The draw for the UEFA Europa League group stages was made on Friday at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Before the tournament, Eden Hazard was given the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League Player of the Year award for his heroics with champions Chelsea last time out.
However, the centre of attention was in the seeding itself and last season’s runners-up Arsenal were placed in group F alongside semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt, Victoria SC and Standard Liege. This should be smooth sailings for Unai Emery’s side, as the Spaniard looks to continue his impressive Europa League run with the Gunners after faltering last season.
Manchester United were given relatively mild opponents, being paired up with Astana FK, FK Partizan and AZ Alkmaar. The English club are one of the favourites for the tournament and will be a popular pick for punters looking for the best bonus codes to bet on 2019/20 Europa League. However, the long travel Kazakhstan, Croatia and Netherlands will definitely be tiring for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, especially considering Astana is almost 3000 miles.
The other surprising Premier League inclusion in Wolverhampton Wanderers were drawn in a relatively tricky group as well. They’ve been placed alongside Besiktas, Braga and Slovan Bratislava in what will be some very challenging tests for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. Five-time Champions Sevilla were the first team to be drafted in Group A, alongside APOEL FC, Qarabag FC and first-time Europa League side FC Dudelange.
Scottish champions Celtic were also seeded in a pretty competitive group alongside Italian giants Lazio, FC Rennes and CFR Cluj. After failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League this season, they’ll be looking to progress high up in the Europa League. Lazio’s rival Roma were placed in Group J with German side Borussia Monchengladbach, Istanbul Basaksehir and Austria’s Wolfsberg.
Europa giants FC Porto, who also failed to qualify for the Champions League, were placed in Group G alongside Young Boys, Feyenoord and Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, who hope to replicate their coach’s spirit to go further forward in Europe as well. Russian giants CSKA Moscow also got seeded into a relatively comfortable group against La Liga side Espanyol, Ludogorets and first-timers FC Ferencvaros.
Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv were drawn against FC Kobenhavn, Malmo FC and Lugano FC which should allow them to sail into the knockout rounds with ease. FC Basel, meanwhile, were paired alongside La Liga upstarts Getafe FC, Turkish side Trabzonspor and Krasnodar FC in a relatively comfortable group.
Portuguese side Sporting CP were placed in a pretty competitive group alongside PSV Eindhoven, Rosenborg and LASK. In Group I, German side Wolfsburg were placed alongside Gent, Saint-Etienne and Olexandriya in what should be smooth sailing for the Bundesliga mid-table side.
The dates for these fixtures haven’t been made official yet, but it should start sometime before or just after the UEFA Champions League group stages which starts from 18th September onwards.