St Johnstone FC in Europe 2013/14

St Johnstone will enter the 2nd Qualifying Round of this season’s Europa League after their 3rd place finish in last season’s SPL.  They will find out their opponents on Monday 24th June, when the draws for the first two qualifying rounds are drawn by UEFA, and their matches will take place on Thursday 18th and Thursday 25th July.

This will be the second consecutive season in Europe for the Perth side, and their fourth appearance overall.  All three previous appearances have come in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.  The Saints will be hoping to continue their proud record of being unbeaten at home in Europe, having played 6 matches.  The only other Scottish clubs with an unbeaten home record in Europe are Livingston (2 matches) and Falkirk (1 match).

St Johnstone

The countries and cities St Johnstone have visited on European trips.

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 28 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.

Last season, Saints were drawn against Turkish side Eskisehirspor in the 2nd Qualifying Round (the same stage at which they enter this season).  A 2-0 defeat in Turkey left Steve Lomas and his side facing an uphill struggle, but a Gregory Tade header in the first half at McDiarmid Park gave Saints some hope going into half-time.  Unfortunately, Eskisehirspor scored just after half-time to put the tie beyond St Johnstone and deny them a glamour tie against Marseille.  The St Johnstone fans were given a warm welcome in Turkey, and reciprocated when Eskisehirspor fans visited Perth, and the bond between the clubs even extended to St Johnstone designing this season’s away strip in homage to the Turkish outfit.

2013/14 Europa League

Saints will enter the Europa League in the 2nd Qualifying Round, and would have to progress through three rounds to make it to the group stage.  Tommy Wright’s side will be unseeded in the draw on Monday, making their task a great deal tougher.  Due to the short turnaround between the ties, the draws for both the 1st and 2nd Qualifying Rounds of the Europa League will be made on the same day, so for the purposes of the 2nd Qualifying Round draw, UEFA assume that the seeded team will win each of the 1st Qualifying Round ties.  If any unseeded side wins in the 1st Qualifying Round, they would therefore assume the seeding of the side they beat.

All the information on seeding comes from Bert Kassies’ website, which is a must-read for anyone who is interested in how the competitions work.

1st Qualifying Round

Matches: 4th July & 11th July

Although Saints will not participate in this round, the draw format mentioned above means that they could end up being drawn against the (unknown) winners of one of these ties.

The list below shows the seedings for the 1st Qualifying Round.

EL1

2nd Qualifying Round

Matches: 18th July & 25th July

42 clubs, including St Johnstone and Hibs, will enter at this stage, and will be joined by 38 winners from the previous round.

As mentioned above, the 38 winners from the 1st Qualifying Round will be unkown at the time of the draw.  For the purposes of the 2nd Qualifying Round draw, UEFA assume that the seeded sides from the previous round will progress.

The list below shows the seedings for the 2nd Qualifying Round.  The teams listed in blue and italics are the seeded teams from the 1st Qualifying Round.  If these teams lose in the 1st Qualifying Round, they would be replaced by the team who beat them.

EL2

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About SPLstats
Providing statistics and trivia about Scottish football. Main focus is the SPL, but all Scottish football will be covered. Not affiliated to the SPL.

4 Responses to St Johnstone FC in Europe 2013/14

  1. marcus says:

    One small error in the above information – There are 28 years between 1971 and 1999 not 18 as stated.

  2. Player 1 says:

    So to clarify, our potential opponents are the green side of the second round draw, and the 1st round opponents of the teams in the green side of the second round draw which are written in blue?

    • SPLstats says:

      That is absolutely correct.

      So you could potentially face any of the green sides in the 2nd Qualifying Round OR any of the red sides in the 1st Qualifying Round list.

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