Swansea’s European Tour

Friday 19th July is when Swansea City will find out their opponents in the Europa League. Sort of! The draw is being done the day after the 1st leg of the 2nd Round, The Swans start in Round 3 (Thanks Wigan!).

It is quite a complicated process, but as Swansea City are representing England, who based on UEFA’s equally complicated co-efficiency rankings are 2nd out of the 53 UEFA Nations. (Spain are 1st and Wales are 48th). Meaning Swansea are seeded for the 3rd Round, the games are being played on 1st and 8th August.

Below are the list of unseeded teams the Swans could face.

Albania – Kukesi

Armenia – Pyunik

Azerbaijan – Inter Baku, Qarabag

Belarus –  Dinamo Minsk, Minsk, Shakhtar Soligorsk

Bosnia-Herzegovina – Sarajevo, Siroki Brijeg, Zrinjski

Bulgaria – Botev Plovdiv

Croatia – Lokomotiv Zagreb, Rijeka

Czech Republic – Jablonec, Slovan Liberic

Denmark – Randers

Estonia – Levadia Tallinn

Faroe Islands – Vikingur

Georgia – Chikhara Sackhere

Greece – Asteras Tripolis, Skoda Xanthi

Hungary – Honved Budapest

Israel – Hapoel Ramat-Gan

Kazakhstan – Aktobe, Irtysh Pavlodar

Lativa – Skonto Riga, Ventspils

Lithuania – Zalgiris Vilnius

Luxembourg – Jeunesse Esch

Malta – Valletta

Moldova  – Milasmi Olhei

Montenegro – Mladost Podgorica, Rudar Pljevljar

Northern Ireland – Linfield

Norway – Hodd, Tromso

Poland – Piast Gliwice, Slask Wroclaw

Romania – Pandurii Targu Jiu, Petrolul Ploiesti

Scotland – Motherwell, Hibernian

Serbia – Red Star Belgrade, Vojvodina

Slovakia – Senica, Trencin

Sweden – Goteborg, Malmo

Switzerland – Thun

Turkey – Kasimpasa

Wales – Prestatyn

EL Trophy
This would look nice in our trophy cabinet

Not many well known teams in there and not much time to plan. Should Swans get drawn against one of the Azerbaijani, Belarussian or Kazakhstani teams a VISA is required. So fingers crossed we won’t or it could be a nightmare (as well as a costly one) to sort things out for the away game, in the limited time fans would have.

Irtysh Pavlodar from Kazakhstan are the furthest team, geographically, away from Swansea. Closer to Mongolia and China than most other countries in Europe! What a nightmare trip that would be to plan.

Out of interest it would cost around £800 for a flight to Kazakhstan (not including the Visa cost) from Heathrow and would take 22 hours there and back. As well as the 4 and a half hour journey to the game…….. I’m dedicated to the Swans but this would test anyone’s commitment.

Where Irtysh Pavlodar play their home games
Where Irtysh Pavlodar play their home games

Looking at the locations of the teams, we may get lucky and be able to go from Bristol Airport. Though some flights from there are with the unfriendly Airline Ryanair.

It would be logistically easier to get to Thun (Swi), Jablonec, Slovan Liberic (Cze), Piast Gliwice, Slask Wroclaw (Pol), Hibernian & Motherwell with EasyJet

You could get to Honved Budapest (Hun), Zalgiris Vilnius (Lit), Valletta (Mal), Piast Gliwice, Slask Wroclaw (Pol), Senica & Trencin (Slovakia) with Ryanair (I’d have to go against my principles then possibly)

I’m guessing it’s possible to go to Northern Ireland from Cardiff & Bristol Aiports, otherwise Heathrow & Gatwick it is! Or Prestatyn by car!

All will become clearer on Friday, I for one can’t wait. My personal preferences would be Valetta or Tallinn, as I’d love to visit both Estonia and Malta. Would be fitting if we did get the Danish team, Randers, though with Laudrup being our manager.

Facing Prestatyn (who had a great win away in Latvia last week) would be interesting from a Welsh point of view, but I personally would be underwhelmed with drawing them – just because I could go to watch them anytime.

The fixtures for the Europa League 2nd Round is here: http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000466/index.html

We’re all going on a European Tour. The road to Turin will begin soon!

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2 thoughts on “Swansea’s European Tour

  1. Great info. I’m surprised to find Azerbaijan has changed its visa requirements – it used to be possible to buy one on arrival. But it says you must apply ONE MONTH in advance – so no real chance of seeing a game there 😦 Let’s hope for Prestatyn, then!

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