Duels such as Napoli, Chucky, against Leicester, Guti’s PSV against Monaco or Betis against Leverkusen, attract attention in the draw for the Europa League group stage
The Mexicans Hirving Lozano, Andrés Guardado, Diego Lainez and Erick Gutiérrez, who will participate in the next edition of the Europa League, met their luck for the group stage after the draw that took place in Istanbul.
Teams such as Lyon, Monaco, PSV Eindhoven, Naples, Leicester, Lazio, Marseille or Bayern Leverkusen give luster to a tournament that alters its format from now on and that has Villarreal as the current champion after winning in the final from Gdansk to Manchester United months ago.
Both Betis and Real Sociedad, the only Spanish representatives, will have historical adversaries before them. They have been tough rivals that this Friday has brought the draw for a competition that has reduced the line-up of participants to thirty-two teams.
As in the Champions League, the group stage is made up of eight groups of four representatives instead of the twelve quartets that there were so far.
The group champion directly reaches the round of 16. The second will play sixteenth with the third from each group of the Champions League. Those who do not remain bottom in the Europa League will go on to play the new Conference League.
In addition, Real Sociedad will play with PSV, by Erick Gutiérrez, a former champion that has fallen into disrepair in recent years and has not finished overthrowing Ajax’s dominance in the Dutch league.
The Spanish representative, in any case aspiring to occupy one of the first two places in his group, has the weak Austrian Sturm Graz as the last component of the quartet.
Betis return to Europe three seasons after reaching the round of 32 with Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic and Ferencvaros as initial opponents.
The German team is the most powerful adversary on paper. Finalist of the Champions League is one of the contenders for the title, a regular at the top of the Bundesliga.
Celtic is a historical one that has lost weight in Europe. Also in Scotland where he lost the title last year to Rangers. Chilean Manuel Pellegrini’s team has the classification between eyebrows. Hungarian Ferencvaros carry the reputation of yesteryear but their weight has waned in recent football.
The draw for the Europa League brought together other groups loaded with incentives. Especially striking is Group C with Naples and English Leicester alongside Spartak Moscow and Legia.
Lazio, another of the candidates by squad and history, has coincided in the E with Marseille of Argentine Jorge Sampaoli, Turkish Galatasaray and Russian Lokomotiv.
Lyon aim to finish first in Group A which includes Rangers, who failed to reach a place in the Champions League despite winning the Scottish League, Sparta Prague and the Danish Brondby. AND
– Composition of the groups.
. Group A
Lyon (FRA), Rangers (ESC), Sparta Prague (CZE), Brondby (DIN)
. B Group
Monaco (FRA), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Real Sociedad (ESP), Sturm Graz (AUT)
. Group C
Naples (ITA), Leicester (ING), Spartak Moscow (RUS), Legia Warsaw (POL)
. Group D
Olympiacos (GRE), Eintracht Frankfurt (ALE), Fenerbahce (TUR), Antwerp (BEL)
. Group E
Lazio (ITA), Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS), Olympique Marseille (FRA), Galatasaray (TUR)
. Group F
Braga (POR), Red Star (SRB), Ludogorets (BUL), Midtjylland (DIN)
. Group G
Bayer Leverkusen (ALE), Celtic (ESC), Betis (ESP), Ferencvaros (HUN)
. Group H
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), Genk (BEL), West Ham (ING), Rapid Vienna (AUT).