The UEFA Europa League is now upon us and is its draws that has got some football fans tearing away in celebration of an expected victory and some others biting their fingers in anxiety – the divides of football.
The Europa League draws pits some familiar woes together and would have some others travel long distances to lock horns with their opponents.
Scottish giants, Celtic have a rematch with Cluj who eliminated them from the Champions League last term while Manchester United would have to endure a painstaking 6,000-mile round trip to Astana, who are based in Kazakhstan’s capital city Nur-Sultan with an expected flight time of nine hours, one-way.
Wolverhampton Wanderers who had to play a series of matches to secure a ticket to this season’s Europa League were given an encouraging draw that places them in the same group with Slovan Bratislava of Slovakia, Braga of Portugal and Besiktas of Turkey.
At least Wolves gaffer, Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to maintain a wider grin than Arsenal’s Unai Emery who is expected to prepare his team against relatively fierce opponents in Eintracht Frankfurt and Standard Liege in Group A.
Manchester United face exceedingly demanding trips to Partizan Belgrade and Astana of Kazakhstan.
Celtic are poised to face a huge test against Rennes, Cluj and Lazio while fellow Scottish side, Rangers are drawn in probably the toughest group yet. One with Porto, Feyenoord and Young Boys of Switzerland.
Here’s a breakdown of the UEFA Europa League Draws in full.
Group A: Sevilla, APOEL, Qarabag, Dudelange
Group B: Dynamo Kiev, Copenhagen, Malmo, Lugano
Group C: Basel, Krasnodar, Getafe, Trabzonspor
Group D: Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven, Rosenborg, LASK
Group E: Lazio, Celtic, Rennes, Cluj
Group F: Arsenal, Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege, Vitoria
Group G: Porto, Young Boys, Feyenoord, Rangers
Group H: CSKA Moscow, Ludogorets, Espanyol, Ferencvaros
Group I: Wolfsburg, Gent, Saint-Etienne, Oleksandriya
Group J: Roma, Borussia Monchengladbach, Istanbul Basaksehir, Wolfsberger
Group K: Besiktas, Braga, Wolves, Slovan Bratislava
Group L: Manchester United, Astana, Partizan Belgrade, AZ Alkmaar