Omonia Nicosia have been drawn with Serbian club Red Star Belgrade in the third qualifying round draw for the Champions League. The single game between the two clubs will take place on either September 15 or September 16.
Omonia will be facing Red Star at GSP stadium in Nicosia, with the game being drawn with Omonia as the home club.
Red Star Belgrade manager and former Serbian international Dejan Stankovic has spoken briefly about his club’s draw, saying that “there are no easy opponents”. “
Omonia are a good side and the Cypriot champions”, Stankovic added.
Henning Berg facing Dejan Stankovic in the Champions League is particularly fitting. Not only have both managers won the Champions League during their own playing careers, but they both did so during treble-winning seasons.
Red Star sporting director Mitar Mrkela’s has stated that they wanted to avoid certain clubs like FC Midtjylland, but that any league’s champion will be a formidable challenge. “History has taught us that nothing is easy at this level”, Mrkela said. “It would have been better if we played at home but we will travel to Cyprus to do the best we can so that we qualify”, he added.
Meanwhile, in the Europa League, Apoel Nicosia and Apollon Limassol have been drawn with Kazakh club FC Kaysar and Greek club OFI Crete respectively. Both Cypriot clubs will be playing away from home.
OFI Crete have already shared their first reaction through a brief statement on social media: “OFI will be facing Apollon Limassol in the Europa League. Cypriot brothers, we hope that we have a good game. We are waiting to give you the best hospitality we can.”
The Cretan club contains several players with stints in Cyprus, including former Apollon players Vahid Selimovic and Adrián Sardinero, as well as former Apoel players Praxitelis Vouros and Boy Waterman.
As far as Apoel’s rival are concerned, Kaysar, the Kazakhs will not be playing in their traditional home ground, the Gani Muratbayev Stadium, as it has not been licenced for European games by UEFA.