Europa League draw: Everton draw Benfica, Fulham play Roma
Friday 28 August 2009
Everton will face Portuguese giants Benfica in the Europa League group stage.
The Lisbon club have a strong historical European pedigree having won the European Cup in 1961 and 1962 and reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 1983.
They are no longer top dogs in Portuguese football and finished third last season behind Porto and city rivals Sporting - but should provide a tough test for David Moyes' men.
The Toffees, who beat Czech side Sigma Olomouc 5-1 to reach the group phase, will also face Greek side AEK Athens and BATE Borisov from Belarus in Group I.
Fulham face a trip to Italy to take on Roma and must also tackle Swiss side Basle and CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria in Group E.
The Cottagers overcame Russian side Amkar Perm to qualify for the group phase and now have a trip to the Stadio Olimpico to look forward to to take on Francesco Totti et al.
Celtic, who dropped out of the Champions League at the play-off stage after a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Arsenal, are up against Hamburg, Israeli side Hapoel Tel-Aviv and Rapid Vienna in Group C.
Hamburg finished fifth in the Bundesliga last season under former Tottenham boss Martin Jol, who has now returned to his homeland to coach Ajax. They are second after three games of the new season with two wins and a draw.
Rapid Vienna underlined their strength by beating Aston Villa on away goals in a play-off to reach the group phase.
The first round of matches will be played on Thursday, September 17, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the last 32, where they will be joined by the eight third-placed teams from the Champions League group phase.
Draw for the Europa League:
Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)
FC Timisoara (Romania)
Slavia Prague (Czech Republic)
Hamburg SV (Germany)
Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel)
Rapid Vienna (Austria)
Hertha Berlin (Germany)
FK Ventspils (Latvia)
AS Roma (Italy)
CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria)
Dinamo Bucharest (Romania)
Sturm Graz (Austria)
Levski Sofia (Bulgaria)
Steaua Bucharest (Romania)
Twente Enschede (Netherlands)
Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova)
AEK Athens (Greece)
BATE Borisov (Belarus)
Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)
Club Bruges (Belgium)
Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)
PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
FC Copenhagen (Denmark)
Sparta Prague (Czech Republic)
CFR Cluj (Romania)
Werder Bremen (Germany)
Austria Vienna (Austria)
Athletic Bilbao (Spain)
Nacional Madeira (Portugal)
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Emirates was the easy option for Mesut Ozil. He needs a leader - and Arsenal don't have them
Ronaldinho dream XI: John Terry, Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele are in as former Barcelona superstar names ideal side
UFC champion Ronda Rousey leaves presenter with broken ribs after he claims 'she can't compete with a man'
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his dance moves, including the moonwalk
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'