Europa League group stage draw: everything you need to know as Man Utd & Arsenal await opponents
With the Champions League draw done and dusted, it’s now time for Europa League teams to learn their fate.
After a bumper final round of play-off fixtures on Thursday, the 48 teams have now been confirmed, paving the way for the group stage draw.
European football regulars Manchester United and Arsenal have been joined by fellow Premier League side Wolves in the group stage, after Nuno Espirito Santo’s men got past Torino over two legs.
But who could the Premier League clubs face in the group stages, and how can the draw be viewed? Read on for everything you need to know…
When is the draw?
The draw for the 2019/20 Europa League group stage will take place on Friday, 30 August at 12PM BST from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Where can I watch the draw live?
UK residents will be able to watch the Europa League group stage draw live on Uefa’s website and BT Sport 2, channel 414 on Sky and channel 528 for Virgin media users. BT Sport subscribers can also watch the draw online at sport.bt.com and via the BT Sport app.
Pot 1: Sevilla, Arsenal, Porto, Roma, Man Utd, Dynamo Kyiv, Besiktas, Basel, Sporting, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg, Lazio.
Pot 2: PSV, Krasnodar, Celtic, FC Copenhagen, Braga, Gent, Borussia Monchengladbach, Young Boys, Astana, Ludogorets, APOEL, Eintracht Frankfurt.
Pot 3: Saint-Etienne, Qarabag, Feyenoord, Getafe, Espanyol, Malmo, Partizan, Standard Liege, Wolves, Rennes, Rosenborg, Istanbul Basaksehir.
Pot 4: AZ Alkmaar, Vitoria, Trabzonspor, FC Olexandriya, F91 Dudelange, LASK, Wolfsberger AC, Slovan Bratislava, FC Lugano, Rangers, CFR Cluj, Ferencvaros.
As always, no team can play a club from their own nation and clubs from Russia and Ukraine must not be drawn into the same group.
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What are the worst-case scenarios for Premier League sides?
For the first time since 2012/13 the Premier League has three representatives in the Europa League group stages.
Given their regular appearances, and advancements, in European competitions both Arsenal and Manchester United will be in Pot 1 and shall be hoping for favourable draws. But that is not always guaranteed, with some potentially tricky teams in the lower pots.
Meanwhile Wolves, in their debut Europa League campaign, have been put into Pot 3 and run the risk of being paired with some of Europe’s bigger sides.
Which opponents could represent the ‘worst-case scenario’ for each team from these shores?
Opponents: Borussia Monchengladbach, Qarabag, CFR Cluj
After finishing as runners-up last season, Arsenal fans will be hoping to go one better this time around, but hopes could be scuppered by a tough group.
Pot 2 is full of potentially tough trips but one team Arsenal – and many others – will want to avoid is Borussia Monchengladbach. The German side are one of the titans of Pot 2 and will fancy their chances of taking anyone from Pot 1 on.
There are better sides in Pot 3, but Arsenal will be hoping to avoid Qarabag in the group stage, with Azerbaijan not the easiest place to travel to. The Gunners had to make the trek to Baku twice last season, once when facing Qarabag in the group stages and again in the final and it’s not something they will want to be doing again any time soon.
Pot 4 brings up some interesting names and destinations, including debutants Olexandriya. But Romanian side Cluj would represent a tricky tie for Arsenal both due to the quality of the team and the destination. Having to travel to Transylvania before a big Premier League tie will not be welcome.
Opponents: Eintracht Frankfurt, Getafe, Rangers
Another tough team in Pot 2 that could cause the likes of Manchester United problems is Eintracht Frankfurt. The Eagles made it to the semi-finals last season, taking eventual winners Chelsea to penalties. They may have lost Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller, but Adi Hutter’s men will still have their sights set on going far in the Europa League once more.
As well as gruelling trips, Pot 3 also boasts Spanish side Getafe, who exceeded expectations in La Liga last season to finish fifth. Things haven’t been as bright for the Madrid side this season, but once the Europa League comes around, they will prove to be a tough team.
While Pot 4 does come with the risk of lengthy travels, United’s biggest challenge could come a lot closer to home. Rangers, managed by Steven Gerrard, sit in the final pot and the former Liverpool captain is already planning on frustrating United.
“I wouldn’t mind parking the bus at Old Trafford,” he told reporters after Rangers’ place in the group stage was confirmed.
Opponents: Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach, Trabzonspor
Wolves fans will undoubtedly enjoy their European tour this season, their first since 1980. But it could be tough for them on the pitch.
Placed in Pot 3, the Premier League side risk being drawn against Europa League royalty Sevilla. The Spanish side have won Europe’s secondary competition five times, including three on the trot between 2014 and 2016, and will be looking to add another crown next May.
On top of Sevilla, Monchengladbach would provide another tough opponent from Pot 2, already denting Wolves’ hopes of reaching the last-32.
And from Pot 4, Trabzonspor bring with them a long trip to north east Turkey and is closer Iran and Iraq than it is to Istanbul. Not to mention they bolstered their squad this summer with Daniel Sturridge, who will welcome English opponents.
When will the group stage fixtures be played?
Matchday one: 19 September
Matchday two: 3 October
Matchday three: 24 October
Matchday four: 7 November
Matchday five: 28 November
Matchday six: 12 December