The UEFA Europa League draws were announced just a night after the UEFA Champions League draws at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco. Once regarded as the league of underdogs, the UEFA Europa League (UEL) has now blossomed into an exciting tournament full of competitive games.
Also, unlike the usually prevalent domination by the European powerhouses in UEFA Champions League (UCL), the UEL offers more entertainment, thanks to the unpredictability of the underdogs of Europe and the new young talents constantly emerging from lower-ranked clubs.
With Premier League teams like Arsenal and Manchester United, along with five-time Europa League champions Sevilla coming into the tournament, we take a look at the key fixtures to watch out for in the group stages.
In Group A, Europa League kings Sevilla are the favourites to progress forward, while it will be a tough battle between APOEL, Qarabağ, and Dudelange to make it to the top two.
Teams in Group B are such that no one knows what to expect, but Dynamo Kyiv vs Malmö should be a match to look out for.
Getafe and Basel are the favourites from Group C, so the matchup between them can be expected to have some level of competitive football.
Sporting CP vs PSV Eindhoven from Group D is pitched to be an interesting encounter, with both teams looking good on paper.
Lazio are famous for being a right-wing team and Celtic have a celebrated left-wing. A face-off between these two can be a treat to watch in Group E.
Last year’s finalists Arsenal have found themselves in a quite competitive group this year. Frankfurt made it to the semi-finals last season and can put up a tough fight for the top spot in Group F.
Group G looks like the most competitive group of the league as Feyenoord and Rangers are pegged to be the favourites but everyone is aware of what Young Boys are capable of after their Champions League tie against Juventus last season. Porto too are a real powerhouse.
Espanyol will be confident to win Group H, but Ludogorets have recently won their eighth successive league title in Bulgaria. CSKA Moscow also pose a threat as they are regulars of the tournament.
Wolfsburg look solid in Group I but they will face resistance from French side Saint-Etienne and Gent as well.
Group J looks quite sorted, with Roma being the top-rated side, save for their trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Wolves have made their return to competitive European football and are capable of winning this group, while Braga and Besiktas might have a battle for the second spot in Group K.
With Manchester United in Group L, AZ Alkmaar and Astana will be happy just to draw against the English side but looking at their recent European form, United may find themselves in some tricky contests even against the lower-ranked sides.
The group stage games will go through six matchdays, of which the final round begins on 12th December.
The final of the UEFA Europa League will be played at Stadion Energa Gdnska in Gdnska, Poland on 27th May 2020.
Here is your complete guide to this season’s UEL group stage draws, starting from 19th September.
Group A: Sevilla (ESP), APOEL (CYP), Qarabağ (AZE), Dudelange (LUX)
Group B: Dynamo Kyiv (UKR), Copenhagen (DEN), Malmö (SWE), Lugano (SUI)
Group C: Basel (SUI), Krasnodar (RUS), Getafe (ESP), Trabzonspor (TUR)
Group D: Sporting CP (POR), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Rosenborg (NOR), LASK (AUT)
Group E: Lazio (ITA), Celtic (SCO), Rennes (FRA), CFR Cluj (ROU)
Group F: Arsenal (ENG), Eintracht Frankfurt (GER), Standard Liège (BEL), Vitória SC (POR)
Group G: Porto (POR), Young Boys (SUI), Feyenoord (NED), Rangers (SCO)
Group H: CSKA Moskva (RUS), Ludogorets (BUL), Espanyol (ESP), Ferencváros (HUN)
Group I: Wolfsburg (GER), Gent (BEL), St-Étienne (FRA), Olexandriya (UKR)
Group J: Roma (ITA), Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER), İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR), Wolfsberg (AUT)
Group K: Beşiktaş (TUR), Braga (POR), Wolves (ENG), Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
Group L: Manchester United (ENG), Astana (KAZ), Partizan (SRB), AZ Alkmaar (NED)
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ Valery Hache