Europa could face Greek giants; Lincoln face possible long trip

Lincoln Red Imps LogoWith the European competitions currently half way into their 2nd Round matches, UEFA conducted the 3rd Round draw for both the Champions League and the Europa League. In the earlier draw, Lincoln, who famously defeated Scottish champions Celtic in the first leg of their Champions League tie, face the prospect of playing either FC Astana of Kazakstan or  FC Vilniaus Žalgiris of Lithuania. Lincoln benefit from Celtic’s superior coefficient and were seeded for the 3rd round should they accomplish the unthinkable and knock out the hoops next week at Celtic Park. FC Astana will present a sizable logistical challenge for Lincoln as Astana is located in the centre of Kazakhstan, a country which borders countries like China and Mongolia. With Vilniaus Žalgiris bordering Estonia, this trip will be more familiar for the Gibraltar club. The tie between Astana and Vilniaus Žalgiris currently sits at 0-0 after the first leg with the return awaiting next week in Astana.

 

Europa FC LogoIn the Europa League equivalent, a far more challenging prospect awaits Europa should they manage to overturn their 1-0 deficit to AIK in the 2nd leg at the Victoria Stadium next week. Europa almost came away from Sweden with a draw but were ultimately undone by a last minute goal which replays suggest, may have been offside. The winner of the tie will travel to Greece to face 20 times Greek champions Panathinakos. The Greek club have a good pedigree in European football having played in the group stages of the Champions League in multiple occasions. The Greeks have twice reached the semi finals of the Champions League in 1985 and 1996 whilst also reaching the quarter finals of the Europa League in 1988 and 2003. Due to their high coefficient, Panathinakos enter the Europa League directly in at the 3rd round qualifying stage so they will have the comfort of sitting back and watching the game in Gibraltar next week to find out their opponents.