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Europa League draw - LIVE: Arsenal and Chelsea learn group stage opponents plus Celtic and Rangers latest

Follow live coverage of the draw from Monte Carlo, Monaco

Jack de Menezes@JackdeMenezes
Friday 31 August 2018 13:32
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Who have the English clubs drawn in the Champions League?

Arsenal and Chelsea learned their Europa League fate on Friday afternoon along with Scottish Premiership sides Celtic and Rangers as the group stage draw took place in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Arsenal, who reached the semi-finals last season before losing to eventual champions Atletico Madrid, face a nightmare schedule of long-distance trips to Azerbaijan and Ukraine after being drawn against FK Qarabag and FC Vorskla Poltava, with Sporting CP making up Group E.

But the draw has been far kinder to Chelsea, who will take on PAOK, BATE Borisov and Hungarian side Vidi.

Celtic have a testing group on their hands as stablemates Salsburg and RB Leipzig are paired together along with Rosenborg in Group B, while Rangers return to European football in Group G against Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow.

Follow live coverage of the draw below...

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When and where is the draw?

The group stage draw takes place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Friday 31 August. It will take place at midday.

How can I watch the draw?

On BT Sport 2 from midday. You can also follow live coverage and reaction right here with The Independent.

The Europa League draw takes place on Friday

What do I need to know?

48 teams are involved in the group stage: 17 teams which automatically qualified and another 21 teams which survived the various play-off rounds. There are then six teams added that lost in the Champions League play-off round, as well as four defeated in the Champions League third qualifying round.

No team can play a club from their own country.

The pots

Pot 1: Sevilla, Arsenal, Chelsea, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen, Dynamo Kyiv, Besiktas, Salzburg, Olympiakos, Villarreal, Anderlecht, Lazio.

Pot 2: Sporting CP, Ludogorets, FC Copenhagen, Marseille, Celtic, PAOK, AC Milan, Genk, Fenerbahce, Krasnodar, Astana, Rapid Wien.

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

Pot 4: Apollon, Rosenborg, Vorskla Poltava, Slavia Prague, Akhisar Belediyespor, Jablonec, AEK Larnaca, Vidi, Rangers, Dudelange, Spartak Trnava, Sarpsborg.

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Join us for live coverage of the Europa League group stage draw from 11am.

Vithushan Ehantharajah30 August 2018 13:21
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We're an hour away from the draw ceremony getting underway in Monaco, and thankfully we only have the one award to hand out in the form of the Europa League Player of the Season. Unsurprisingly, Atletico dominated the shortlist with Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin both in the running, while former West Ham midfielder Dmitri Payet is also included following Marseille's run to the final.

Once that's out of the way, we'll kick on with the draw itself with a mammoth 48 teams to come out of the hat - feels like a future World Cup, doesn't it? - with British interests throughout as both Arsenal and Chelsea are seeded in pot one, with Celtic in pot two and Rangers back in the mix in pot four.

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 11:05
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Setting the scene

It's another beautiful day on the French Riviera, with the who's who at Uefa swarming on the Principality for the second day of European draws after yesterday's Champions League fiesta. 

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 11:09
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How did they get here?For Arsenal and Chelsea, it was the simple case of finishing fifth and sixth in last season's Premier League, although that was far what they had planned as the pair missed out on the Champions League. It means a second consecutive season in the second tier for Arsenal, while Chelsea return to the Europa as they continue to yo-yo between finishing outside the top four and winning the league.

But for the two Scottish teams, it was a very different story.

Celtic were knocked out of the Champions League qualification process at the penultimate stage by AEK Athens, and managed to beat FK Suduva 4-1 on aggregate to book their place in the Europa League draw.

The big Scottish story though it the return of Rangers, who have already come through four ties to reach the group stage draw. Aggregate wins over Shkupi, Osijek, Maribor and last night Ufa sees Steven Gerrard's side take their place in Pot Four this afternoon.

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 11:22
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Want the best goals from last season's Europa League? Of course you do...

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 11:33
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Dates for the diaryMatchday one - 20 September

Matchday two - 4 October

Matchday three - 25 October

Matchday four - 8 November

Matchday five - 29 November

Matchday six - 13 December

Games in the Europa League are split between 6.00pm and 8.00pm kick-offs, and teams are also paired together to prevent them from playing at the same time from the same country. As a result, they will be kept apart in the top and bottom halves of the draw. The pairings are:

Sevilla & Real Betis

Arsenal & Chelsea

Zenit & Spartak Moskva

Dynamo Kyiv & Vorskla

Beşiktaş & Fenerbahçe 

Salzburg & Rapid Wien

Olympiacos & PAOK

Anderlecht & Standard Liège 

Lazio & AC Milan

Marseille & Bordeaux

Celtic & Rangers 

RB Leipzig & Eintracht Frankfurt

Apollon Limassol & AEK Larnaca

Rosenborg & Sarpsborg

Slavia Praha & Jablonec

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 11:39
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Our drawmaster's have been confirmed: 

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 11:42
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Here's how the pots are formed:Pot 1: Sevilla, Arsenal, Chelsea, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen, Dynamo Kyiv, Besiktas, Salzburg, Olympiakos, Villarreal, Anderlecht, Lazio.

Pot 2: Sporting CP, Ludogorets, FC Copenhagen, Marseille, Celtic, PAOK, AC Milan, Genk, Fenerbahce, Krasnodar, Astana, Rapid Wien.

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

Pot 4: Apollon, Rosenborg, Vorskla Poltava, Slavia Prague, Akhisar Belediyespor, Jablonec, AEK Larnaca, Vidi, Rangers, Dudelange, Spartak Trnava, Sarpsborg.

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 11:50
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Here we go, the ceremony is underway!

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 12:01
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We're straight in with a montage, with the best clips from last season being beamed out across the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco to those in attendance. With 48 clubs in the draw, strap yourselves in - it's going to be a long one.

Jack de Menezes31 August 2018 12:03

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