Europa League Draw 2018-19: Schedule of Dates for Group Stage Fixtures

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2018

The logo of the UEFA Europa League is displayed before the draw ceremony at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Claude Paris/Associated Press

Arsenal will face Sporting CP, Qarabag and FC Vorskla in their group for the UEFA Europa League this season following Friday's draw in Monaco.

The Gunners' Premier League rivals Chelsea will play PAOK, BATE Borisov and Vidi FC.

Sevilla, who won the Europa League three years running from 2014 to 2016, will meet Krasnodar, Standard Liege and Akhisarspor.  

See the draw in full below.

                      

Group A

  • Bayer Leverkusen
  • Ludogorets
  • FC Zurich
  • AEK Larnaca

                                         

Group B

  • Red Bull Salzburg
  • Celtic
  • RB Leipzig
  • Rosenborg

                               

Group C

  • Zenit St. Petersburg
  • FC Kopenhagen
  • Bordeaux
  • Slavia Prague

                                       

Group D

  • Anderlecht
  • Fenerbahce
  • Dinamo Zagreb
  • Spartak Trnava

                                      

Group E

  • Arsenal
  • Sporting CP
  • Qarabag
  • FC Vorskla

                            

Group F

  • Olympiakos
  • AC Milan
  • Real Betis
  • F91 Dudelange

                             

Group G

  • Villarreal
  • Rapid Vienna
  • Spartak Moscow
  • Rangers

                                   

Group H

  • Lazio
  • Marseille
  • Eintracht Frankfurt
  • Apollon Limassol

                           

Group I

  • Besiktas
  • Genk
  • Malmo
  • Sarpsborg 08

                              

Group J

  • Sevilla
  • Krasnodar
  • Standard Liege
  • Akhisarspor

                              

Group K

  • Dynamo Kiev
  • Astana
  • Rennes
  • FK Jablonec

                                 

Group L

  • Chelsea
  • PAOK
  • BATE Borisov
  • Vidi FC

                                              

The group stage fixtures will be played on Thursdays, with the dates scheduled to be September 20, October 4, October 25, November 8, November 29 and December 13.

Sporting could prove tricky opponents for Arsenal and a rival for top spot in Group E, but the Gunners should be confident of progressing ahead of Qarabag and Vorskla.

The long away trips to Ukraine and Azerbaijan will do them no favours, though:

Their recent history in Ukraine won't give them much encouragement, either:

It could be a difficult early test for manager Unai Emery, who will need to make use of his squad depth to ensure the Gunners progress while minimising the impact on their domestic efforts.

As for Chelsea, there should be little standing in their way of top spot in Group L.

Although the travelling required of the Blues isn't as demanding as Arsenal's, ESPN FC's Liam Twomey believes Maurizio Sarri will look at his youth and fringe players to see them through:

Sports journalist Stefan Bienkowski thinks Celtic might have a good chance of progressing from Group B, though colleague Ross Dunbar suggested Salzburg will be difficult opponents:

For a Celtic side that missed out on the UEFA Champions League at the hands of AEK Athens, it's far from guaranteed they'll be capable of besting the Austrian side.

As for Steven Gerrard's Rangers, Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow will give them plenty to think about. Like Celtic, they'll need to be at their best to progress.

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