Live Updates

2016/17 Uefa Europa League group stage draw

  • Manchester United drawn with Fenerbahce, Feyenoord and Ukranian debutants Zorya Luhansk in Group A
  • FA Cup holders United, under the leadership of Louis van Gaal, lost 3-1 on aggregate to Liverpool at the last-16 stage of this competition last season after failing to advance to the Champions League knockout rounds
  • Southampton handed tricky test against Inter Milan, Sparta Prague and Hapoel Be'er Sheva in Group K
  • Claude Puel's Saints are making their first ever appearance in the group stages after finishing sixth in the Premier League during Ronald Koeman's final campaign in charge
  • They lost 2-1 to FC Midtjylland in the 2015/16 play-off round
  • Irish champions Dundalk will play Zenit St Petersburg, AZ Alkmaar and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group D
  • West Ham were absent from the draw after last night's frustrating elimination at the hands of Romania's Astra Giurgiu
Europa League trophy
Sevilla are the current holders of the Europa League trophy, having beaten Liverpool in May to retain their title Getty Images

That is all for this particular live blog, but stay tuned to IBTimes UK for a round-up and reaction.

Goodbye for now.

Here's a recap of those groups in full:


So that concludes today's draw, which has thrown up a surprisingly interesting group for Manchester United and a particularly tough looking test for Claude Puel and Southampton. Dundalk will also be racking up the air miles with trips to Russia and Israel.

Group L - Villarreal, Steaua Bucharest, Zurich, OSMANLISPOR

Group E - Viktoria Plzen, Roma, Austria Wien, ASTRA GIURGIU

Group K - Inter Milan, Sparta Prague, Southampton, HAPOEL BE'ER SHEVA

Group F - Athletic Bilbao, Genk, Rapid Vienna, SASSUOLO

Group D - Zenit, AZ Alkmaar, Maccabi Tel Aviv, DUNDALK

Group J - Fiorentina, PAOK, Slovan Liberec, QARABAG

Group I - Schalke, Salzburg, Krasnodar, NICE

Group H - Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Gent, KONYASPOR

Group C - Anderlecht, Saint-Etienne, Mainz, QABALA

Group G - Ajax, Standard Liege, Celta Vigo, PANATHINAIKOS

Group B - Olympiacos, APOEL, Young Boys, ASTANA

Group A - Manchester United, Fenerbahce, Feyenoord, ZORYA LUHANSK

We are now three-quarters of the way through today's proceedings. The fourth and final pot, featuring several Europa League debutants, will now be drawn...

Group L - Villarreal, Steaua Bucharest, ZURICH

Group F - Athletic Bilbao, Genk, RAPID VIENNA

Group K - Inter Milan, Sparta Prague, SOUTHAMPTON

Group J - Fiorentina, PAOK, SLOVAN LIBEREC

Group I - Schalke, Salzburg, KRASNODAR

Group G - Ajax, Standard Liege, CELTA VIGO

Group E - Viktoria Plzen, Roma, AUSTRIA WIEN

Group D - Zenit, AZ Alkmaar, MACCABI TEL AVIV

Group C - Anderlecht, Saint-Etienne, MAINZ

Group B - Olympiacos, APOEL, YOUNG BOYS

Group A - Manchester United, Fenerbahce, FEYENOORD

Group H - Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, GENT

So a return to Old Trafford for ex-Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

Pot three is on the way...

Group L - Villarreal, STEAUA BUCHAREST

Group K - Inter Milan, SPARTA PRAGUE

Group J - Fiorentina, PAOK

Group I - Schalke, SALZBURG

Group H - Shakhtar Donetsk, BRAGA

Group F - Athletic Bilbao, GENK

Group E - Viktoria Plzen, ROMA

Group D - Zenit, AZ ALKMAAR


Group C - Anderlecht, SAINT-ETIENNE

Group B - Olympiacos, APOEL

Group A - Manchester United, FENERBAHCE

That's it for pot one.

Pot two coming up now...







Group G - AJAX


Group D - ZENIT




Here we go with pot one...


Former Sweden defender Patrik Andersson, ambassador for the 2017 Europa League final in Stockholm, is also set to take part. After the Uefa officials have clarified the fairly tedious technical draw procedure, we should be good to begin...

Retired Spanish goalkeeper Andres Palop, who won three Uefa Cup titles with Valencia and Sevilla, is the first guest who will assist with the draw proceedings.

Your host, French-based English journalist Darren Tulett, has taken to the stage and the draw will begin after a video recap of last season's Europa League that saw record-breaking Sevilla win their fifth title and an unprecedented third in succession with a 3-1 win over Liverpool at St Jakob-Park in Basel.


Now under the management of Jorge Sampaoli, the Andalusians secured passage through to the Champions League where they have been placed in Group H alongside Juventus, Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb.

As for Dundalk, they came so close to becoming the first Irish team ever to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League after beating Icelanders FH and securing a brilliant and memorable victory over Belarusian champions BATE Borisov.

Robbie Benson
Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

That journey sadly came to an end against Legia Warsaw this week despite a hard-fought 1-1 second-leg draw in Poland that featured a terrific first-half volley from Robbie Benson, but they will look to carry that momentum into the Europa League.

Many fancied West Ham to join United and the Saints in today's draw, but a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the London Stadium last night condemned them to a play-off round exit. It is the second time in as many years that Slaven Bilic's side have fallen to Romanian champions Astra Giurgiu.

Astra Giurgiu
Alex Broadway/Getty Images

Premier League rivals Southampton, meanwhile, are set to feature in the group stages for the first time in their history courtesy of a sixth-place finish in the top-flight under Ronald Koeman last season that was coupled with United, who came fifth, winning the FA Cup.

FC Midtjylland
FC Midtjylland beat Premier League Southampton 2-1 on aggregate Getty

They almost reached this stage last year, but for a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Midtjylland in the play-off round.

Manchester United do have recent history in this competition, having been knocked out at the last 16-stage by a wonderfully entertaining Athletic Bilbao side under the tutelage of Marco 'El Loco' Bielsa in 2012.


They also entered the round of 32 last season following a dramatic late defeat to Wolfsburg that saw them eliminated from the Champions League. Louis van Gaal's side successfully recovered from a wretched first-leg defeat to FC Midtjylland in Denmark before losing 3-1 on aggregate to bitter rivals and eventual beaten finalists Liverpool.

Matches in the group stage of Europe's secondary club competition will be played across the following dates: 15/29 September, 20 October, 3 /24 November and 8 December.

Group winners and runners-up will be joined in the knockout phase by the eight teams who finish third in their Champions League groups.


Pot 1: Schalke, Zenit St Petersburg, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao, Olympiacos, Villarreal, Ajax, Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Viktoria Plzen

Pot 2: AZ Alkmaar, Braga, Salzburg, Roma, Fenerbahce, Sparta Prague, PAOK, Steaua Bucharest, Genk, APOEL, Standard Liege, St-Etienne

Pot 3: Gent, Young Boys, Krasnodar, Rapid Vienna, Slovan Liberec, Celta Vigo, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Feyenoord, Austria Wien, Mainz, Zurich, Southampton

Pot 4: Panathinaikos, Sassuolo, Qarabag, Astana, Nice, Zorya Luhansk, Astra Giurgiu, Konyaspor, Osmanlispor, Qabala, Hapoel Be'er-Sheva, Dundalk

In terms of today's format, as per Uefa, the 48 teams involved are divided into four pots of 12 depending on their club coefficient. One team from each pot will be drawn into 12 separate groups ranging from A to L.


It is impossible for two teams from the same country to be drawn against each other at this stage and clubs from Russia and Ukraine must also be kept apart due to ongoing tensions between the two nations.

Good morning and a very warm welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of the 2016-17 Europa League group stage draw from Monaco, where Jose Mourinho's Manchester United, Southampton and Irish champions Dundalk are among the 48 teams - 16 automatic qualifiers, 22 play-off round winners and 10 Champions League dropouts - set to learn their fate.

Proceedings are officially due to commence at midday, and we'll bring you details of the relevant format/pots in addition to previews and details of every group as it is drawn. Stay right there.