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Europa League: Liverpool get favourable draw as Brighton faces Ajax, Marseille

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Liverpool were handed a kind draw on Friday for this season’s Europa League group stage while their Premier League rivals Brighton and Hove Albion can look forward to meeting European giants Ajax and Marseille in their first-ever foray into continental competition.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds will play LASK of Austria, Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium and French Cup holders Toulouse in Group E.

The Anfield club are appearing in the Europa League for the first time since 2015/16, when they lost the final to Sevilla, after finishing fifth in last season’s Premier League.

Brighton finished sixth domestically last season to qualify for Europe for the first time in their history and have been rewarded with a glamour draw in Group B.

Following their defeat to PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League play-offs, 2022 Europa League runners-up Rangers were drawn in Group C with Real Betis, Czech champions Sparta Prague and Aris Limassol, the Cypriot title-holders.

Jose Mourinho’s Roma, who lost last season’s final on penalties to Sevilla, will play Slavia Prague, Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova and Servette of Geneva in Group G.

The first round of group-stage matches will be played on 21 September, with this season’s Europa League final being held in Dublin on 22 May 2024.

The draw for this season’s UEFA Europa League group stage, made in Monaco on Friday:

Group A: West Ham United (ENG), Olympiakos (GRE), Freiburg (GER), TSC Backa Topola (SRB)

Group B: Ajax (NED), Marseille (FRA), Brighton and Hove Albion (ENG), AEK Athens (GRE)

Group C: Rangers (SCO), Real Betis (ESP), Sparta Prague (CZE), Aris Limassol (CYP)

Group D: Atalanta (ITA), Sporting (POR), Sturm Graz (AUT), Rakow Czestochowa (POL)

Group E: Liverpool (ENG), LASK (AUT), Union Saint-Gilloise (BEL), Toulouse (ENG)

Group F: Villarreal (ESP), Rennes (FRA), Maccabi Haifa (ISR), Panathinaikos (GRE)

Group G: Roma (ITA), Slavia Prague (CZE), Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA), Servette (SUI)

Group H: Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Qarabag (AZE), Molde (NOR), Haecken (SWE).

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