Arsenal and Manchester United have already learn-ed their fate ahead of the Europa League group stage draw as they already know a few teams they won’t be facing when the draw is made in August.
The 2021/22 campaign is officially in the history books and teams across Europe have sealed their spot in next season’s Europa League.
Arsenal meet themselves in Europa League despite being the front-runner to qualify for the Champions League fourth spot ahead of local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, while Manchester United will be grateful to Brighton having failed to defeat Crystal Palace at Selhurst park.
Europa League Group draw: Arsenal and Manchester United learn fate.
Following AS Roma’s 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the first-ever Europa Conference League final on Wednesday night, they will be joining Arsenal, Manchester United and the 29 other teams that will be waiting to discover their fates come August 26.
As things stand, 12 teams have already qualified for the group phase. This includes Real Betis and Real Sociedad from Spain, Lazio from Italy, Union Berlin and Freiburg from Germany, Nantes and Rennes from France, Braga from Portugal and Feyenoord from Netherlands.
They’ll eventually be joined in the group stage by 20 other teams – some of which may have to endure two qualifying rounds to book their place. From there the sides will be drawn against one team from each of the eight other pots.
Although clubs cannot be drawn against teams from the same association, which means, for example, Arsenal will avoid Man United in the group stage.
Meanwhile, as revealed by ESPN’s Dale Johnson on Twitter, the Gunners also can’t be paired with Roma, Lazio or Braga as they – along with Man United – are confirmed to be in Pot 1 when the 2022/23 Europa League group stage draw commences later in the year.
Also, it has been confirmed that Benfica, Rangers and Dinamo Zagreb are guaranteed to be in Pot 1 if they drop into the Europa League by losing their respective Champions League qualifiers.
CONFIRMED: Europa League group stage draw Pot 1:
🇮🇹 AS Roma
🏴 Manchester United
Guaranteed to be Pot 1 if they drop down from the Champions League:
🇭🇷 Dinamo Zagreb
Other pots TBC on qualifiers.
Draw takes place Aug. 26.
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) May 25, 2022
As explained by UEFA’s official website and due to the World Cup taking place in the winter months instead of the summer, matchday one of the group stage gets underway on September 8, 2022 and the final matchday is slated for November 3, 2022 which means next season’s Europa League group phase will be completed in eight weeks instead of the usual 12.