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Arsenal and Chelsea handed favourable groups in Europa League draw

Could this be the year for Arsenal, Chelsea, Celtic or Rangers?

The Europa League is the real quiz.

Burnley’s European adventure was ended at the hands of Olympiakos last night.

Elimination for Sean Dyche’s side continued the torrid record of English clubs during the qualifying campaign.

Believe it or not, we’re actually quite good when the Europa League gets going.

In it’s current inception, the competition has been a rather kind one to English sides.

Chelsea got their hands on the trophy in 2013, with Man United the last British winners in 2017.

United fans still talk about this

AFP or licensors
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United fans still talk about this

Could this be the year for Arsenal, Chelsea, Celtic or Rangers? 

Arsenal and Chelsea both found themselves in Pot 1 and therefore never really had much to fear.

Celtic (somehow) bagged a place in Pot 2, but spare a thought for poor old Rangers who were dumped in Pot 4.

Unai Emery will hope to continue his impressive Europa League record and guide Arsenal to a trophy he’s already won three times.

He’s got history

Getty Images - Getty
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He’s got history

The Gunners were drawn in Group E alongside Sporting CP, Qarabag and FC Vorskla.

Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea will meet PAOK, BATE and Vidi FC in Group L.

The Blues have history in the competition having won it in 2013 under the stewardship of Rafa Benitez.

Will we see a repeat of this in May?

PA:Empics Sport
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Will we see a repeat of this in May?

Celtic were handed a nightmare draw, meeting RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig and Rosenborg in Group B.

Steven Gerrard, who is no stranger to a big European night, will need a miracle if his Rangers side are to get out of Group G.

The Glasgow club were drawn alongside Villareal, Rapid Vienna and Sparktak Moscow.

He’s won the top prize as a player

PA:Press Association
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He’s won the top prize as a player

All eyes before proceedings were on minnows Dudelange.

The amateur side became the first club from Luxembourg to qualify for a European group stage and earned themselves a date with AC Milan in Group F.

Dudelange will become everyone’s ‘second team’

EPA
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Dudelange will become everyone’s ‘second team’

The first round of group games will start on September 20.

The knockout stages, when the Champions League scraps begin to make an appearance, will kick-off on March 7.

One final date for your diary is Wednesday May 29, when the final will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan.

B-e-a-utiful

Getty Images - Getty
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B-e-a-utiful

Let the Thursday night fun begin…


Europa League draw in full:

Group A – Bayern Leverkusen, Ludogorets, FC Zurich, AEK Larnaca

 

Group B – RB Salzburg, Celtic, RB Leipzig, Rosenborg

 

Group C – Zenit, FC Kopenhagen, Bordeaux, Slavia Prague

 

Group D – Anderlecht, Fenerbache, Dinamo Zagreb

 

Group E – Arsenal, Sporting CP, Qarabag, FC Vorskla

 

Group F – Olympiakos, AC Milan, Real Betis, Dudelange

 

Group G – Villareal, Rapid Vienna, Sparktak Moscow, Rangers

 

Group H – Lazio, Marseille, Eintracht Frankfurt, Apollon

 

Group I –  Besiktas, Genk, Malmo, Sarpsborg

 

Group J – Sevilla, Krasnodar, Standard Liege, Akhisarspor

 

Group K – Dynamo Kiev, Astana, Rennes, Jablonec

 

Group LChelsea, PAOK, BATE, Vidi FC


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