Live Updates

Europa League play-off draw from Nyon, Switzerland

  • The Hammers have been drawn against Astra Giurgiu, who they played in the same competition last year
  • Manchester United and Southampton are already in the Europa League proper
  • Ties are to be played on 18 and 25 August
Europa League trophy
The Europa League trophy SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images

So, West Ham will face Astra again in this season's Europa League, having been knocked out in the third qualifying round by the Romanian side last year.

Still, they ought to fancy their chances of progressing to the Europa League proper, where they would join the likes of Manchester United and Southampton.

Thanks for joining our coverage of the Europa League draw in Nyon. Until next time...

Here we go with the next stage of the draw. There are some big teams set to emerge from the hat.

  • Maribor vs Qabala
  • Gent vs Shkëndija
  • İstanbul Başakşehir vs Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Slavia Praha vs Anderlecht
  • Astra vs West Ham United
  • SønderjyskE vs Sparta Praha
  • Sassuolo vs Crvena zvezda
  • Fenerbahçe vs Grasshoppers
  • Brøndby vs Panathinaikos
  • Sassuolo vs Crvena zvezda
  • Göteborg vs Qarabağ
  • M. Tel-Aviv vs Hajduk Split

The draw starts with groups 1 and 2. This does not feature West Ham.

  • Astana vs BATE
  • AEK Larnaca vs Liberec
  • Arouca vs Olympiacos
  • Dinamo Tbilisi vs PAOK
  • Austria Wien vs Rosenborg
  • AEK Larnaca vs Liberec
  • Midtjylland vs Osmanlıspor
  • Beitar Jerusalem vs St-Étienne
  • Lokomotiva Zagreb vs Genk
  • Vojvodina vs AZ

We've had a video of last season's final and Uefa officials are now trying to explain how the competition works. An unenviable task, that.

But here we go - it's time for the draw, finally...

Everyone appears to be in place for the start of the draw. Uefa are sure to go through some little promotional material before it gets under way in earnest.

Hows does the draw work?

Right, this might hurt your head, but I'm going to try to explain the set-up of the draw. You may or may not wish to ignore this, because it is confusing...

  • The are 44 teams in the hat
  • The clubs are split into four groups of seeded and unseeded teams
  • There are 10 teams in groups A and B, and 12 in groups C and D
  • The clubs can only be drawn against those from the same group

Does that all make sense? In truth, it doesn't really matter because the draw is about to start.

Sevilla are the current holders of the Europa League PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

For West Ham fans, this season definitely feels like the start of a new era for the club. They're in a new stadium and consequently, have an increasingly big budget with which to sign top players.

A run in this season's Europa League would certainly help put the club on the map for football fans on the continent. But first, the Hammers need to qualify for the tournament proper.

Dimitri Payet
West Ham's Payet thrilled in the Premier League last season and during the summer's European Championships. Getty Images

Anyway, back to the Europa League and some of other notable teams featured in today's draw include Olympiacos, AZ Alkmaar and Saint-Étienne. There are sure to be a few tasty ties thrown up as a result.

But before then, you may wish to catch up on the Champions League draw, which we covered earlier this morning.

Manchester City and Celtic both featured in the draw, as well as some other big-name clubs from across the continent.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has taken charge of City for the 2016-17 season Getty

In truth, the draw for the Europa League is a bit complicated, so I'm going to make it as simple as possible to follow.

West Ham fans, you can play one of these six sides in a two-legged tie: Astra Giurgiu (Romania), Brondby (Denmark), Grasshoppers (Switzerland), Partizani Tirana (Albania), Qabala (Azerbaijan) or Slavia Prague (Czech Republic).

The Hammers will, of course, be playing one of those games in their spectacular-looking new home...

Good morning and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of the Uefa Europa League play-off draw for 2016-17.

The event is, as ever, being staged at the Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, and there are plenty of interesting ties in the offing. There is British interest, too, in the form of West Ham United.

That being the case, stick round for live updates from the draw, which will get underway in less than half an hour.

Slaven Bilic
Slaven Bilic earned widespread plaudits during his first season in charge at West Ham Julian Finney/Getty Images