Ajax return to the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday as they enter in the third qualifying round and face Greek Super League winners PAOK.
Eredivisie champions Ajax lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals of this competition last season, but they'll be wary of suffering a premature slip-up before they even reach the play-offs this time around.
Scottish Premiership champions Celtic thrashed Estonian outfit Nomme Kalju 7-0 in the second qualifying round, and they resume their quest for the group stage against Romanian club Cluj on Wednesday.
First-leg fixtures will be played on Tuesday, August 6 and Wednesday, August 7, with the return legs to be played one week later (Aug. 13 and 14).
Twenty teams will line up in the penultimate stage of Champions League qualifying, but only 10 will make it into the play-off round. Swiss side Young Boys and Czech outfit Slavia Prague are already qualified for the last round.
Each of Celtic's legs against Cluj will be broadcast via Celtic TV. There's no coverage of the remaining matches available in the United Kingdom or the United States aside from that, though that could change closer to kick-off.
Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round Odds
First-Leg Fixtures, Tuesday, Aug. 6
APOEL Nicosia (6-7), Draw (12-5), Qarabag (4-1), 6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ET
PAOK (11-4), Draw (5-2), Ajax (11-10), 6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ET
Dinamo Zagreb (8-15), Draw (10-3), Ferencvaros (7-1), 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET
Club Brugge (19-20), Draw (5-2), Dynamo Kiev (3-1), 7:30 p.m. BST/2:30 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade (Evens), Draw (12-5), Copenhagen (10-3), 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 7
Krasnodar (2-1), Draw (12-5), Porto (6-4), 6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ET
Basaksehir (7-5), Draw (23-10), Olympiakos (12-5), 6:45 p.m. BST/1:45 p.m. ET
Basel (8-15), Draw (18-5), LASK (11-2), 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj (2-1), Draw (11-5), Celtic (17-10), 7:30 p.m. BST/2:30 p.m. ET
Maribor (15-13), Draw (11-5), Rosenborg (16-5), 7:15 p.m. BST/2:15 p.m. ET
Odds via Oddschecker.com.
The domestic season got off to a grinding start for defending champions Ajax, who drew 2-2 in Saturday's league visit to Vitesee Arnhem:
PAOK are yet to begin their league title defence but have been imperious in pre-season. They lost their first friendly match but have gone undefeated in six outings since, including five wins.
Ajax will take confidence knowing both of those non-victories came against Dutch teams: PAOK lost 1-0 to AZ Alkmaar on July 3 before being held to a 2-2 draw by PEC Zwolle less than a week later.
Erik ten Hag's men lost two major presences this summer after centre-back Matthijs de Ligt and midfield anchor Frenkie de Jong were sold to Juventus and Barcelona, respectively.
Donny van de Beek is the next star linked with a high-profile departure, with Real Madrid reportedly close to agreeing his transfer, per journalist Fabrizio Romano:
PAOK can hope those negotiations prevent Van de Beek taking part on Tuesday, an absence that would rob Ajax of one of their most creative assets.
Celtic will hope for a positive trip to Cluj, who sit joint-level at the top of Romania's Liga 1 with Viitorul after four matches.
The Bhoys haven't got off to a bad start themselves as they look to win the Scottish Premiership for a ninth season in a row. They hammered St. Johnstone 7-0 at Celtic Park on Saturday, with Ryan Christie scoring a hat-trick, via Sky Sports Scotland (UK only):
Sky Sports Scotland @ScotlandSky
📽️ SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS 📽️ @CelticFC 7-0 @StJohnstone Ryan Christie netted a long range hat-trick with Johnstone, Ntchaam, Edouard & Griffiths also scoring as Celtic thrashed St Johnstone on the opening day of the Scottish Premiership- https://t.co/3eDusDIjOB https://t.co/xwa3V6HdQD
Manager Neil Lennon was pleased with the performance:
Celtic Football Club @CelticFC
🎙️ Neil Lennon speaking after today's emphatic league opener... 🗣️ "That’s a perfect performance in every aspect of our play. Clean sheet, two attacking fullbacks, great midfield. There was a relentless aspect about our play today which I enjoyed." #FlagDay🏳️ #CELSTJ https://t.co/9di3H2BJHf
Cluj will be glad to return home after back-to-back games on the road—they drew 2-2 at Maccabi Tel Aviv in the second leg of their tie on Tuesday before dominating Chindia Targoviste 4-1 on Saturday.
However, Celtic stand a chance of making it to the Champions League group stage, they will need to maintain their current pace in attack.