Europa League draw: Stern tests for Arsenal and Everton

Arsene Wenger’s side will face tough trips to take on sides in Belarus, Germany and Serbia

Everton’s Wayne Rooney in action against Hajduk Split during their Europa League qualifier. Photo: AP

Everton’s Wayne Rooney in action against Hajduk Split during their Europa League qualifier. Photo: AP

 

Arsenal and Everton face challenging tests on their return to the Europa League following Friday’s group stage draw in Monaco.

Arsenal were drawn to play Belarus’ Bate Borisov, Cologne of Germany and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade in Group H.

Everton will play France’s Lyon — hosts of this season’s final — Italy’s Atalanta and Apollon Limassol of Cyprus in Group E.

Both English sides face difficult tasks to advance to the knockout stages when the group phase begins on September 14th.

It is the first time in 20 years that Arsenal have started a European campaign in the Europa League.

The Gunners had advanced to the knockout stages of the Champions League but lost in the first knock-out round in the last seven seasons and failed to qualify for the tournament through the Premier League in 2016-17.

Everton, who completed their play-off victory over Hajduk Split of Croatia on Thursday, are in Europe for the first time since 2009-10.

Europa League groups in full

Group A: Villarreal, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Astana, Slavia Prague.

Group B: Dynamo Kiev, Young Boys, Partizan Belgrade, Skenderbeu.

Group C: Braga, Ludogorets, Hoffenheim, Istanbul Basaksehir.

Group D: Milan, Austria Vienna, Rijeka, AEK Athens.

Group E: Lyon, Everton, Atalanta, Apollon.

Group F: Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Moscow, Sheriff Tiraspol, Zlin.

Group G: Viktoria Plzen, FCSB, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Lugano.

Group H: Arsenal, BATE Borisov, Cologne, Crvena Zvezda.

Group I: Salzburg, Marseille, Vitoria SC, Konyaspor.

Group J: Athletic Bilbao, Hertha Berlin, Zorya Luhansk, Ostersund.

Group K: Lazio, Nice, Zulte Waregem, Vitesse.

Group L: Zenit St Petersburg, Real Sociedad, Rosenborg, Vardar Skopje.

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