Europa League Play Offs - Will Borussia be seeded?
With only a fortnight to go until the draw for the Play Offs of the Europa League, we today have a look at the current rankings. Borussia, who will start their European campaign on August 19th, are currently ranked 36th out of 74teams, thus would be seeded if all goes according to plan.
But what is according to plan
... and why can things still change for the worse maybe leaving us with a heavyweight like Juventus or Liverpool for the Play Offs?
Let's have a closer look. We have to keep an eye on both the 3rd Round Qualifiers for the Champions League as well as the 3rd Round Qualifiers for the Europa League and keep in mind that if we drop two places (from 36 to 38) we will not be seeded and maybe face a European giant before the group stages.
Here we need to keep our fingers crossed for the "favourites" (in bold below), if one of them drops out, they will join the Europa League Play Offs. As they are currently ranked higher than Borussia they will be seeded above us.
Here are the matches
Sparta Prag - Lech Posen
FK Aktöbe - Hapoel Tel Aviv
Litex Lowetsch - MSK Zilina
VSC Debrescen - FC Basel
AIK Stockholm - Rosenborg Trondheim
BATE Borisov - FC Kopenhagen
The New Saints - RSC Anderlecht
Omonia Nikosia - Red Bull Salzburg
Ajax Amsterdam - PAOK Saloniki
Dinamo Kiew - AA Gent
Young Boys Bern - Fenerbahce
But what if two favorites go out?
If all the favorites but one go through here, forget about everything that is written below and maybe already prepare yourself for a nice trip into the unknown countries of the former Soviet Union. Chances are not too low we'll face one of those teams. If two or more teams drop out (and who wouldn't want to see Red Bull Salzburg not qualify for the next round) read on, not everything is lost.
Unlike the Champions Leauge qualifiers the Europea League qualifiers give us the opportunity to root for the underdogs. If any of the bolded teams below dropout, Borussia will climb up the ranking. There are only 10 CL Qualifiers and 17 Europa League Qualifiers. Fingers crossed for the underdogs in those games:
Europa League qualfiers
Odense BK - Zrinjski Mostar
FC Liverpool - FK Rabotnicki
CSKA Sofia - Cliftonville FC
Shamrock Rovers - Juventus Turin
FC Nordsjaelland - Sporting Lissabon
Ruch Chorzow - Austria Wien
Viktoria Pilsen - Besiktas Istanbul
Olympiakos Piräus - Maccabi Tel Aviv
Molde FK - VfB Stuttgart
Maccabi Haifa - Dinamo Minsk
Dinamo Bukarest - Hajduk Split
AZ Alkmaar - IFK Göteborg
Spartak Zlatibor - Dnepr Dnepropretowsk
Kalmar FF - Lewski Sofia
Galatasaray Istanbul - OFK Belgrad
And then there was the case of RCD Mallorca: The Spanish islanders have been forced out of the qualifiers due to financial problems. If UEFA sticks to this, which still is up in the air, something happens. Either a Spanish team will take the place and not change a thing for Borussia or a 3rd Round lucky loser joins the Play Offs, we might be lucky too. Who knows? And always remember to keep your fingers crossed for the CL favorites and the EL underdogs. But as Adi Preißler once put it: "What matters is on the pitch"