Europa League holders Atlético Madrid have been drawn in the same group as Bayer Leverkusen, Rosenborg and Aris Thessaloniki in the group stages of this season’s Europa League.
The draw was made today ahead of the UEFA Super Cup Final at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Diego Forlán was on hand to help with the draw. He really had trouble opening the plastic balls to reveal the team names, struggling throughout. Ironic applause greeted his efforts!
Atlético were top seeds for the draw as holders, and were drawn into Group B, later to be joined by Bayer Leverkusen, who will be strong opponents with new signing Michael Ballack.
Rosenborg were then invited to the party as third seeds, a trip north to Norway on the cards for Los Rojiblancos. Finally Greek Cup winners Aris Thessaloniki were drawn into Group B to complete our draw.
It could have been a lot tougher for Atlético as we looked certain to be drawn with big-spenders Manchester City – they could only be placed in either Groups A, B or C. Luckily they were drawn into Group A against Juventus, in perhaps the tie of the round. Completing Group A were Salzburg and Rapid Vienna.
Group J is the ‘group of death’ with Sevilla, Paris-Saint Germain and Borussia Dortmund all drawn to play each other. Karpaty will have a tough job qualifying from this group.
What do you make of our group? How do you think we will fare in the Europa League this season?