The draw for the Europa League was made on Friday afternoon. Bayer Leverkusen had the luck of the draw and Freiburg also have a good chance of progressing.
Bayer Leverkusen found themselves in pot one and could therefore hope for feasible tasks. Indeed, the Werkself could not complain: In Group H, the 2022/23 semi-finalists were drawn with Azerbaijani club Qarabag Agdam, joined by Molde FK (Norway) and BK Häcken, the team from Gothenburg, Sweden. “Our goal can only be to win the group,” said Bayer managing director Fernando Carro plainly.
And Freiburg? The Breisgau side landed in pot three and will face Conference League winners West Ham United, Olympiakos Piraeus and Serbian club TSC Backa Topola in Group A. The Streich team had already faced Piraeus in the previous round.
With Liverpool, a perceived Champions League team also found itself in the draw pots. Jürgen Klopp’s team should have no problems in Group E. Linzer ASK, Union Saint-Gilloise from Belgium and FC Toulouse (France) will make an appearance at Anfield Road.
High-fliers in Group B
Group B, on the other hand, is a tough one, with Ajax Amsterdam, Olympique Marseille, Brighton & Hove Albion and AEK Athens all battling it out for a place in the next round. Group C is also a tough one with Glasgow Rangers, Real Betis, Sparta Prague and Aris Limassol from Cyprus.
Roma, with their recently signed newcomer Romelu Lukaku, were also a big fish in the pot. The Giallorossi will face Slavia Prague, Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova) and Servette Geneva in Group G.
The group stage begins on 21 September and ends on 14 December. The group winners will advance directly to the round of 16 (7 and 14 March), while the runners-up will have to play a play-off round against a group third from the Champions League (15 and 22 February). The third-placed teams are relegated to the Conference League. The final of the Europa League takes place on 22 May in Dublin (Ireland).