Europa League draw: Arsenal meet Ruud van Nistelrooy’s PSV, Man United play Real Sociedad

Arsenal meet Ruud van Nistelrooy’s PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League group stage, while Manchester United are drawn against Spanish club Real Sociedad, Moldovan champions Sheriff and Cypriot minnows Omonia.

Former United striker Van Nistelrooy has been involved in several heated altercations with Arsenal during his playing career, most notably with defender Martin Keown, when the rivalry between the Premier League sides was at its peak.

Dutch PSV were eliminated by Rangers in the Champions League play-offs, while Norwegian champions Bodø/Glimt and Switzerland’s FC Zürich completed Group A as Mikel Arteta’s side entered European competition on their return scored a favorable draw.

Bodø/Glimt beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the Europa Conference League group stage last season and were later eliminated by the Italians in the quarter-finals, but luckily for the Gunners they avoided long trips that could disrupt their Premier League campaign .

Sociedad finished sixth in La Liga last season to qualify for the Europa League and represents United’s biggest challenge in Group E. The squad boasts plenty of talent, including local captain Asier Illarramendi, who spent three years outside the club at Real Madrid and Spain international Mikel Ojarzabal. But Sweden striker Alexander Isak is close to completing a big cash transfer to Newcastle United.

Sheriff have dominated Moldovan football in recent years, making global headlines last year when they beat Real Madrid – eventual European champions – at the Bernabeu. UEFA has banned matches in the Sheriff’s region of Transnistria for reasons related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so the Sheriff must find an alternative venue for its home games.

Based in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, Omonia have a rich local history, having won 21 league titles and 15 cups. They met Manchester City in the first round of the 2008/09 Europa League, losing both games 2-1. The club was managed by former United defender Henning Berg until his sacking in February, when he was replaced by former Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

The road to this year’s final in Budapest begins on Thursday 8 September, with the group stage due to be completed in early November to make way for the Qatar World Cup.

Arsenal return to European competition after a year-long absence that saw the Gunners narrowly miss out on qualifying for the Champions League. Arsenal had fourth place in their hands but were beaten to the final qualifying place by rivals Tottenham, who received a favorable draw yesterday.

Winners of the competition in 2017, United return to the Europa League after also failing to qualify for the Champions League last season. With the busy schedule ahead of the World Cup, which starts in mid-November, new United manager Ten Hag is likely to use the Europa League group stage to give chances to players on the fringes of the first-team.

Full Europa League group stage draw

Group A

arsenal

PSV Eindhoven

Bodo/Glimt

Zurich

Group B

Dynamo Kyiv

Rennes

Fenerbahçe

AEK Larnaca

Group C

Roma

Ludogorets

Real Betis

HJK Helsinki

Group D

braga

Malmo

Union Berlin

Union Saint Gilloise

Group E

Manchester United

Real Sociedad

sheriff

Omonia

Group F

Lazio

Feyenoord

Midtjylland

Storm Graz

Group G

Olympiacos

Karabag

Freiburg

nantes

Group H

Crvena Zvezda

Monaco

Ferencvaros

Trabzonspor

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/europa-league-draw-arsenal-man-united-gruops-b2153359.html Europa League draw: Arsenal meet Ruud van Nistelrooy’s PSV, Man United play Real Sociedad

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