Tottenham Hotspur believe they can build on the experience of last season and win the Uefa Cup this time out. Spurs were knocked out by eventual winners Seville in the quarter-finals and will kick off the new European campaign against Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta, who have former Southampton striker Marian Pahars in their ranks.
Spurs' sporting director, Damien Comolli, said after yesterday's draw: "They won their domestic cup and came third in their league so they must be a decent team. For us the Uefa Cup is a big thing and we will try to do better than last year. We were all frustrated that we didn't go through against Seville because everyone knew whoever would win that tie would probably win the competition and that's what happened."
Everton were drawn against Metalist Kharkiv from Ukraine, who finished third in their domestic league last season. Keith Wyness, the Everton chief executive, said: "They are obviously pretty handy but we are also stronger and we are focused on staying longer in Europe this season." David Moyes' side will play the first leg of the tie at Goodison Park.
Blackburn Rovers will play Greek cup winners Larissa, managed by the former Rovers winger Georgios Donis.
Rovers manager Mark Hughes said: "We are pleased with the draw, and it is not the hardest draw we could have had. Zagreb was the team in our section I think everybody would have wanted to avoid. The trip to Greece will be difficult because they usually have a vociferous crowd and the away tie will be key."
Bolton are up against Macedonian league runners-up FK Rabotnicki while Aberdeen, Scotland's only representatives in the competition, also face Ukrainian opposition in Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
Aberdeen's director of football Willie Miller said: "It's going to be very tough against Dnipro. We have to have a look at them from a footballing point of view and they are doing very well in their league. We are not underestimating them, but we've got to be confident and we have a squad of players capable of doing well in this competition."
Bayern Munich have been paired with Portugal's Belenenses, while fellow favourites Ajax were handed a first round tie against Dinamo Zagreb.
Bayern, who won the competition in 1996, missed out on a Champions League spot after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga last season. "I am happy with this draw," Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld told the club's website. "This is a tie that we will win. However, Belenenses is a team we shall not underestimate."
Ajax, the 1992 winners, have dropped into the Uefa Cup after being beaten by Slavia Prague in the final round of Champions League qualifiers.Reuse content