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Europa League draw: Who can Chelsea face in the first knockout round?

Laurence Griffiths

I know you're all just dying to know who we can draw in the Europa League -- the draw's in twelve hours or thereabouts, right after some other tournament that isn't nearly so big a deal. Or something. Here is a table which shows you who can draw who tomorrow:

The eight teams falling from the Champions League are split into two groups -- one deemed to be equivalent to a group winner and the other put in the pot with the runners up. Fortunately, Chelsea were one of the 'seeded' teams, which means that we're... actually wait there's a bunch of good teams in the unseeded group.

We avoid Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United on account of us all being English, but we could still get Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Borussia Monchengladback, a scary trip to Anzhi Makhachkala or Zenit St. Petersburg, etc. There's no match in which Chelsea wouldn't be favoured, but similarly there are very few genuinely 'easy' draws. FC Basel without Granit Xhaka and Zhedran Shaqiri don't frighten me much, and nor do Sparta Prague, but there's a very good chance of us getting a fairly tricky draw.

Which will just make this competition worth watching, I suppose. Who would you all most like to see Chelsea face off against? Least? Do you even care?

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