Europa League draw: West Ham meet opponents with taste for Prem blood; Leicester learn fate
The Europa League draw has been held for the 2021-22 group stage, in which Leicester’s headline opponent is Napoli and West Ham will face the likes of Dinamo Zagreb, who knocked Tottenham out of last season’s competition.
This season’s Europa League has been cut down to eight groups of four, in which there will be two Premier League representatives. Leicester are in the tournament for the second consecutive season after slipping out of the top four late last season. West Ham, meanwhile, enjoyed an upwards surge and ended up coming sixth.
The reward for David Moyes’ Hammers will be games in Group H against Dinamo Zagreb, Genk and Rapid Vienna. They were a third seed for the group stage draw. That said, it seems a reasonable group.
As for Leicester, who were in pot two for the draw, clashes with Napoli, Spartak Moscow and Legia Warsaw await in Group C.
Brendan Rodgers’ side reached the Round of 32 last season and will be aiming to improve this time around. The Italian opponents will be particularly tricky, but Leicester should fancy their chances of getting through one way or another.
There are two other British teams involved at this stage of the competition; Celtic and Rangers will be representing Scotland after successfully navigating play-off ties.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have been placed in Group A along with Lyon, Sparta Prague and Brondby.
Celtic, meanwhile, will be up against Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros in Group G.
Teams who win their group will qualify directly to the Round of 16. The runners up will enter a knockout play-off against third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage to compete for a place in the Last 16. Likewise, those who finish third in their Europa League group will drop to a similar play-off in the Europa Conference League.
The Europa League gets underway on September 16th and the final will take place in Seville, Spain on May 18th, 2022.
Subscribe for free to TEAMtalk’s daily newsletter…
Europa League draw
Red Star Belgrade