How strong do English trio look after Europa League draw?

Arsenal
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is reportedly set to promote Freddie Ljungberg to the club's first-team coaching staff.

With the Europa League groups confirmed for the 2019/20 competition, how are the three English participants shaping up?

Arsenal – Group F

Drawn out of Pot One, last season’s runners-up Arsenal, who lost 4-1 to Chelsea in May’s final at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, have been handed arguably the toughest draw out of the Premier League trio.

The Gunners will take on Eintracht Frankfurt, who reached the semi-finals during the 2018/19 event, Belgium outfit Standard Liege and Portuguese side Vitoria, who had to come through three qualifying rounds to reach the group.

It is a potentially tricky draw for Unai Emery’s men but the London club have still been installed as one of the favourites to win the competition, having come so close in the previous campaign.

Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted eight Europa League goals last season, topping Arsenal’s scoring charts in the competition, and he will be crucial to the chances of success once again.

Tournament Prediction – Semi-finals

Wolverhampton Wanderers – Group K

Wolves are looking forward to their first European campaign since 1980 – when they were knocked out in the first round of the UEFA Cup – and they appear to have a good chance of progressing into the knockout stages.

A trip to Turkish side Besiktas looks to be the hardest clash on paper, with further matches against Braga and Slovan Bratislava also pencilled into the fixture list to wrap up Group K.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have already come through three qualifying rounds to make this stage of the competition and they showed real grit when dispatching Torino 5-3 on aggregate in the play-off round.

Squad size could potentially become an issue for the Black Country outfit, who have looked a little leggy already in the Premier League, and this may dictate how far they can go in the competition.

Tournament Prediction – Last 16

Manchester United – Group L

Top seeds in the final group, 20-time English champions United are favourites to go through as winners of Pool L but they will face some potentially tricky trips this season.

The 2017 winners face a 6,000-mile round trip to play Astana in Kazakhstan, while they will also have to travel to Serbia to face Partizan Belgrade and Holland for a clash against AZ Alkmaar.

Having started their Premier League campaign unconvincingly, winning the Europa League could be the best chance for the Red Devils to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Ole Gunnar Solskajer has trimmed down his squad, sanctioning loan or permanent exits for Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling, but he has put a lot of faith in youth this season.

It will be interesting to see how far they go but you can never rule out United when it comes to European football, just ask Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Tournament Prediction – Semi-finals

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Two Scottish sides have also made it to the group stage, boosting the British interest. Celtic are in Group E alongside Lazio, Rennes and Cluj, while Rangers face Porto, Young Boys and Feyenoord in Group G.

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