Europa League 2017/18 Third Qualifying Draw



GOOD MORNING EUROPA LEAGUE FANS! It's I, Roddy Graham, here to type up today's 3rd qualifying round draw for you as it happens. Few teams of geographical interest in this one for home nations fans. Some really big names in the draw from elsewhere around Europe, including AC Milan and Luxembourg giants FC Progres. But until I explain how it works, CUE THE MUSIC!

Today's draw works like this... - Each team has been put into a seeded and unseeded pot. - A selection of seeded and unseeded teams are put together into 5 groups. - One seeded team and one unseeded team from each group will face each other in the 3rd qualifying round. Simple, eh? Here's the groups that have been pre-selected today...

Group 1 Seeded 1 PSV Eindhoven (NED) 2 Fenerbahçe (TUR) 3 Krasnodar (RUS) 4 Shkëndija (MKD) or HJK Helsinki (FIN) 5 Panathinaikos (GRE) Unseeded 6 Norrköping (SWE) or Trakai (LTU) 7 Gabala (AZE) or Jagiellonia Białystok (POL) 8 Slovan Bratislava (SVK) or Lyngby (DEN) 9 Sturm Graz (AUT) or Mladost Podgorica (MNE) 10 Osijek (CRO) or Luzern (SUI)

Group 2 Seeded 1 Shamrock Rovers (IRL) or Mladá Boleslav (CZE) 2 PAOK (GRE) 3 Austria Wien (AUT) 4 Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 5 Ferencváros (HUN) or Midtjylland (DEN) 6 Athletic Club (ESP) Unseeded 7 Olimpik Donetsk (UKR) 8 Progrès Niederkorn (LUX) or AEL Limassol (CYP) 9 Kairat Almaty (KAZ) or Skënderbeu (ALB) 10 Dinamo București (ROU) 11 Vaduz (LIE) or Odd (NOR) 12 Arka Gdynia (POL)

Group 3 Seeded 1 Östersunds (SWE)/Galatasaray (TUR) 2 AC Milan (ITA) 3 Bordeaux (FRA) 4 Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)/KR Reykjavík (ISL) 5 Hajduk (CRO)/Levski Sofia (BUL) 6 Haugesund (NOR)/Poznań (POL) Unseeded 7 CSU Craiova (ROU) 8 Nõmme Kalju (EST)/Videoton (HUN) 9 İnter Bakı (AZE)/Fola Esch (LUX) 10 Valletta (MLT)/Utrecht (NED) 11 Panionios (GRE)/Gorica (SVN) 12 Brøndby (DEN)/Vaasa (FIN)

Group 4 Seeded 1 Gent (BEL) 2 Sparta Praha (CZE) 3 Astra Giurgiu (ROU)/Zirë (AZE) 4 Everton (ENG) 5 Marítimo (POR) 6 Apollon Limassol (CYP)/Zaria Balti (MDA) Unseeded 7 Irtysh Pavlodar (KAZ)/Crvena zvezda (SRB) 8 Olexandriya (UKR) 9 Altach (AUT)/Dinamo Brest (BLR) 10 Aberdeen (SCO)/Široki Brijeg (BIH) 11 Ružomberok (SVK)/Brann (NOR) 12 Beitar Jerusalem (ISR)/Botev Plovdiv (BUL)

Group 5 Seeded 1 Zenit (RUS) 2 Braga (POR) 3 Marseille (FRA) 4 Freiburg (GER) 5 Sion (SUI) 6 Rabotnicki (MKD) or Dinamo Minsk (BLR) Unseeded 7 Željeznicar (BIH) or AIK (SWE) 8 Oostende (BEL) 9 Trenčín (SVK) or Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv (ISR) 10 Cork City (IRL) or AEK Larnaca (CYP) 11 Valur Reykjavík (ISL) or Domžale (SVN) 12 Liepāja (LVA) or Sūduva (LTU)

So that's how things will unfold over the next few minutes. The UEFA live stream is telling me it's 3 minutes until draw time. Once the fannying about is over and done with obviously. You know as well as I do that these draws can take FOREVER!

Something you will have noticed if you are eagle-eyed is that Aberdeen and Everton could well face each other in this 3rd round of qualifying. Two things have to happen for that to take place though... 1) They are drawn together today 2) Aberdeen overcome a stuttering 1-1 home draw last night in the 2nd leg with Široki Brijeg. I'd say the chances of both happening are on a knife-edge.

OK folks, here we go. Will aim to get these ties up as soon as conceivably possible. Presume it's group 1 that's up first...