British quartet due to discover Europa League opponents

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Chelsea, Arsenal, Celtic and Rangers will find out on Friday who they will be facing in the Europa League group stage.

The draw for the group stage, taking place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, starts at midday UK time.

Forty-eight clubs have been split equally into four pots, and the draw will see 12 groups formed containing one team from each pot, with teams from the same association being kept apart.

Chelsea and Arsenal, who respectively finished fifth and sixth in the Premier League last season, are both in pot one.

That pot also features Lazio, Sevilla, Villarreal, Bayer Leverkusen, Zenit St Petersburg, Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas, Red Bull Salzburg, Olympiakos and Anderlecht.

Scottish champions Celtic are in pot two, having been knocked out in the Champions League third qualifying round by AEK Athens and then got past Lithuania’s Suduva in their Europa League qualifying play-off.

Other teams in that pot include AC Milan, Marseille, who were beaten by Atletico Madrid in last season’s final, Sporting Lisbon and Fenerbahce.

Rangers, after overcoming Ufa in their play-off, are in pot four, which also features Slavia Prague and Rosenborg.

Pot three includes Real Betis, Red Bull Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bordeaux and Rennes.

While Celtic and Rangers secured their places in the draw on Thursday night, Burnley’s hopes of making the group stage ended as a 1-1 draw against Olympiakos at Turf Moor in the second leg of their play-off saw them lose 4-2 on aggregate.

With the Clarets knowing a 2-0 win on Thursday would send them through, Sam Vokes failed to convert two good chances and hit the post, Ashley Barnes shot just wide and Dwight McNeil was denied by a good save before Olympiakos netted through Daniel Podence in the 83rd minute. Substitute Matej Vydra replied three minutes later.

Burnley boss Dyche said: “It was an excellent performance from start to finish.

“We created so many opportunities to win the game and didn’t quite win it of course. Just to win it would have been at least what we deserved, and probably to go through, if you do take your chances – but we didn’t take our chances, and that has to be the only blot on the copy book really.

“(I was) very pleased and very proud of the players, without a doubt.”

The first group games will played on September 20. This season’s final will be on May 29 next year at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan.

As well as the draw, Friday’s ceremony will also see the 2017-18 UEFA Europa League Player of the Season award being announced – Atletico pair Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin and Marseille’s Dimitri Payet are on the shortlist.

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