Arsenal take on Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea are on their travels in the Europa League

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Emery's Arsenal are in Group E of the Europa League.

Arsenal will take on Sporting Lisbon in the group stage of the Europa League.

The Gunners, last season’s semi-finalists, were drawn in Group E alongside the Portuguese club, Azerbaijan champions Qarabag and Ukrainian outfit Vorskla.

Portuguese club Sporting have started their domestic campaign unbeaten despite a troublesome summer that saw seven players cancel their contracts following an attack by fans at the training ground last season.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has won the competition three times as manager of Sevilla.

Chelsea face some long trips on their return to Europe’s second-tier competition for the first time since they lifted the trophy in 2013.

Maurizio Sarri’s Blues have been drawn with Greek side PAOK, Belarusian champions BATE Borisov and Hungarian title winners Vidi in Group L.

Chelsea will be taking some long trips in this year's group stage.

Chelsea will be taking some long trips in this year’s group stage.

Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers both face difficult draws as they aim to negotiate the group stages.

Celtic are in Group B with Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg, Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and Norwegian title holders Rosenborg, who the Hoops beat in a Champions League qualifier earlier this summer.

Rangers are back in a European group stage for the first time since the 2010/11 Champions League following their play-off win against Ufa.

They will return to Russia to face Spartak Moscow in Group G, which also contains La Liga side Villarreal and Austrian’s Rapid Vienna.

The final of this season’s Europa League takes place in Baku on May 29.

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Chelsea and Arsenal await their fate in Europa League draw

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The draw for the group stage, taking place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, starting at 3pm UAE 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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Luka Modric beats Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo to UEFA Men's Player of the Year award

Simon Peach 30/08/2018
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David Beckham received the UEFA President’s Award as Luka Modric pipped Mohamed Salah to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.

Stars past and present descended on the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Thursday as Champions League groups and 2017-18 award winners were decided.

Former England captain Beckham was one of those that already knew they would leave with a trophy, having last week been confirmed as winner of the President’s Award.

The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder was given the award in honour of his medal-laden career and contribution to the game.

Following the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, Johan Cruyff and Eusebio in picking up the award, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said it “recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities”.

Fresh from shining at the World Cup, Real Madrid midfielder Modric was named 2017-18 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.

Having won the midfielder of the year award ahead of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and team-mate Toni Kroos, he beat fellow nominees Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo to the main award.

Ronaldo won the forward of the year crown, meaning Salah leaves Monaco empty-handed.

If that was not enough, the Liverpool forward was sat in front of Champions League final tormentor Sergio Ramos at the Grimaldi Forum.

Salah was forced off with a shoulder injury sustained by the Spaniard in May’s finale and the Real Madrid man was seen touching him on that shoulder after collecting the defender of the year award.

Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas won the goalkeeper of the season award and Wolsburg’s Pernille Harder was named Women’s Player of the Year.

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