British clubs find out Europa League fate
By Stephen Giles
- Celtic, Ajax, Fenerbahce, Molde in Group A
- Liverpool, Rubin Kazan, Bordeaux, FC Sion in Group B
- Tottenham, Anderlecht, Monaco, Qarabag in Group J
MONTE CARLO, FRANCE: The three remaining British representatives found out their Europa League Group Stage fate today, as the draw was officially made at a glittering event in Monte Carlo.
Celtic, Liverpool and Tottenham will each play six fixtures in the group stage, with the first match taking place on 17th September.
Group A: Celtic, Ajax, Fenerbache, Molde
Celtic were faced with a tough looking group A when the draw was made today in Monte Carlo after being paired with Dutch giants Ajax, Turkish side Fenerbahce – with Robin Van Persie and Nani in their ranks – and Norwegian outfit Molde.
Celtic’s full Europa League Group A fixtures:
- 17/09 – Ajax v Celtic
- 01/10 – Celtic v Fenerbahce
- 22/10 – Molde v Celtic
- 05/11 – Celtic v Molde
- 26/11 – Celtic v Ajax
- 10/12 – Fenerbahce v Celtic
The Hoops know the Amsterdam club only too well from earlier meetings in the Champions League back in 2013 when Frank de Boer’s Ajax won at home 1-0, with Celtic winning the reverse fixture 2-1 win at Celtic Park.
Such was the intense atmosphere of that night in Amsterdam, it should hold Celtic’s trip to Istanbul in good stead on 10th December. The Hoops have never before faced Turkish opposition in European competition before.
Molde will also be something of a step into the unknown, with Celtic going head to head with the Norwegian champions on 22nd October.
Group B: Liverpool, Rubin Kazan, Bordeaux, FC Sion
Liverpool are back in the Europa League for a second consecutive year and today were handed arguably one of the easiest draws after being drawn against Russian side Rubin Kazan, with the 4,000 plus miles journey set to be their only real test for the Reds in their European campaign.
They have the luxury of short trips to France and Switzerland to play Bordeaux and FC Sion respectively.
Liverpool will open their campaign with a trip to south-west France to play Bordeaux, who they beat 1-0 away in the 2006/07 Champions League group stage and 3-0 in the reverse fixture at Anfield.
They have also taken on FC Sion twice before, a club Liverpool defeated 6-2 and 2-1 in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup second round.
Liverpool’s full Europa League Group B fixtures:
- 17/09 – Bordeaux v Liverpool
- 01/10 – Liverpool v FC Sion
- 22/10 – Liverpool v Rubin Kazan
- 05/11 – Rubin Kazan v Liverpool
- 26/11 – Liverpool v Bordeaux
- 10/12 – FC Sion v Liverpool
4 – Liverpool have won all four previous games against either FC Sion (2/2), Bordeaux (2/2) or Rubin Kazan (never played). Giants.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 28, 2015
— Jim Beglin (@jimbeglin) August 28, 2015
Group J: Tottenham, Anderlecht, Monaco, Qarabağ
Tottenham will face last season’s Champions League quarter-finalists Monaco — who knocked out Spurs’ rivals Arsenal on their way to the last eight, along with Belgian outfit Anderlecht.
Both are seen as glamour but tricky ties for Spurs and they will also face a 5,000-mile round trip to Baku to take on Azerbaijani outfit Qarabağ, who ply their trade in the Azerbaijan Premier League.
Tottenham famously beat Anderlecht on penalties to claim the 1984 UEFA Cup Final (now the Europa League) and last faced the Belgian giants in a UEFA Cup tie in 2011 – the match ending 1-1 with Dimitar Berbatov on target for Tottenham.
Monaco, who knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League last season last played Spurs in 2013 for a pre-season friendly at Stade Louis II. Harry Kane and Andros Townsend were on the scoresheet as the hosts triumphed 5-2.
Tottenham’s full Europa League Group J fixtures:
- 17/09 – Tottenham v Qarabağ
- 01/10 – Monaco v Tottenham
- 22/10 – Anderlecht v Tottenham
- 05/11 – Tottenham v Anderlecht
- 26/11 – Qarabağ v Tottenham
- 10/12 – Tottenham v Monaco
Europa League draw in full:
Group A: Ajax, Celtic, Fenerbahce, Molde
Group B: Rubin Kazan, Liverpool, Bordeaux, Sion
Group C: Borussia Dortmund, POAK, Krasnodar, Gabala
Group D: Napoli, Bruges, Legia Warsaw, Midtjylland
Group E: Villarreal, Viktoria Plzen, R. Vienna, D. Minsk
Group F: Marseille, Braga, Slovan Liberec, Groningen
Group G: Dnipro, Lazio, St Etienne, Rosenborg
Group H: Sporting .Lisbon, Besiktas, Lokomotiv, Skenderbeu
Group I: Basle, Fiorentina, Lech Poznan, Belenenses
Group J: Tottenham, Anderlecht, Monaco,Qarabağ
Group K: Schalke, APOEL, Sparta Prague, Tripolis
Group L: Atheltico Bilbao, AZ Alkmaar, Augsburg, Partizan
The UEFA Europa League will kick off on the 17th September. You can follow the action via our live scoring service: Live Scores