European Cup draws
Cypriot champions APOEL will begin their Champions League campaign in Albania after the draw second qualifying round draw saw them pitted against KF Skenderbeu Korce.
Should APOEL advance from the tie, they will be again seeded in the third qualifying round.
Skenderbeu, who won the title last season in Albania, have eleven local players in their squad as well as three Croatians, a Brazilian and Argentine striker Alfredo Sosa who is the club’s top scorer.
Skenderbeu’s home stadium is the 12,000-seater Stadiumi “Skënderbeu” situated in Korce – a town in the east around the size of Larnaca about 180km from the capital Tirana.
Anorthosis play Gagra from Georgia a new club which was formed as FC Gagra in 2004 at Regionuli Liga, where the club won promotion to the Pirveli Liga. Gagra lost in 2005-06, 2006–07, 2007-08 promotion/relegation playoff, and failed to play in the Umaglesi Liga. But after the original Pirveli Liga champion FC Magharoeli Chiatura withdrew, Gagra taken the spot. Gagra won the first League of 2010-2011 season, and became the winner of the Cup, defeating three-time winners FC Torpedo Kutaisi 1-0 after extra time.
AEK have been drawn versus the Maltese team Floriana from the town of Floriana that currently plays in the Maltese Premier League. It has one of the largest fans following on the islands and remains the most successful club in Maltese history, along with Sliema Wanderers. Floriana is one of the two oldest clubs in Malta. During that period, football in Malta was introduced by the British Servicemen who were stationed on the island which was then a colony of the British Empire.They were runners up 2010/11 but have won the major Maltese League championship for 25 times.
The 80 second qualifying round entrants will join 30 other clubs – including inaugural winners Club Atlético de Madrid and Omonia – in the third qualifying round draw on 15 July. A total of 38 teams will come through qualifying – concluding with the play-offs – to join ten sides who are eliminated from the UEFA Champions League play-offs in the group stage. The tournament concludes with the final at Bucharest’s National Stadium on Wednesday 9 May 2012.