Europa League group stage draw 2020/21: as it happened

UEFA Europa League (2020/21) Group Stage Draw

Lukaku wins Europa League 'Player of the Season' award

Romelu Lukaku scored seven goals in six Europa League appearances for Inter - earning a player of the season award from UEFA.

That concludes our coverage of today's UEFA Europa League group stage draw. 

Thanks for your company today and look forward to these six match-days and also hope that as times moves forward, supporters can make a return to stadiums.

The next Europa League draw date is 14 December when we'll be back in Nyon to discover the Round of 32 pairings with the top two sides from each group progressing to this stage. Round of 32 matches will be staged (home-away) on 18 & 25 February 2021.

Exact kick-off times will be confirmed this evening via UEFA after a consultation with rights holders and local broadcasters.

The group stage action gets underway in three weeks with a reminder of the six match-days:

Matchday 1: 22 October
Matchday 2: 29 October
Matchday 3: 5 November
Matchday 4: 26 November
Matchday 5: 3 December
Matchday 6: 10 December

Very swift and impressive from UEFA as we fly through the draw in 40 minutes.

A quick glance would suggest that Group H is a bit of a tough one with 2 former Champions League winners in Milan and Celtic grouped with Lille and Sparta Prague.

Villarreal will be content with their pairings and Real Sociedad facing Napoli in Group F is a game not to miss. 

For new boys Granada, they face tricky away ties to Thessaloniki and Eindhoven where they will need to be at their best to overcome PAOK and PSV respectively.

Group A: AS Roma - Young Boys - Cluj - CSKA Sofia

Group B: Arsenal - Rapid Vienna - Molde - Dundalk

Group C: Bayer Leverkusen - Slavia Prague -  Hapoel B. Sheva - Nice

Group D: Benfica - Standard Liege - Rangers - Lech Poznan

Group E: PSV - PAOK - Granada - Omonia 

Group F: Napoli - R. Sociedad - AZ - Rijeka

Group G: Braga - Leicester - AEK - Z Luhansk

Group H: Celtic - Sparta Prague - AC  Milan - Lille

Group I: Villarreal - Qarabag - M. Tel Aviv - Sivasspor

Group J: Tottenham - Ludogorets - LASK - Antwerp

Group K: CSKA Moscow - Dinamo Zagreb - Feyenoord - Wolfsberger

Group L: Gent - Red Star - Hoffenheim - Slovan Liberec

12 teams to go .... Pot 4 outstanding ....

 

Time for Pot 2 & 3:

Group A: AS Roma - Young Boys - Cluj

Group B: Arsenal - Rapid Vienna - Molde 

Group C: Bayer Leverkusen - Slavia Prague -  Hapoel B. Sheva

Group D: Benfica - Standard Liege - Rangers - 

Group E: PSV - PAOK - Granada - 

Group F: Napoli - R. Sociedad - AZ

Group G: Braga - Leicester - AEK

Group H: Celtic - Sparta Prague - AC  Milan 

Group I: Villarreal - Qarabag - M. Tel Aviv

Group J: Tottenham - Ludogorets - LASK

Group K: CSKA Moscow - Dinamo Zagreb - Feyenoord - 

Group L: Gent - Red Star - Hoffenheim

Formalities out of the way, draw time as we start to assign the 48 clubs to their groups. First up Pot 1-

Group A: AS Roma

Group B: Arsenal 

Group C: Bayer Leverkusen

Group D: Benfica

Group E: PSV

Group F: Napoli

Group G: Braga

Group H: Celtic

Group I: Villarreal

Group J: Tottenham

Group K: CSKA Moscow

Group L: Gent

UEFA's Giorgio Marchetti talks us through the draw procedure and outlines some key features of the process as he welcomes Sivasspor (Turkey), Omonia (Cyprus) and LaLiga's Granada who debut in the group stage for the first time.

Ciro F

Ciro Ferrara will be on hand to assist with the drawing of the teams for today's procedure....  A hero at both Napoli and Juventus

With the award confirmed, it looks like it will be a full, uninterrupted draw ahead as the 48 teams discover their opponents as we fill groups A through to L. 

Romelu

Lukalu wins the Europa League 'Player of the Season' 2019/20

Once again the presentation video looking back at last season focuses on the Covid-19 pandemic that changed our lives and indeed the game we love last March when football came to a halt around the world. Football and the Europa League did come back this summer with Sevilla FC eventually winning the title beating Inter in the final to claim a sixth title. 

We're live in Nyon with UEFA's Pedro Pinto our host for the Europa League draw.

Granada

With Granada progressing at the expenses of Malmo last night, that means that the Scandinavian nation has 0 representatives at the competition this year which will worry all those fans who admire and follow the AllSvenskan.

Yesterday's Champions League draw lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes but it has to be remembered that the ceremony was littered with a series of UEFA awards. Today, the Europa League draw will announce/present just one award as outlined earlier but there are more teams and groups to fill. I'd estimate a time of 60-75 minutes for the procedure this afternoon.

Zvezda

Milan, Celtic, Red Star, Benfica are all in the pots for today's draw and all previous Champions League winners and other big name sides such as Roma, Napoli, Arsenal, Spurs, Feyenoord, Leicester City all add levels of interest to the competition this year.

Simple draw regulations at this stage of the competition. No sides from the same nation can be paired in the same group and for political reasons sides from Ukraine and Russia will not be drawn together. 

Lukaku

Today's draw will also see a UEFA 'Player of the Season' award presented with Ever Banega (Sevilla FC), Bruno Fernandes (Man. United) and Romelu Lukaku (Inter) on the shortlist. 

PGE Arena

The 2020 final was scheduled to be staged in the Polish city but the disruption to life and football caused by the Covid-19 saw the 2020 edition played out in Germany. 26 May at the 41,000 capacity PGE Arena (Gdansk) next year will be the date/venue for the final.

Arsenal, Tottenham, AC Milan, Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen are the bookies favourites to lift the trophy in Gdansk on May 26 (2021)

Wolfsburg

Initially fans were not going to be permitted to UEFA competition games during the group stages, but following a positive test run for the Super Cup in Budapest last week, UEFA have stated that up to 30% of stadium capacity can be used providing that the local authority authorises a return for supporters at games. 

Read more here

Here are the dates for the six group stage match-days with kick-off times for each game expected to be confirmed by UEFA later this evening:

Matchday 1: 22 October
Matchday 2: 29 October
Matchday 3: 5 November
Matchday 4: 26 November
Matchday 5: 3 December
Matchday 6: 10 December

Pot 4

Zorya Luhansk (UKR)
LOSC (FRA)
Nice (FRA)
Rijeka (CRO)
Dundalk (IRL)
Slovan Liberec (SVK)
Royal Antwerp (BEL)
Lech Poznań (POL)
Sivasspor (TUR)
Wolfsberg (AUT)
Omonoia (CYP)
CSKA-Sofia (BUL)

Pot 3)

Granada (ESP)
AC Milan (ITA)
AZ Alkmaar (NED)
Feyenoord (NED)
AEK Athens (GRE)
Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)
Rangers (SCO)
Molde (NOR)
Hoffenheim (GER)
LASK (AUT)
Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR)
CFR Cluj (ROU)​​​​​​

Pot 2)

GNK Dinamo (CRO)
Sparta Praha (CZE)
Slavia Praha (CZE)
Ludogorets (BUL)
Young Boys (SUI)
Red Star (SRB)
Rapid Vienna (AUT)
Leicester (ENG)
Qarabağ (AZE)
PAOK (GRE)
Standard Liège (BEL)
Real Sociedad (ESP)

Pot 1)

Arsenal (ENG)
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Roma (ITA)
Napoli (ITA)
Benfica (POR)
Leverkusen (GER)
Villarreal (ESP)
CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Braga (POR)
Gent (BEL)
PSV Eindhoven (NED)
Celtic (SCO)

The 48 teams are in seeded pots with their pot location being decided on theiur respectiv UEFA coificient.

This will be the 50th edition of the Europa League which was formerly known as the UEFA Cup and underwent a rebrand in 2009. Holders Sevilla are the 'kings' of this tournament having lifted the trophy for a record six times with all the wins coming this century...2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020. 

Here are the 48 participating sides:

ESP (3): Villarreal, Real Sociedad, Granada
ENG (3): Leicester, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur
ITA (3): Napoli, Roma, AC Milan
BEL (3): Royal Antwerp, Gent, Standard Liège
NED (3): Feyenoord, AZ Alkmaar, PSV Eindhoven
AUT (3): Wolfsberg, Rapid Wien, LASK
CZE (3): Sparta Praha, Slavia Praha, Slovan Liberec
GER (2): Leverkusen, Hoffenheim
FRA (2): LOSC, Nice
POR (2): Braga, Benfica
SCO (2): Celtic, Rangers
CRO (2): Dinamo Zagreb, Rijeka
GRE (2): PAOK, AEK Athens
ISR (2): Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Hapoel Beer-Sheva
BUL (2): Ludogorets, CSKA-Sofia
RUS (1): CSKA Moscow
UKR (1): Zorya Luhansk
TUR (1): Sivasspor
CYP (1): Omonoia
SUI (1): Young Boys
SRB (1): Red Star Belgrade
NOR (1): Molde
AZE (1): Qarabağ
ROU (1): CFR Cluj
POL (1): Lech Poznań
IRL (1): Dundalk

48 sides are split into four tiered pots and they will go onto compose the 12 groups from A-L

Hello and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of the group stage draw for the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League with proceedings commencing in UEFA's Nyon HQ at 1300 CEST.

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