Focusing only on the results of our teams, one could say that the first night of the playoffs in Europa and Conference League was excellent for Cyprus and its effort to keep for the second consecutive season (ie for 2023/24) the position in the UEFA squad and together with the fifth European ticket. This is because Omonia gave us 250 points with its victory over Antwerp, while Anorthosis gave us 125 with a draw in Beer Sheva and, mainly, has the chances with its side to enter the groups as well.
Things, however, are not as they seem, as the other conditions we needed to keep our chances of returning to 15th place intact were not met. We remind you that, as we analyzed after the completion of the third qualifying round, Cyprus, which is in 16th place, hopes only in one scenario. Specifically, given that it is taken for granted that Turkey will beat us, since it already has three teams in the groups (and two more in the Conference playoffs) being close to us in the standings, we must on the one hand beat both Switzerland and Croatia. (Like us, they have one team in a group and one in the playoffs of the Conference) and on the other hand to keep behind us the Czech Republic, which is also close to us and has two teams in a group and two more in the playoffs of the Conference.
And this is the last condition that, after the games on Thursday (19/8), seems impossible to be met, since the Czechs, after the “clear” victories of their two teams in the playoffs of the Conference, go to quadruple representation in groups. Jablonec defeated Zilina 5-1 who had eliminated Apollon, while Plzen prevailed 2-0 over CSKA Sofia and is the big favorite to qualify. And if both of them secure a place in the group and the Czech Republic has four teams (Sparta is in the Europa group, while Slavia is in its playoffs, having a “cushion” in the Conference groups), then even if we put a second team in the group and even if we beat the Swiss and Croats, we will not be in the 15th, as only by “miracle” will we be able to hold on to Czechs and Turks.
Our only lifeline, which seems far away to reach it and not drown, is, first of all, to make a surprise and either the Czech Republic or Turkey to have only three teams in a group. This will happen either with the exclusion of Plzen after its 2-0 victory over CSKA Sofia, or if the Turks lose both Trabzonspor (lost 2-1 to Roma) and Galatasaray (1-1 draw with Randers in Denmark). Next, any country left with three teams will have to do so badly in the group stage that we can, even with two teams in the groups, hold on to it.
The fact that in the groups Cyprus will get 500 points for each win and 250 for a draw, while Turks and Czechs (who started with five teams) will get 400 and 200 respectively, is something that may help, but in any case the above scenario is extremely difficult to verify, which is why we talked about… miracle earlier.
ALL THE DATA OF OUR “OPPONENTS” FOR A POSITION IN THE 15TH
1 4 SWITZERLAND 2 4 .42 5
Young Boys : 3-2 victory over Ferencvaros in the CL playoffs
B assileia : 3-1 victory over Hamarby in the ECL playoffs
-Lucerne was eliminated by Feyenoord in the third round
Servet was eliminated by Molde in the second round
15 CROATIA 24,275
Dinamo Zagreb : 3-0 defeat by Sheriff Tiraspol in the playoffs CL
Rijeka : 1-1 draw with PAOK in the ECL playoffs
Osijek was eliminated by CSKA Sofia in the third round
– Hajduk Split was eliminated by Tobo in the second round
17 CZECH REP. 22,800
Slavia Prague : 2-2 draw with Legia in the playoffs EL
Sparta Prague : EL Groups
Jablonec : 5-1 victory over Zilina in the ECL playoffs
Plzen : 2-0 victory over CSKA Sofia in the ECL playoffs
-Slovakia was eliminated by Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the second round
18 TURKEY 22,700
Besiktas : Directly to the CL groups.
Galatasaray : 1-1 draw with Randers in the ECL playoffs
Fenerbahce : 1-0 victory over Helsinki in the playoffs EL
Sivasspor : 2-1 defeat by Copenhagen in the ECL playoffs
T rabzonspor : 2-1 defeat by Roma in the ECL playoffs
19 NORWAY 22,250
Bodo Glimt : 2-2 draw with Zalgiris in the ECL playoffs
Rosenborg : 2-0 defeat by Rennes in the ECL playoffs
– Molde was eliminated by Trabzonspor in the third round
-Valerenga was eliminated from Ghent in the second round
20 GREECE 22.075
Olympiacos : 3-0 victory over Slovan Bratislava in the playoffs EL
PAOK : 1-1 draw with Rijeka in the ECL playoffs
-Aris was eliminated by Astana in the second round
-AEK was eliminated by Velez in the second round
THIS IS HOW THE POINTS ARE GIVEN
We remind you that countries get the points earned by their teams divided by the number of their initial representatives in Europe, so Cyprus will divide this year by four (next year by five). In the qualifiers, we get 250 for each win (1,000) and 125 for each draw (500), while in the groups our country will get 500 for each win (2,000) and 250 for each draw (1,000). Admission to the Champions League groups is rewarded with 4,000 points (the country gets 800 or 1,000 depending on the number of representatives).