Thursday, September 19, 2019

Europa League group stage: Man Utd to face Astana as Arsenal draw Frankfurt

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Aug 2019

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Manchester United will face trips to Kazakhstan and Serbia in the Europa League, while 2018-19 runners up Arsenal were grouped with last season’s semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt. 

United, Europa League winners in 2016-17, were placed in Group L in Friday’s draw and will take on Astana, Partizan Belgrade and AZ.

Though a long trip to Kazakhstan for the Astana clash is far from preferable and Belgrade will prove a difficult place to visit, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be clear favourites to progress.

Arsenal were drawn in Group F, with Bundesliga side Frankfurt likely to present the biggest challenge to the Gunners, who must also take on Standard Liege and Vitoria Guimaraes.

Fellow Premier League club Wolves, making their first appearance in a major European competition since 1980-81, were handed encounters against Besiktas, Braga and Slovan Bratislava in Group K.

Five-time winners Sevilla should progress comfortably from Group A, which also includes APOEL, Qarabag and Dudelange.

Celtic were knocked out of Champions League qualification by Cluj and Neil Lennon’s side will meet them once again in a tough Group E, where Lazio and Coupe de France holders Rennes join them.

Rangers were also dealt a difficult hand, with Porto, Feyenoord and Young Boys their opponents in Group G. Meanwhile, Group B has thrown up a derby between Sweden’s Malmo and Copenhagen of Denmark.

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