Emery’s men will face off with Qarabag, Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Sivasspor; AZ Alkmaar and Rijeka complete the group of the Basque team, and PAOK and Omonia that of the Andalusians
The draw for the group stage of the Europa League has produced some quite interesting pairings for the Spanish representatives in the second European competition. The duels between Real Sociedad and Napoli, as well as those of the debutant Granada against PSV, seem like the most outstanding clashes in a draw that was kind enough for Villarreal, who should not have problems entering the knockout stages.
Villarreal was greatly benefited by being in the hype of the favorites thanks to its seed status. Those of Unai Emery were framed in Group I along with Qarabag (Azerbaijan), Maccabi of Tel Aviv (Israel) and Sivasspor (Turkey). The Spanish team should not have any problem to access the next round of the competition and do it, in addition, as first in the group, which would give them the field factor at the beginning of the next phase.
Real Sociedad is the Spanish team that has had the least fortune in the draw. Placed in pot 2, the Basque team was framed in group F along with strong Naples, a regular team in the Champions League; the AZ Alkmaar and the Rijeka. In principle, the Basque team will have to fight AZ Alkmaar for second place, although taking into account that Rijeka is a rival that presents some danger. However, Real also presents arguments to fight with Naples for the first position if it shows its best version.
Granada is celebrating after their historic qualification against Malmoe (1-3). For the first time in its 90-year history, it will be in a Europa League group stage. And to celebrate it, he will face an entire European champion such as PSV, a historical one such as Greek PAOK and a rival of less packaging complete this group E such as Omonia from Cyprus. Granada must fight PAOK to qualify for the next phase. Taking into account that he was in Pot 3, the draw was good for the interests of the Andalusian team.
In the group stage, which was joined by teams like Milan after taking more than 20 penalties to tie the break with Rio AVE, it produced interesting groups such as H, with Milan, Celtic, Sparta Prague and Lille. Tottenham will face Ludogorest, Lask and Antwerp in group J. The hype was kind to the other contenders for the final triumph in this tournament such as Roma, Arsenal, Benfica and Leverkusen.