Both Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri will be happy men on Friday after Arsenal and Chelsea avoided major opponents in the UEFA Europa League draw. However, the minnows that they are tied with can prove to be tricky fixtures due to the tiresome travel that follows. The other big guns in the Europa League are Sevilla, Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan, and Olympique Marseille.
Among the toughest of the groups, Group B comes to the mind first. Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic will have to face Salzburg and last season’s high-flyers Leipzig. Rosenberg is the other team drawn in the group.
In the Group E, Arsenal will be locking horns with a significantly weakened Sporting CP, Qarabag and Vorskla. It is to be noted that Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t be able to play Qarabag since Azerbaijan has banned the entry of Armenians in the country.
In Group F, resurging Italian giants AC Milan are tied with Olympiacos and Real Betis, while minnows Dudelange is another side in the group.
Serial Europa winners and one of the strongest contenders to win it yet again, Sevilla is touted to ace their Group J without much fight. Given Krasnodar, Standard Liege and Akhisar will be vying with them for the top spot.
Lastly, another interesting group is Group L, which will have former Champions League Chelsea featuring in it. To give competition to the English giants, there are PAOK, BATE and Vidi.
UEFA Europa League’s first matchday will be held on September 20, the matches and their timings are yet to be announced.