Europa League Draw 2014: Full List of Fixtures and Dates for Group Stage

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2014

NYON, SWITZERLAND - AUGUST 08:  The UEFA Europa League trophy is displayed during the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League Play-off round draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football on August 8, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland.  (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

The 2014-15 Europa League group-stage draw took place in Monaco on Friday following a dramatic final round of qualifiers. A total of 48 teams were split into 12 groups of four during the draw, which threw up a number of interesting fixtures along the route to the Warsaw final.

Everton and Feyenoord were among the clubs everybody wanted to avoid in Pot C, two sides who threatened to throw up a Group of Death scenario for the higher seeded teams. Both were handed difficult draws, as noted below, per UEFA:

The full fixture list can be viewed right here.

 

Favourites

Sevilla

CARDIFF, WALES - AUGUST 12:  Denis Suarez of Sevilla runs with the ball during the UEFA Super Cup between Real Madrid and Sevilla FC at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Defending champions Sevilla have proven themselves to be a resilient team in Europe over the last few years. The Spanish club have won the Europa League (or the old UEFA Cup) three times since the 2005-06 season, building quite a reputation on the continent for pulling off remarkable results.

Last year's final win against Benfica upset the odds, but Unai Emery's team held their nerve to score each of their four penalties after holding the Portuguese favourites to a 0-0 draw after extra time. A group-stage draw with Standard Liege, Feyenoord and HNK Rijeka will put this resiliency to the test once more, but last season's winners should be confident.

Sevilla have invested well over the summer. Players such as Grzegorz Krychowiak, Ever Banega and Benoit Tremoulinas have been brought in to beef up a squad that will be ready to compete.

CARDIFF, WALES - AUGUST 11:  Sevilla FC coach Unai Emery makes a point during Sevilla FC training prior to the UEFA Super Cup match at Cardiff City Stadium on August 11, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Loan signings Iago Aspas, Denis Suarez and Gerard Deulofeu will add attacking spark and a burst of energy to Emery's forward line. Granted, key players such as Ivan Rakitic, Alberto Moreno and Federico Fazio have all secured moved away, but the boss has done well to ensure Sevilla have the quality to go all the way.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Harry Kane of Spurs celebrates scoring their first goal during the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Play-Offs Round Second Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and AEL Limassol FC on August 28, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.  (P
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino is settling into life rather easily at Tottenham. The Argentinian boss has Spurs playing incisive passing football already and will be hoping his team finally deliver on their potential in the Europa League.

Besitkas are certainly admirable opponents and will take great confidence from their two-legged Champions League qualifier with Arsenal. The Turkish side really could have squeezed through after missing chances and conceding a soft Alexis Sanchez goal to lose 1-0 on aggregate, but they'll remain focused for the clashes with Spurs.

Both Partizan Belgrade and Asteras Tripolis are favourable draws, however, giving the English club an excellent chance to underline their authority early on.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Mauricio Pochettino the Spurs manager looks on during the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Play-Offs Round Second Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and AEL Limassol FC on August 28, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by J
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Tottenham possess arguably the strongest squad of the competition. Pochettino has added to Andre Villas-Boas' £100 million invasion with players such as Eric Dier, Ben Davies and Fazio, but it's the manager's ability to improve the form of those who were previously misfiring that acts as the clearest indication of his impact.

Harry Kane netted in both qualifying legs against AEL Limassol and is becoming an influential force in Spurs' forward line.

Similarly, Erik Lamela is beginning to prove his worth after being left in the wilderness by previous boss Tim Sherwood. Lamela is working well under his countryman and has two assists in as many Premier League games this season. Paulinho also dominated against Limassol and can be expected to lead Spurs' midfield.

Pochettino's options are exhaustive. He possesses strength in depth across all positions, making Spurs a consistently deadly prospect throughout the competition. The new manager's organisation should also make a real difference after a difficult 2013-14 campaign for the north London side.

 

Dark Horses

Everton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 23, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez's Everton continue to impress. The Toffees regularly take top-four scalps in the Premier League and have a fearsome record at Goodison Park, which remains a fortress in England. Although a tough group draw pits them against Lille, Wolfsburg and Krasnodar, the Merseyside club have the togetherness and belief to put up a real challenge for the trophy.

Even so, Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports believes Everton's draw ranks among the toughest:

 

The permanent signing of Romelu Lukaku, who was linked to Wolfsburg, per Kicker-Sportsmagazin (h/t Sky Sports) is likely to be key. Everton's play is directed through the Belgian who can power his way beyond defences and hold the ball up while he waits for support. A hard-working midfield shields Martinez's back four, as Gareth Barry and James McCarthy are always ready to battle against the best.

Everton can lay down a marker for the competition by performing well in the group stage. Trips to France and Germany will suit a side who should be looking to grab all nine points on offer at home. Although journeying to Russia is a huge mid-week commitment, Martinez is shrewd enough to rotate his players accordingly.

Squad depth could be an issue for the Toffees, but a fully confident Everton side are more than capable of taking apart the competition's best.