The Europa League Play-off Round draw will take place Friday, August 10 at 1230 BST in Nyon, Switzerland. Newcastle United will enter the competition at this stage, and their matches will be contested on August 23 and 30. Each team will enjoy a home and away match, with the aggregate winner advancing to the 48 team group stage.
Because Newcastle are in the top half of the 62 teams playing this round based on their club coefficient, they will be a seeded team for the draw. Teams will be placed into one of 6 groups - 5 of them consisting of 10 teams, with the 6th adding an extra 2. Each group will contain an equal number of seeded and unseeded teams, and Newcastle will obviously be drawn with an unseeded team. The first team drawn will be the home team for the first leg.
Newcastle's draw has an extra bit of drama added, if you will. Because they have a league fixture with Chelsea on August 25, the Toon appealed to UEFA for a change of date from the 23rd. UEFA denied the appeal, but allowed that they would change the fixture if NUFC could come to an agreement with their opponent on a new date.
After the jump, I've included a list of all 62 teams competing in this round, along with their club coefficient and a brief explanation of how those coefficients are assigned to teams. We will live blog the draw starting at 1200 BST, and we hope you'll join us.
Teams are assigned a club coefficient based on their performances in European competitions over the last 5 years. Teams that have not competed in that time span, like Newcastle, are assigned coefficients based on other teams from their own country. This is why we cheered for Chelsea in the Champions League final last season (and then immediately took showers afterward). Newcastle's coefficient is 16.882. This number will remain unchanged throughout this year's tournament. They are the 24th ranked team in the Play-off Round, but all that matters right now is that they are in the top 31. The following teams will be placed in the draw Friday:
|Hapoel Tel Aviv||Israel||31.4|
|Sparta Prague||Czech Republic||25.57|
|Viktoria Plzen||Czech Republic||14.07|
|Red Star Belgrade||Serbia||10.85|
|Heart of Midlothian||Scotland||7.228|
|Slovan Liberec||Czech Republic||5.57|
Despite my best efforts, I can't get a horizontal line to show up in the table. The dividing line between seeded and unseeded should go between Bursaspor and Dinamo Bucuresti. Anybody below that could be Newcastle's opponent for this round. Who would you prefer to see them play?