispatched Gyor 4:1 on aggregate in the second qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League, Maccabi Tel Aviv this morning drew a matchup with Swiss champions FC Basel in the third round. The first leg is Tuesday night in Switzerland, and it’s certainly not going to be easy- Basel is the 35th ranked club in UEFA, and Maccabi is 176th in the club rankings.

Basel is no stranger to the Champions League, and as recently as two seasons ago delivered a stunning result, defeating powerhouse Manchester United in the knockout stages, and last year they made it to the semifinals of the Europa League before falling to Chelsea, the eventual champions.

So, Katniss, the odds are not in our favor.

Europa League

Maccabi Haifa’s road through Europa League qualification took them to Azerbaijan on Thursday, where they thrashed Xazar Lankaran 8:0 to advance 10:0 on aggregate. They will travel to the shores of the Baltic next Thursday to face off against last year’s champions of Latvia, FK Ventspils, in the first leg of their third-round fixture.

HaPoel Tel Aviv defeated PFC Beroe Stara Zagora 6:3 on aggregate in their second round fixture, and move on to face Romanian side CS Pandurii Targu Jiu, last year’s second-place team from Rumania’s Liga, next week in their next stage of qualifying.

Despite being relegated from Israel’s premier league, HaPoel Ramat Gan, having won the State Cup last season, enters Europa League qualifying in round three and will travel to Portugal to square off against GC Estoril-Praia, fifth-place finishers in the Primeira Liga in 2012-13.


Image by Nimrod Glickman: Tal Ben-Haim scoring the first goal for Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Gyor on Wednesday.

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