Yesterday saw the Champions League Group Stage draw take place but attention now switched to Europa League, where Arsenal, Celtic, Chelsea and Rangers learned who they will face in their groups.
So who has an easy group and who faces the group of death?
Celtic have given themselves a real fighting chance here of reaching the knockouts with Leipzig and Salzburg their only real threats.
Last time that Celtic and Salzburg were in same group in 2014-15, they both qualified for Round Of 32, which could be ominous.
Leipzig however will be a difficult team, coming from Bundesliga and they plus Salzburg went deep in this competition last season.
Although its difficult to predict but I can’t see Celtic escaping given their lack of squad investment over summer compared to Leipzig and Salzburg.
Prediction: Leipzig and Salzburg to progress.
It shouldn’t take much to work out which two teams will qualify here because Vorskla Poltava will be easy disposal.
Qarabag away might be a bit tricky as Chelsea found out in Champions League last season.
Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon are however streaks ahead in quality so it’s a foregone conclusion really.
Prediction: Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon to progress.
|Spartak Moscow||Rapid Vienna|
Out of groups involving British sides, this is quite possibly the group of death for Rangers because their opposition all have a strong track record in this competition.
I can’t see them getting much away at Spartak or Villarreal so the two legs against Rapid Vienna will be key to their knockout hopes.
Win both legs and getting points at home against their other two rivals is going to be vital because otherwise, I can’t see Rangers progressing from Group G.
Prediction wise, I definitely expect Villarreal to progress but its going to be tight between rest with Spartak probably edging it.
Prediction: Villarreal and Spartak Moscow to progress.
|BATE Borisov||MOL Vidi|
Maurizio Sarri will be delighted with this group as Chelsea seek to mount a serious domestic title challenge in the Premier League.
Although English teams have struggled with Thursday-Sunday routine when it comes to results, I don’t see any trouble here because the Blues should easily breeze through by end of Matchday Four.
The runner-up spot however is a tough one between BATE and PAOK, but I am going to back the latter because they have a better record in this competition than BATE.
Prediction: Chelsea and PAOK to progress.