Villarreal defeated Manchester United in the final of last season’s Europa League. (Pic: Getty)
The group stage draw for the 2021/22 Europa League is fast approaching.
Holders Villarreal, who beat Manchester United on penalties in the final of last season’s competition, have qualified for the Champions League this time around.
Other teams to compete in the 2021/22 Europa League include Napoli, Lazio, Bayer Leverkusen, Lyon, Marseille, Real Sociedad and Real Betis.
Here’s all you need to know about when the Europa League group stage draw takes place, what time, which teams will be in the hat and how to watch it live.
When is the Europa League draw?
For the 2021/22 Europa League competition, the group stage draw will take place at 11am (BST) on Friday 27 August.
The draw will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, a day after the conclusion of the second and final legs of the play off process to decide 10 further entrants into the group stage.
The Europa League draw happens the day after the Champions League draw.
What teams are involved in the Europa League group stage draw?
No fewer than 16 teams have secured their place in the group stage of the Europa League with the remaining 16 places to be decided in qualifying play offs this summer.
The teams already qualified for the 2021/22 Europa League group stage include:
- BEL: Genk
- CZE: Sparta Praha
- DEN: Midtjylland
- SPA: Real Sociedad, Real Betis
- ENG: Leicester City, West Ham
- FRA: Lyon, Marseille
- GER: Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen
- ITA: Napoli, Lazio
- POR: Braga
- RUS: Lokomotiv Moskva, Spartak Moskva
How does the Europa League group stage draw work?
The 32 teams in the Europa League group stage draw will be made up of 12 automatic qualifiers, 10 Europa League play off winners and 10 sides transferring from the Champions League play offs and third qualifying round.
The teams are seeded into four groups of eight based on the club coefficient rankings established at the beginning of the season.
Clubs from the same association cannot be drawn in the same group.
When are the Europa League group stage games?
Following the group stage draw for the Europa League, there will be six matchdays played between September 2021 and December 2021.
The first matches will be played on 16 September, with the second matches taking place on 30 September, followed by another game on 21 October.
There will be further matches on 4 November, 25 November and 9 December.
The group winners will progress to the Round of 16.
Group runners up will progress to the knockout stage, where they will face the third placed Champions League teams for places in the last 16.
Third placed Europa League group stage teams will transfer to the Europa Conference League knockout phase, where they will face the group runners-up for places in the last 16.
How can I watch the Europa League group stage draw live?
The Europa League draw will be streamed live at UEFA.com.