The 2019/2020 season Europa League group stage fixtures will kick off on 19th September. Forty-eight teams will battle it out to earn spots in the next round. The teams have been subdivided into twelve groups (A-L) of four teams each. Twenty-four games will be played on matchday one with the next games being played on 3rd October 2019.
This year’s Europa League fixtures have some ‘big name’ teams that did not make it to the more prestigious Champions League competition. Some of the most notable teams include Arsenal, Manchester United, AS Roma and Porto. These are all teams that have previously featured in the Champions League, some even winning the coveted title.
Europa League news
- Daniel James ruled out: James has been ruled out of the upcoming Europa League clash against Astana. The player has scored three goals in five appearances for the Red Devils this season.
- Fatigue is not the cause for Wolves’ slump: Ruben Neves has insisted that fatigue is not to blame for Wolves’ current slump. The team is nineteenth in the table without a win in the five opening fixtures in the EPL.
- Arsenal’s progress is stalling under coach Unai: The Gunners have only earned two points from their last three Premier League fixtures. The optimism that surrounded Emery’s appointment seems to be subsiding, and the London club’s progress is stalling.
- New European football structure: Members of the European Club Association (ECA) will meet in Geneva to make a decision concerning the future of European football. UEFA had earlier suggested changes to the group structure. Under the proposed structure, teams would be divided into four groups of eight teams each instead of the current eight groups of four teams each.
- Emery to rest Sokratis and Ozil: Arsenal’s manager has decided to rest the two players during the Gunners’ match against Eintracht Frankfurt. The players will be rested in preparation for the Premier League match against Aston Villa.
Breaking: 38-year-old retired Chelsea goalkeeper returns to action as Frank Lampard calls for 'emergency cover'
19th September Europa League fixures
Here are the matches that will take place on match day one of the Europa League.
Apoel Nicosia vs Dudelange
APOEL Nicosia will host Dudelange at the Neo GSP Stadium in this Group A match. The other teams in Group A are Qarabag and Spanish side Sevilla. The home side has lost only two games from their recent seven fixtures.
The visitors, on the other hand, have lost three consecutive away matches. Before this Europa league encounter, Nicosia won its last game while Dudelange lost. The hosts are firm favourites to emerge with a win.
Basel vs Krasnodar
Basel will welcome Krasnodar to the St. Jakob Park in this Group C match. Krasnodar qualified for the Europa League after beating FC Porto so they cannot be written off. The hosts finished second in last season’s Swiss Super League and became the only club from Switzerland to qualify for the group stages without playoffs. Krasnodar finished third in the Russian Premier League. The other teams in Groups C are Trabzonspor and Getafe, making it a competitive group.
CFR Cluj-Napoca vs Lazio
CFR Cluj was responsible for Celtic’s exit from the Champions League. However, the team failed to perform in subsequent qualifiers and was booted to the Europa League. CFR Cluj currently leads the domestic league and will be coming into the match on the back of a morale-boosting five-nil win over FC Voluntari. The visitors, on the other hand, have gone without a win for two games in the Serie A. These include a one-all draw and a two-one loss.
Dynamo Kyiv vs Malmo
Dynamo Kyiv got demoted to the Europa League after a 4-3 loss to Club Brugge in the Champions League qualifiers. The hosts have failed to record a victory in the last four matches despite starting strongly in the domestic league. Their previous two games were a draw against Zorya and a loss to Desna. Malmo beat Bnei Yehuda by four goals to nil during the Europa League qualifiers. The team is also just two points shy of domestic league leaders, Stockholm.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal
Eintracht will be hosting Arsenal at the Commerzbank-Arena in this Group F match. Arsenal finished fifth in the English Premier League last season while the Eintracht were seventh in the Bundesliga at the end of the 2019/2020 season. Arsenal comes into the match on the back of a two-all draw with Watford while Eintracht’s last encounter ended in a loss to Augsburg.
Home advantage could prove crucial in this match as the two teams seek the first points of the 2019/2020 Europa League campaign.
FC Copenhagen vs FC Lugano
The hosts are currently on a three-game winless streak across various competitions. The team’s last two matches, against Hobro and Aalborg, ended in one-goal losses. Lugano, on the other hand, is on a worse losing streak in the domestic league. The team has not won any of their last six matches and are now second-last in the domestic standings. With such results, Lugano will have few, if any, chances of beating FC Copenhagen.
Getafe vs Trabzonspor
Trabzonspor will travel to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium to play against Getafe in the Group’s opening fixture. Getafe has not lost a home fixture for seven consecutive matches and will be firm favourites to beat Trabzonspor. The Spanish side finished fifth in the La Liga while Turkish side, Trabzonspor, finished fourth in the domestic Super Lig. Trabzonspor is unbeaten in eight consecutive away matches and will thus be a strong opponent.
Linz ASK vs Rosenborg
Linz will host Rosenborg at the Linzer Stadion in this group match. The hosts finished second in their domestic league last season. The visitors are unbeaten in four games while the hosts have lost three of their five recent matches. Rosenborg has only lost one of the last five away matches. Linz has gone without a win for the previous three matches and lost by a single goal against Wolfsberger in the most recent encounter.
Iwobi, Chukwueze to lead star-studded Super Eagles against reigning African champions Algeria (preview)
PSV Eindhoven vs Sporting Lisbon
PSV Eindhoven finished second in the Dutch Eredivisie behind champions Ajax. Sporting Lisbon finished third in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and will be expected to be a strong opponent. The teams were placed in Group D alongside LASK and Rosenborg. Eindhoven is currently on a nine-match unbeaten run.
During the 2018/2019 season, the Dutch team lost just three out of thirty-four league matches. The team scored ninety-eight goals and only conceded twenty-six.
Qarabag FK vs Sevilla
Sevilla was grouped with relatively weaker opponents in Group A. The hosts won the Azerbaijan Premier League last season and are currently undefeated in four matches. Sevilla, on the other hand, finished sixth in the domestic league last season. The hosts have been recording exemplary results in the domestic league but will face a much sterner test when they face Sevilla. The other teams in Group A are Dudelange and APOEL Nicosia.
Breaking: Liverpool announce signing of top shot-stopper after goalkeeping errors in club's 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa
Rennes vs Celtic
Rennes will host Celtic at the Roazhon Park in France as the team seeks the first win in three matches. The hosts started well in the domestic league beating the likes of PSG and Montpellier only to follow that up with a home loss to Nice. Celtic has been more than impressive in the 2019/2020 season. It is the only team in the Scottish Premiership that has won all five opening fixtures. These included wins against strong sides such as Hamilton and Rangers. Rennes will have the home advantage, but Celtic’s current form could prove too much for the hosts.
Standard Liege vs Vitoria de Guimaraes
Standard Liege will be welcoming the Portuguese side to the Stade Maurice Dufrasne in this Group F match. The hosts finished third in the Belgian First Division League with fifteen wins from thirty games. The other Group F teams are Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt. Vitoria Guimaraes finished fifth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and qualified for the Europa League on superior goal difference over league rivals Moreirense. The match should be quite thrilling considering both sides are known for their attacking flair.
KAA Gent vs St Etienne
Gent has improved dramatically this season as compared to the 2018/2019 season. The hosts are currently flying high in their domestic league and will come into this match on the back of some morale-boosting victories. Gent’s players have scored an astounding sixteen goals in six fixtures and are seemingly unstoppable on their home-ground. St. Etienne finished fourth in the French Ligue 1 but have had a shaky 2019/2020 season and will thus come into the match as underdogs.
The match will be played at Gent’s Ghelamco Arena. The teams are in Europa League Group I alongside Wolfsburg and Oleksandria.
Espanyol vs Ferencvaros
The hosts first recorded victory in the 2019/2020 season when they came from behind to beat Eibar by two goals to one in La Liga. Before that, the team had lost two out of four games. The visitors struggled after their opening day victory in the domestic league. However, they have seemingly rediscovered their form and will come into the match on the back of a two-match winning streak. The game will be played at Espanyol’s RCDE Stadium.
The team are in Group H alongside CSKA Moscow and Ludogorets.
FC Porto vs BSC Young Boys Bern
Porto missed out on a Champions League spot by a whisker last season. The Portuguese team was locked with rivals Benfica in the top spot until a few minor mishaps cost them a place in Europe’s elite competition. The team could still have played in the Champions League but got eliminated by Krasnodar in the qualifiers.
Porto will be aiming to advance past the group stages to make up for the missed UCL opportunities. However, Young Boys will not be easy opponents considering they are the reigning champions of the Swiss League. Porto could have a slight advantage of playing in front of their home crowd. The teams are in Group G together with Rangers and Feyenoord.
Ludogorets vs CSKA Moscow
The hosts welcome CSKA Moscow to the Ludogorets Arena in this Group H match. Other teams in the Group are Espanyol and Frencvaros. The hosts have not advanced past the Champions League qualifiers in a row and will, therefore, be contented at playing in the Europa League. The team is also unbeaten in the domestic league in the current season. CSKA is also on a great run, having lost twice in the last nine matches.
Monchengladbach vs Wolfsberger
Borussia Monchengladbach has just won two out of their four opening Bundesliga games. The hosts bounced back from a three-one loss to Leipzig by beating FC Koln by a solitary goal. The visitors are on an impressive four-game winning streak. Their latest match saw then demolish Austria Vienna by three goals to nil.
The two teams will be facing off in the first match of Group J. Their next opponents in the Group will be Italian side, AS Roma and Turkish club, Basaksehir.
Manchester United vs. Astana
Manchester United will welcome the reigning Kazakhstan Premier League champions to the Old Trafford. The Red Devils recently rediscovered their winning form after a disappointing defeat in the hands of Crystal Palace a few weeks ago.
Astana comes into the match bearing the confidence of reigning domestic champions. However, since the Kazakhstani league is not as superior as the English Premier League, Astana may find the atmosphere at Old Trafford too much to handle.
Partizan Belgrade vs AZ Alkmaar
Partizan Belgrade will host AZ Alkmaar at the Stadion Partizan in the second Group L match. The other teams in the Group are Astana and Manchester United. The hosts finished third in the Serbian domestic league and are currently on a five-match undefeated streak. The team has only lost once in the last ten encounters. Alkmaar comes into the match after a loss to Vitesse in the Eredivisie. The teams’ current form should make this a fascinating game.
Rangers vs Feyenoord
The visitors began their domestic campaign with three consecutive draws. However, they have since rediscovered their winning touch, and several back-to-back wins have seen the team climb to the seventh position. Feyenoord will come into this Group G match as favourites owing to the Dutch league’s superiority as compared to the Scottish league that their opponents play in.
The hosts, on the other hand, are one of the best teams in the Scottish Premiership. A series of recent wins will undoubtedly give the hosts some morale coming into the match. The other teams in Group G are Porto and Young Boys.
Roma vs Istanbul Buyuksehir
The hosts picked up their first domestic league win in the 4-2 win against Sassuolo. The Italian side is unbeaten in the Serie A in the current season. The visitors have not had much luck though, winning just one of their last four matches. Roma will be coming into the game as the firm favourites to win. Istanbul Buyuksehir’s poor form could see them struggle in their first Group J match. The other Group J teams are Wolfsberger and Borussia Monchengladbach.
SK Slovan Bratislava vs Besiktas
The hosts are the reigning champions of the Slovakian Fortuna Liga. The visitors, Besiktas, finished third in last season’s Turkish Super Lig. The hosts earned a morale-boosting win against Trnava last time out. The team had been on a seven-match unbeaten run before it was halted during the Europa League qualifiers.
The Turkish visitors will be coming into the match on the back of a 3-2 loss to Gaziantep.
Wolfsburg vs FC Oleksandria
Wolfsburg will face Oleksandria in a relatively easy tie for the Germans. The other teams in Group I are Gent and St. Etienne. Wolfsburg is one among three Bundesliga teams that are yet to lose a match in the German domestic league. The Ukrainian side, FC Oleksandria will be hoping for a positive result during their European campaign despite being the underdogs in the match. The match will be played at Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs.Braga
The hosts finished in the seventh position in last season’s English Premier League standings. They are well known for performing against big teams. However, they will be coming into this match after a 5-2 demolition by Chelsea last time out. The visitors finished fourth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and will thus be formidable opponents. The teams are in Group K alongside Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava.
Twenty-four Europa League matches will be played on the first day of the group stages. The tournament’s winner will automatically qualify for next season’s Champions League. It will be interesting to see which teams advance from the initial group stages. Some groups are relatively easy for the favourite teams, while others are quite difficult to predict the possible outcomes. Which teams do you think will make it past the first stage?