St Johnstone FC in Europe – 2012/13

The draws for the 1st and 2nd Qualifying Rounds of the Europa League will take place on Monday at 12:30pm at UEFA headquarters, with St Johnstone the only Scottish side involved at this early stage.  The Perth side will enter at the 2nd Qualifying Round, and will be unseeded.  Their matches will be played on the 19th and 26th July, a couple of weeks before the start of the SPL season.

This will be the 3rd season in Europe for the Perth side, and their first in 13 years.  Both of their previous campaigns were in the Europa League’s predecessor, the UEFA Cup, and they made it past the first hurdle on both occasions.  The Saints will be hoping to continue their proud record of being unbeaten at home in Europe, having played 5 matches.  The only other Scottish clubs with an unbeaten home record in Europe are Livingston (2 matches) and Falkirk (1 match).

The countries and cities St Johnstone have visited in European competition

Their first sojourn into Europe was in the 1971/72 season, where they met Hamburg in the 1st Round.   In the 1st leg they suffered a 2-1 defeat in West Germany, with Jim Pearson scoring their first ever European goal.  In the return leg at Muirton Park, nearly 15,000 fans witnessed a sensational 3-0 victory which took the Perth side through.  In Round 2, they defeat Vasas of Hungary 2-0 at home, and held on for a 1-0 defeat in Budapest to squeeze through on aggregate.  Round 3 saw them face Zeljeznicar Sarajevo, where after a 1-0 home win they were brought abruptly to earth with a 5-1 defeat in what was then Yugoslavia.

The Saints had to wait 18 years for a return to Europe, reaching the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup where they faced VPS Vaasa in the Qualifying Round.  They drew 1-1 in Finland, with Nathan Lowndes scoring a 2nd half equaliser, which put them in the driving seat for the 2nd leg, but they endured a nervy encounter at McDiarmid Park, with the tie not being sealed until Miguel Simao scored a very late double for a 2-0 win.  The 1st Round proper saw a glamour tie against an AS Monaco side which contained Fabien Barthez, Rafael Marquez, Willy Sagnol, Dado Prso, John Arne Riise, Ludovic Giuly and David Trezeguet.  While the supporters enjoyed their trip to Monte Carlo, their side suffered a 3-0 defeat in the 1st leg which put the tie beyond them.  The 2nd leg in Perth saw Saints preserving their unbeaten home record with an entertaining 3-3 draw.

Their opponents for the 2012/13 campaign will be drawn on Monday, but with 10 winners from the 1st Round being included as seeds in the 2nd Round draw, there’s a possibility (a 25% chance to be precise!) that they won’t know their exact opponents until July 12th.  Below is a reminder of how the draw works.

1st Qualifying Round

Matches – 5th July and 12th July

74 teams enter the Europa League at this stage, which kicks off 4 days after the final of Euro 2012.

The teams taking part, and their seedings, are listed below.

2nd Qualifying Round

Matches – 19th July and 26th July

43 teams, including St Johnstone, enter at this stage, and are joined by the 37 winners from the previous round.

The draws for the 1st and 2nd Qualifying Rounds are carried out at the same time (25th June), which means that 37 entrants will be unknown at the time of the draw.   UEFA work around this by assuming that the seeded team will win each tie in the previous round.  That means that St Johnstone are guaranteed to be unseeded for this round.  They are ranked 42nd of the 80 teams who are predicted to take part, which means they miss out on being seeded by 2 places.  Had the draw been held separately from the 1st Qualifying Round, they could have been seeded if 2 of the 10 teams ranked above them lost in the previous round.

The list below shows the seeding for the 2nd Qualifying Round.  The teams listed in white and italics are the seeded teams from the 1st Qualifying Round ties, whose seeding is used in the draw.  If these teams lose in the 1st Qualifying Round, they would be replaced by the team who beat them.

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2 Responses to St Johnstone FC in Europe – 2012/13

  1. Pingback: Euro Draw TODAY! Get your passports ready!! « A Saintee in Asia…

  2. Pingback: Celtic FC in Europe 2012/13 « SPLstats

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