Arsenal and Chelsea learn their Europa League fate

  •  PA Sport

Arsenal will take on Sporting Lisbon in the group stage of the Europa League.

The Gunners, last season’s semi-finalists, were drawn in Group E alongside the Portuguese club, Azerbaijan champions Qarabag and Ukrainian outfit Vorskla.

Portuguese club Sporting have started their domestic campaign unbeaten despite a troublesome summer that saw seven players cancel their contracts following an attack by fans at the training ground last season.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has won the competition three times as manager of Sevilla, and would have seen how the Gunners fared in the tournament last year, just falling short after a two-legged defeat to Atletico Madrid in the semis.

It was Atletico who went on to win the competition last year, cementing their place in the Champions League for this season.

As for Chelsea, they face some long trips on their return to Europe’s second-tier competition for the first time since they lifted the trophy in 2013.

Maurizio Sarri’s Blues have been drawn with Greek side PAOK, Belarusian champions BATE Borisov and Hungarian title winners Vidi in Group L.

The Premier League isn’t the only British league representing, however, this season, as Scotland have two participants in Celtic and Rangers.

The Scottish giants both face difficult draws as they aim to negotiate the group stages.

Celtic are in Group B with Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg, Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and Norwegian title holders Rosenborg, who the Celts beat in a Champions League qualifier this summer.

Rangers are back in a European group stage for the first time since the 2010-11 Champions League following their play-off win against Ufa.

Steven Gerrard’s men will return to Russia to face Spartak Moscow in Group G, which also contains La Liga side Villarreal and Austrian’s Rapid Vienna.

The final of this season’s Europa League takes place in Baku on May 29.

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