Partially thanks to Ashley Cole’s struggle with opening balls and pronouncing team names, we now know who the Premier League’s representatives will take on in the Europa League this season, as well as the fate of both Scottish representatives.
In typical Europa League fashion, it’s an exceptionally mixed bag – so let’s just dive straight in.
Arsenal – Group F
Considering they were a top seed, it’s far from an easy group for Arsenal, who have a repeat of last season’s semi-final with Eintracht Frankfurt to look forward to, as well as trips to Belgium to face Standard Liege and Portugal to face Victoria SC.
When you get a harder group in the Europa League than City do in the Champions League
— TPG (@MaksymilianSmi4) August 30, 2019
Having travelled all the way to Baku for last season’s final, however, away games on some more familiar shores have some praising the draw gods.
About 1,400 miles of travelling for Arsenal in that group stage. Man Utd, by contrast, are going about 8,000
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) August 30, 2019
Well the only thing to mention about the europa league draw – at least arsenal don’t have far to travel.
— Dave Chopping (@DaveChopping) August 30, 2019
Manchester United – Group L
Welcome back to the Europa League, Manchester United. Last year it was glamour trips to Juventus and Valencia. Now? Not so much…
Nice midweek trip most of the way to China for Man Utd after drawing Astana in the #UEL group stage draw…
— Jamie Spencer (@jamiespencer155) August 30, 2019
As well as Astana, they’ve drawn Partisan Belgrade and Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar, and while it’s a reasonably favourable group in terms of their qualification chances, it hasn’t inspired much excitement.
5 – AZ Alkmaar will be the fifth different Dutch side Manchester United have faced in European competition; the Red Devils have lost both of their last two visits to Holland, at PSV in September 2015 and Feyenoord in September 2016. Tricky. #UELdraw pic.twitter.com/SzUnm56a1I
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 30, 2019
Wolves – Group J
Thought you couldn’t have two Portuguese teams in one group?
— 嵐 (@oxysantos) August 30, 2019
Wolves vs Wolfsburg is the Wolveception draw of some people’s dreams, but we’ll have to wait at least another year for that one – unless both sides plan on extending their stays in the tournament beyond the group stages.
Wolves not being in the group with Wolfsburg. What’s the point? #UELDraw
— Jack Strawberry (@BoroStrawberry) August 30, 2019
Celtic and Rangers
It’s a tough draw for Scottish champions Celtic in group E, as they draw Lazio and Rennes, while they will look to take a measure of revenge on CFR Cluj, who eliminated them from Champions League qualifying.
It’s also a tough draw for Glasgow rivals Rangers, who take on Porto, Feyenood and BSC Young Boys. Still, after coming through a tough playoff with Legia Warsaw in dramatic fashion, most are in a confident mood.
Source : 90min