Europa League Draw: Liverpool, Tottenham and Celtic learn their group stage opponents
The draw for the Europa League group stages was made with three British sides, Liverpool, Tottenham and Celtic in the draw.
It could have been more with West Ham going out in the third qualifying round and Southampton falling at the last hurdle on Thursday evening, losing 1-0 to FC Midtjylland.
With the draw comprised of 22 sides who won play-offs, 10 sides, including Celtic, who dropped out of Champions League qualifying, and 16 sides qualifying automatically for the group stages, as Liverpool and Spurs did, The Europa League throws up some intriguing ties.
Liverpool, who were in the Champions League draw this time last season, have a long trip to Russia to face Rubin Kazan, but more time friendly fixtures against French side Bordeaux and Swiss side Sion.
Spurs' group throws up an exciting tie against Monaco. Whilst the French side no longer have the finacial clout of recent years, they are still a tough opponent at European level, and should be fighting it out with Spurs for the top spot. Anderlecht and Qarabag make up the group, and all three sides have dropped down from the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Celtic, who were disappointing in their play-off defeat in the Champions League this week, can take comfort at least in the knowledge that they will be facing Champions League quality sides in their group. Dutch giants Ajax is the standout tie, as well as a tough trip to Turkey to face Fenerbahce, with Norwegian side Molde making up the group.
Group A: Ajax, Celtic, Fenerbahce, Molde,
Group B: Rubin, Liverpool, Bordeaux, Sion,
Group C: Borussia Dortmund, PAOK, Krasnador, Qabala
Group D: Napoli, Club Brugge, Legia Warsaw, Midtjylland
Group E: Villarreal, Plzen, Rapid Wien, Dinamo Minsk,
Group F: Marseille, Braga, Liberec, Groningen,
Group G: Dnipro, Lazio, St-Etienne, Rosenborg,
Group H: Sporting CP, Besiktas, Lokomotiv Moscow, Skenderbeu,
Group I: Basel, Fiorentina, Lech, Balenenses,
Group J: Tottenham, Anderlecht, Monaco, Qarabag,
Group K: Schalke, APOEL, Sparta Prague, Asteras
Group L: Athletic, AZ, Augsburg, Partizan Belgrade,