Friday, 2 October 2020

Celtic wto face AC Milan in Europa League

 


Celtic will come up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and AC Milan in a tough Europa League group while Rangers will face another former European Cup winner in Benfica and Friday's draw also placed Arsenal in the same section as the Irish champions Dundalk.

Celtic were in the first pot of seeds for the draw after scraping past Bosnian side Sarajevo away in the playoffs on Thursday, but they could scarcely have asked for a tougher draw than that handed to them in group H.

As well as Milan, Neil Lennon's side will take on Czech Cup winners Sparta Prague and French club Lille, who qualified automatically for the group stage after finishing fourth in Ligue 1.

Milan, the seven-time European champions, qualified by winning 9-8 on penalties away to Rio Ave in Portugal on Thursday after being rescued by a Hakan Calhanoglu spot-kick right at the end of extra time.

The Scottish champions and Milan last met in the Champions League group stage in 2013-14. They also faced off several times in that competition in the previous decade including in 2006-07, when the Italians narrowly won their last-16 tie en route to winning the trophy.

Rangers' reward for ousting Turkish giants Galatasaray in the play-offs and qualifying for the group stage for the third season running was a spot in group D with Benfica, Standard Liege of Belgium and Lech Poznan of Poland.

Steven Gerrard's side may fancy their chances of reaching the knockout phase again, after losing to Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 last season.

There were fewer glamour ties for England's representatives but all will be expected to progress.

Arsenal will play three teams who dropped out of the Champions League qualifiers in Rapid Vienna, Norwegian champions Molde, and Dundalk of Ireland.

It is Dundalk's second appearance in the group stage in five seasons and the Arsenal clash, in particular, will be a glamour tie for them.

They will hope their fans can attend the match, with Uefa announcing on Thursday that they will allow spectators back at a maximum of 30 per cent of capacity.

However, the loosening of restrictions is subject to national authorities giving the green light.

Leicester City will play Braga, AEK Athens and Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine in group G, while Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur were placed in group J alongside Bulgarian champions Ludogorets, LASK of Austria and Belgian Cup winners Antwerp.

Spurs have already travelled to Bulgaria in the competition this season, beating Lokomotiv Plovdiv 2-1 away in the second qualifying round last month.

The first round of group games will be played on 22 October. This season's final is scheduled to be played in Gdansk, Poland on 26 May.


Draw in full

Group A: Roma, Young Boys, Cluj, CSKA Sofia

Group B: Arsenal, Rapid Vienna, Molde, Dundalk

Group C: Bayer Leverkusen, Slavia Prague, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Nice

Group D: Benfica, Standard Liege, Rangers, Lech Poznan

Group E: PSV Eindhoven, Paok Thessaloniki, Granada, Omonia

Group F: Napoli, Real Sociedad, AZ Alkmaar, Rijeka

Group G: Braga, Leicester, AEK Athens, Zorya Luhansk

Group H: Celtic, Sparta Prague, AC Milan, Lille

Group I: Villarreal, Qarabag, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Sivasspor

Group J: Tottenham, Ludogorets, ASK Linz, Royal Antwerp

Group K: CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Zagreb, Feyenoord, Wolfsberg

Group L: Gent, Red Star Belgrade, Hoffenheim, Slovan Liberec



source:https://supersport.com/football/europa-league/news/201002_Celtic_face_AC_Milan_in_Europa_League_Arsenal_to_play_Dundalk

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