Europa League draw: Arsenal, Chelsea, Rangers await group opponents

Chelsea won the Europa League in 2013
Chelsea are in the Europa League for the first time since winning the competition in 2013

Arsenal, Chelsea, Celtic and Rangers will discover their Europa League group stage opponents in Friday's draw.

The draw takes place in Monaco at 12:00 BST.

Arsenal and Chelsea, who both qualified automatically for the group stages, are the highest-ranked sides in the competition behind Sevilla.

Steven Gerrard's Rangers had to come through four rounds of Europa League qualifying, while Celtic lost in the Champions League qualifiers.

Rangers beat Ufa 2-1 on aggregate in Thursday's play-off, with Celtic beating Suduva 4-1 over two legs.

Burnley lost 4-2 on aggregate to Olympiakos to miss out on the group stages.

A total of 48 teams make up the draw, split into 12 groups of four. Clubs from the same nation cannot be drawn together at this stage - although a Scottish and English team could be in the same group.

Teams involved in the draw

Seventeen teams enter at the group stage along with the 21 winners of the play-off round. The six losers of this week's Champions League play-off round also feature in the group draw, as well as four beaten teams in the previous round.

High-profile teams in the draw include Sevilla, AC Milan, Lazio, Marseille, Besiktas, Sporting Lisbon, Zenit St Petersburg and RB Leipzig - who only qualified following a last-minute Emil Forsberg penalty against Zorya Luhansk in the play-off.

Among the smaller teams are F91 Dudelange, the first Luxembourg team to reach the main stages of a European competition since 1995.

Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08 and Turkish Cup winners Akhisar Belediyespor are in Europe for the first time.

The 48 sides are split into four seeding pots based on their club coefficients - a ranking determined by how they have performed in Europe over the past five years - with each of the 12 groups to contain one team from each seeding tier.

Pot 1: ARSENAL, CHELSEA, Sevilla, Zenit St Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas, Red Bull Salzburg, Olympiakos, Villarreal, Anderlecht, Lazio

Pot 2: CELTIC, Sporting Lisbon, Ludogorets Razgrad, Copenhagen, Marseille, PAOK, AC Milan, Genk, Fenerbahce, Krasnodar, Astana, Rapid Vienna

Pot 3: Real Betis, Qarabag, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt, Malmo, Spartak Moscow, Standard Liege, FC Zurich, Bordeaux, Rennes

Pot 4: RANGERS, Apollon Limassol, Rosenborg, Vorskla Poltava, Slavia Prague, Akhisarspor, Jablonec, AEK Larnaca, MOL Vidi, F91 Dudelange, Spartak Trnava, Sarpsborg

How might the UK teams fare?

Arsenal and Chelsea have the second and third-highest coefficients in the tournament.

Chelsea will play in the Europa League for the first time since winning it in 2013.

Arsenal reached the semi-finals last season before losing to eventual winners Atletico Madrid.

Gunners boss Unai Emery won the tournament three times in a row with Sevilla, in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Rangers are in the group stage of a European competition for the first time since 2010-11 - which was the last season Celtic did not reach the groups of either the Champions or Europa League.

When does the football start?

The first Europa League group-stage games take place on 20 September, with clubs playing the last of their six matches on 13 December.

The knockout rounds begin in February and the final will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 29 May.

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