Yesterday was the turn of the Champions League, and now we have today had the UEFA Europa League draw. From Manchester United to Arsenal, Roma to Real Betis, a number of major sides found out their future in this competition. Here is how the draw went down in Istanbul.
UEFA Europa League Draw
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Manchester United Will Meet Real Sociedad Once Again
The draw may have taken place in Turkey but the final will be held in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, at the famous Puskas Arena. Talking of Hungary, a legend of their own, Zoltan Gera, was present to make the draw.
The first team out of the hat, courtesy of the former Fulham man, were Arsenal. PSV Eindhoven join the Gunners in Group A having lost to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Rangers in their UCL qualifier.
Manchester United are the other English side in the mix and they will have mixed memories of this competition. They beat Dutch giants Ajax in the final back in 2017 thanks to goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Real Sociedad have crossed paths with the Red Devils in this competition before and they will again as they are also in Group E.
Last year, after winning the Conference League with AS Roma, Jose Mourinho became the first ever manager to have won all three major European competitions. The reward for this victory was a place in the UEFA Europa League draw and they are the highest seed in Group C.
The Giallorossi are joined in that group by the Copa del Rey winners over in Spain. Real Betis have hit great heights under Manuel Pellegrini and they can continue to do this on the continent.
Elsewhere, teams such as Lazio, Monaco and Freiburg have learnt their fates. Roma’s rivals from the Eternal City will be tasked with facing the runners-up from the inaugural Conference League, Feyenoord.
On to Monaco and Philippe Clement’s side aren’t the highest seed, that honour goes to Red Star Belgrade who boast a deadly atmosphere in the Serbian capital.
Finally, Freiburg, who aren’t familiar with European football, have a very tasty group indeed. Olympiacos and Qarabag have developed some pedigree in these sorts of competitions whilst Nantes have a star on their hands in the form of Moses Simon.
The Lay of the Land From the UEFA Europa League Draw
Group A: Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, FK Bodo/Glimt, FC Zurich
Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Stade Rennais, Fenerbahce SK, AEK Larnaca
Group C: AS Roma, FC Ludogorets, Real Betis, HJK Helsinki
Group D: SC Braga, Malmo FF, Union Berlin, Union Saint-Gilloise
Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sheriff Tiraspol, Omonoia FC
Group F: SS Lazio, Feyenoord, FC Midtjylland, SK Sturm Graz
Group G: Olympiacos, Qarabag FK, SC Freiburg, FC Nantes
Group H: Red Star Belgrade, AS Monaco, Ferencvarosi, Trabzonspor