Vidi's Europa League rivals revealed

2018. szeptember. 03., 14:13   |    

Vidi's Europa League rivals revealed

English giants Chelsea, Greek club PAOK Salonika and BATE Borisov of Belarus will be MOL-Vidi's three opponents in the forthcoming group stage of the UEFA Europa League this season.

Friday's draw in Monte Carlo featured 48 teams, of which the Székesfehérvár club were one of the last to emerge. Marko Nikolic's team, which will play their home matches at the Groupama Aréna in Budapest due to their renovated Sostói stadium not being ready yet and the Pancho Aréna in nearby Felcsút not reaching UEFA's requirements, were placed in Group L.

Chelsea qualified for the group stages of the competition automatically due to their 5th-place finish in last season's English Premier League while PAOK and BATE both dropped into the Europa League group stage after suffering Champions League qualifying play-off defeats to Benfica and PSV Eindhoven.

Six years have passed since a Hungarian club last participated at this stage of the tournament, in 2012/13 when Paulo Sousa's Vidi finished behind Genk of Belgium and Basel of Switzerland in third place, still ahead of Portugal's Sporting Lisbon.

Other clubs in the draw which may attract Hungarian attention include Tamás Kádár's Dinamo Kiev and László Kleinheisler Astana, the two being drawn together in Group K along with Rennes of France and Jablonec of Czech Republic.

Elsewhere, Tamás Szantó is currently injured and his Rapid Wien team face a tough task in Group G against Spain's Villareal, Russia's Spartak Moscow and Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers, while Hungarian national team goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi will look forward to fixtures against Scotland's other traditionally dominant team Celtic with his club RB Leipzig as well as further matches against Salzburg, another club in the 'Red Bull' stable of clubs, and Rosenborg of Norway in Group B.

Europa League group fixtures will be staged on September 20th, October 4th and 25th, November 8th and 29th and December 13th, at which point the top two teams in each group will progress to the knockout stages where they will join the Champions League's third-placed teams who drop down into UEFA's secondary competition.



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