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Aug 31, 2019, 3:27:00 PM

Top Picks: European clubs with easy and tough UEL Group Stage draws

Taking a cue from the Champions League, the UEFA Europa League conducted its Group Stage draws on Friday, which invited an expected share of reactions from participating clubs. Sportsbet.io lists out the European clubs who got themselves a comfortable or difficult arrangement.

EASY DRAWS

Sevilla (Group A)

The record five-time winners have relatively the easiest group in the competition, with their group-mates being Qarabag, Dudelange, and APOEL. Julen Lopetegui’s side start as tournament favourites for the 2019-20 edition and are tipped to ease into the next stage of the tournament without much hiccups.

Arsenal (Group F)

Having drawn Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege and Vitoria SC in a comfortable Group F, the Gunners have been given a relaxed travel plan unlike English rivals Manchester United. Unai Emery’s men are poised to finish on top of Group F albeit a stern challenge from Eintracht.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (Group K)

Nuno Espirito Santo’s troop capped a successful qualifying campaign and are placed in Group K that is occupied by experienced figures in Besiktas and Braga, and Slovakian outfit Slovan Bratislava. In Europe after a 38-year absence, Wolves are expected to qualify as group winners.

TOUGH DRAWS

Celtic (Group E)

The Hoops find themselves in a tricky arrangement that includes Italian side Lazio, Rennes and a familiar foe in CFR Cluj, who defeated the Scottish champions in the Champions League qualifiers a fortnight ago. Given the unpredictability of the group, it’s hard to foresee Celtic’s position after the group stage play.

Rangers (Group G)

Steven Gerrard’s Gers, like fierce foes Celtic, are likely to struggle in the group stage as they have been drawn with former European winners Porto and Feyenoord, and Swiss side Young Boys. If anything, Gerrard must see that his team play with the same vigour as they did in the qualifying stage, to prolong their European adventure.

Manchester United (Group L)

The Red Devils have been awarded a troubling group, with the biggest concern being their long-distance travels to Kazakhstan (FC Astana), Serbia (Partizan Belgrade) and Netherlands (AZ Alkmaar). Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men might register dominating victories at home but their away legs could possibly have a different picture painted, solely due to the fatigue of travelling.


Words: William Paul

Images: PA