The 2017/18 UEFA Champions League has completed all but one of its preliminary phases before we get to see the continent’s best battling it out for supremacy once again.
Playoff participants are now completely aware of who they might be lined up against in Friday’s draw at 11am BST/6am ET, with the final round of Champions League qualifiers taking place on August 15 & 16 (1st leg) and August 22 & 23 (2nd leg).
Champions League Playoff – League Route
Seeded Teams: Sevilla, Napoli, Liverpool, CSKA Moscow, Sporting CP
Unseeded Teams: FC Steaua Bucuresti, Young Boys, Hoffenheim, Nice, Istanbul Basaksehir
The third qualifying round ended in an overwhelmingly favourable situation for Portuguese outfit Sporting CP, who needed no more than one of Ajax, Dynamo Kiev, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen and Club Brugge to progress.
As it turns out, only CSKA Moscow qualified, defeating AEK Athens 3-0 on aggregate, making way for Sporting CP to be seeded for Friday’s draw.
Champions League Playoff – Champions Route
Seeded Teams: Olympiakos, Celtic, FC Copenhagen, APOEL Nicosia, NK Maribor
Unseeded Teams: Qarabag FK, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Slavia Prague, FC Astana, HNK Rijeka
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic edged out Rosenborg 1-0 over two legs to progress to the next phase, earning a seeded spot, and have a host of favourable opponents for the playoff round.