Newcastle United drew Super League Greece side Atromitos FC for the Europa League Play-off Round Friday, with Athens-based Atromitos hosting the first leg. The fixture is subject to change, especially given Newcastle's stated intention to appeal for a new date, but for now the Toon are scheduled to visit Greece on August 23, with the return trip happening a week later on August 30.
Atromitos FC qualified for the Europa League by placing 4th in Super League Greece. Their in-city rivals AEK Athens had originally qualified, placing 3rd, but the Hellenic Football Federation excluded them from European competition due to financial irregularities. According to the Twitter account @greekfooty, among the best players in the side are captain and right back Ioannis Skondras and holding midfielder Panagiotis Ballas. The squad also boasts Shefki Kuqi's little brother, Njazi Kuqi. No word yet on whether he has copied his brother's crazy goal celebrations. They are managed by Dusan Bajevic, who took the job earlier this summer.
Newcastle supporters wanting a ticket for the away match will have to be lucky and/or rich: Atromitos' Peristeri Stadium only seats
10,200 9,050, thanks to a new covered section.
The winner of this match, along with the 30 other winners in this stage, will join 7 automatic qualifiers (including Tottenham Hotspur) and 10 losers from the Champions League Play-off Round in the 48 team Group Stage.