Ajax to play APOEL or Qarabag if it reaches CL playoffs

NYON, Switzerland — Ajax will face either APOEL or Qarabag if it reaches the Champions League playoffs, after the draw was made Monday.

Four-time European champion Ajax, which reached the semifinals in May, still has to play Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki in the third qualifying round.

Slavia Prague and Young Boys are the only two teams to enter straight into the playoff round.

Czech champion Slavia Prague will face either Cluj or Celtic, while the Swiss champion plays either Red Star Belgrade or FC Copenhagen.

Porto or Krasnodar will face Olympiakos or Istanbul Basaksehir, while Basel or LASK will play Dynamo Kiev or Club Brugge, and Dinamo Zagreb or Ferencváros will face Maribor or Rosenborg.

First-leg games are played Aug. 20-21, and return matches on Aug. 27-28.

The six winning teams go through to the elite 32-team group stage.

The third qualifying round begins Tuesday and will be completed on Aug. 13.

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