AEK, Apollon Limassol Learn Europa League Group-stage Opponents

first_imgMONACO (AP) — Seven-time European champion AC Milan’s bid for a first Europa League title continues in a group with Austria Vienna, Croatian champion Rijeka and AEK Athens.Milan returns to UEFA competitions after a three-year absence, and avoided long travel for Thursday games that lurk in the 48-team draw.Arsenal, however, will go to Belarus to face BATE Borisov and also plays Cologne and Red Star Belgrade. Arsene Wenger’s team last played in the second-tier competition in 2000 when it was UEFA Cup runner-up.Tough groups included the pool of Lyon, Everton, Atalanta and Apollon Limassol, and top-seeded Lazio with Nice, Zulte Waregem and Vitesse.Zenit St. Petersburg, the 2008 UEFA Cup winner, was grouped with Real Sociedad, Rosenborg — which eliminated Ajax in the playoffs on Thursday — and Vardar of Macedonia.The top two teams in each group advance to a Round of 32 which includes eight third-place teams from Champions league groups.Games kick off Sept. 14, and Lyon hosts the final on May 16.___Full drawGroup A: Villarreal (Spain), Maccabi Tel-Aviv (Israel), Astana (Kazakhstan), Slavia Prague (Czech Republic).Group B: Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine), Young Boys (Switzerland), Partizan (Serbia), Skenderbeu (Albania).Group C: Braga (Portugal), Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), Hoffenheim (Germany), Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey).Group D: AC Milan (Italy), Austria Vienna (Austria), Rijeka (Croatia), AEK Athens (Greece).Group E: Lyon (France), Everton (England), Atalanta (Italy), Apollon Limassol (Cyprus).Group F: Copenhagen (Denmark), Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova), Zlin (Czech Republic).Group G: Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic), FCSB (Romania), Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Israel), Lugano (Switzerland).Group H: Arsenal (England), BATE Borisov (Belarus), Cologne (Germany), Red Star Belgrade (Serbia).Group I: Salzburg (Austria), Marseille (France), Vitoria Guimaraes (Portugal), Konyaspor (Turkey).Group J: Athletic Bilbao (Spain), Hertha Berlin (Germany), Zorya Luhansk (Ukraine), Ostersund (Sweden).Group K: Lazio (Italy), Nice (France), Zulte Waregem (Belgium), Vitesse (Netherlands).Group L: Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Real Sociedad (Spain), Rosenborg (Norway), Vardar (Macedonia).TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more