Dundalk paired with Arsenal in Europa League group phase
Dundalk can look forward to a trip to London after being paired against Arsenal in the Europa League group phase.
The Irish side secured their place with a victory over Faroese outfit KI Klaksvik in the final qualifying round, and will now face the Gunners home and away in Group B.
Dundalk head coach Filippo Giovagnoli was delighted by the draw.
“It’s super-exciting. The way Arsenal play is amazing and Mikel Arteta is something special,” he told the club’s official website.
“It will be amazing to play against a coach like that. It will be a challenge, of course, but we must make sure we have fun and enjoy it.”
The other two sides in the group are Austrian club Rapid Vienna and Molde from Norway.
Celtic and Rangers were drawn against sides with great European pedigree, with the Hoops facing seven-times European Cup winners AC Milan and the Light Blues taking on two-time champions of Europe Benfica from Portugal.
Celtic, who were losing UEFA Cup finalists in 2003, will also face Czech side Sparta Prague and French club Lille in Group H.
Neil Lennon’s side dropped into the Europa League qualifiers after being knocked out of the 2020-21 Champions League by Ferencvaros of Hungary.
Rangers will face Standard Liege of Belgium and Polish side Lech Poznan in Group D, in addition to the glamour trip to Lisbon.
Gers boss Steven Gerrard said: “I would be disappointed if we don’t get out of the group because the players have shown over the last couple of years that we have got to a level in Europe that we are a tough nut to crack and we have shown amazing quality going forward as well.”
Tottenham, UEFA Cup winners in 1972 and 1984, have been drawn against Bulgarian side Ludogorets, LASK of Austria and Royal Antwerp from Belgium in Group J.
Jose Mourinho’s men secured their place in the group phase after a 7-2 victory over Israeli side Maccabi Haifa on Thursday night.
The final Premier League representatives, Leicester, will take on Braga of Portugal, Greek side AEK Athens and Zorya Luhansk from Ukraine in Group G.
Prior to the draw, Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku was named the best player in the 2019-20 Europa League.
The Belgian forward’s goals were crucial to Inter reaching the final, but his own goal proved decisive in a thrilling final defeat to Sevilla in Cologne in August.