Another tantalizing season of one of the fiercest club football competitions in the world, the UEFA Europa League, gets underway on Wednesday night (September 15).
The competition has undergone major changes this season, starting with the reduction of the number of teams in the group stage.
The group stage will have 32 teams, instead of 48, and will be divided into eight groups of four. Each team will play the other three in the group twice (home and away).
Only the top team from each group will advance to the round of 16 while the group runners-up will have to compete with the eight third-placed teams dropping out from the UEFA Champions League groups in an additional round.
The UEL group stage begins with Russian side Spartak Moscow taking on Polish champions Legia Warsaw from Group C. Watch the UEFA Europa League live in India!
Former English Premier League champions Leicester City and Italian giants Napoli are the other two teams in Group C. They begin their European campaign against each other on Friday, September 17.
Leicester lifted their first FA Cup last season but haven’t tasted European success yet. The Foxes crashed out in the round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League last season after losing to Slavia Prague.
The other English club in the competition, West Ham United have qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time.
The 1999-2000 UEFA Europa League champions Galatasaray will be competing in Group E, along with Lazio, Lokomotiv Moscow and Marseille. Italy’s Lazio, under new manager Maurizio Sarri, are the top contenders to make it through from this group.
Spanish side Real Sociedad and France’s Monaco, who finished third in the Ligue 1 behind Lille and PSG, are also poised to make it to the next stage. Both teams are placed in Group B, along with PSV Eindhoven and Sturm Graz.
The other big names in the competition are Scotland’s Rangers FC and Celtic, France’s Lyon and Turkish giants Fenerbahce, who are led by Mesut Ozil and return to European football after two seasons.
Groups for UEL 2021-22
Group A – Olympique Lyonnais, Rangers FC, AC Sparta Praha, Brondby IF
Group B – AS Monaco FC, PSV Eindhoven, Real Sociedad, SK Sturm Graz
Group C –SSC Napoli, Leicester City FC, FC Spartak Moscow, Legia Warszawa
Group D – Olympiacos FC, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce SK, Royal Antwerp FC
Group E – SS Lazio, FC Lokomotiv Moscow, Olympique de Marseille, Galatasaray AS
Group F – SS Braga, FK Crvena zvezda, PFC Ludogorets 1945, FC Midtjylland
Group G – Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Celtic FC, Real Betis Balompie, Ferencvarosi TC
Group H – GNK Dinamo Zagreb, KRC Genk, West Ham United FC, SK Rapid Wien
Where to watch UEFA Europa League 2021-22 live in India?
Select matches of the UEFA Europa League 2021-22 season will be telecast live on the Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 3 and their respective HD TV channels in India.
Live streaming of UEL 2021-22 will be available on SonyLIV and JioTV.