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Europa League draw: Arsenal get favourable group but Man Utd face nightmare trip

The draw for the group stages of the Europa League has been conducted today with Arsenal and Manchester United discovering their fate.


The draw for the group stages of the Europa League has been conducted today with Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves discovering their fate.

Man Utd qualified for the Europa League after finishing sixth in the Premier League last season. The Red Devils endured a difficult campaign that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replace Jose Mourinho as manager in December and their hopes of finishing in the top four faded towards the end of the season.

United were in Pot 1 and they’ve been drawn in Group L along with Kazakhstan champions FK Astana, Partizan Belgrade of Serbia and Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.

Arsenal also missed out on Champions League qualification last season with Unai Emery failing to grasp two excellent opportunities. First, Arsenal won just one of their last five league games to finish fifth in the Premier League – just one point off Tottenham – before losing 4-1 to Chelsea in the Europa League final.

Those failures consigned the Gunners to the Europa League for a third straight season and they’ve been drawn in Group F along with Bundesliga outfit and last years semi-finalists, Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege of Belgium and Portuguese outfit Vitoria SC.

Wolves qualified for the group stages with an impressive 5-3 aggregate victory over Torino and they are in Group K along with Besiktas, Braga and Slovan Bratislava.

Scottish champions Celtic are in Group E along with Lazio, Rennes and CFR Cluj while Rangers are in Group G with Porto, Young Boys and Feyenoord.

Arsenal will be pleased with their draw as they have three short-haul trips to look forward to but while Man Utd will be confident of topping their group, they won’t be looking forward to a gruelling away trip to Kazakhstan.

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