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Big names await Europa League fate

FC Porto and PSV Eindhoven are among six former European champions preparing to enter the UEFA Europa League fray when the play-off round draw takes place in Nyon today.

Big names await Europa League fate
Big names await Europa League fate ©UEFA.com

FC Porto, PFC CSKA Moskva and PSV Eindhoven are preparing to enter the UEFA Europa League fray on Friday when the draw for the play-off round takes place in Nyon, streamed live on UEFA.com from 13.30CET.

Those UEFA Champions League regulars are among 24 sides who begin their European campaigns when the first legs are played on 19 August, with the returns a week later. They are joined in the draw by 35 third qualifying round winners and the 15 losing teams from the corresponding stage in the UEFA Champions League.

Liverpool FC and Juventus sealed their passage when the second legs concluded on Thursday evening and are not the only former European Champion Clubs' Cup winners in the Friday's draw, with six holders of the continent's biggest prize preparing to make their bows. Porto are chief among them, with PSV, FC Steaua Bucureşti, Aston Villa FC, Feyenoord and BV Borussia Dortmund completing a stellar lineup.

Big-spending Manchester City FC and 2005 UEFA Cup winners CSKA Moskva are also in the reckoning, and even the lowest-ranked newcomers, Dundee United FC, have a major continental final to their name – the Scottish outfit lost 2-1 to IFK Göteborg in the 1987 UEFA Cup showpiece.

Draw format 
The 74 clubs are divided into seven groups for the draw – five of ten teams and two of 12. Within the seven groups an equal number of sides will be seeded and unseeded in accordance with the club rankings established at the beginning of the season. A ball will be taken from each of the bowls containing seeded and unseeded teams, and placed in a large empty bowl in the middle where they will be shuffled. The first club drawn will play its first match at home and sides from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

UEFA Europa League play-off draw
Group 1
PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS)Anorthosis Famagusta FC (CYP)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER)SC Tavriya Simferopol (UKR)
Paris Saint-Germain FC (FRA)KAA Gent (BEL)
FC Unirea Urziceni (ROU)Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR)
Feyenoord (NED)HNK Hajduk Split (CRO)
Group 2
FC Porto (POR)Aris Thessaloniki FC (GRE)
Galatasaray AŞ (TUR)KRC Genk (BEL)
US Città di Palermo (ITA)FC Karpaty Lviv (UKR)
FK Austria Wien (AUT)Debreceni VSC (HUN)
PFC Litex Lovech (BUL)NK Maribor (SVN)
Group 3
Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)Brøndby IF (DEN)
LOSC Lille Métropole (FRA)SC Vaslui (ROU)
Club Brugge KV (BEL)IF Elfsborg (SWE)
FC Metalist Kharkiv (UKR)AC Omonia (CYP)
SSC Napoli (ITA)FC Dinamo Minsk (BLR)
Group 4
Liverpool FC (ENG)Grasshopper-Club (SUI)
FC Steaua Bucureşti (ROU)Trabzonspor AŞ (TUR)
Celtic FC (SCO)FC Utrecht (NED)
PFC Levski Sofia (BUL)AIK (SWE)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)FK Qarabağ (AZE)
Group 5
Juventus (ITA)APOEL FC (CYP)
AZ Alkmaar (NED)KKS Lech Poznań (POL)
Getafe CF (ESP)SK Sturm Graz (AUT)
AEK Athens FC (GRE)Dundee United FC (SCO)
FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR)FK Aktobe (KAZ)
Group 6
PSV Eindhoven (NED)SK Rapid Wien (AUT)
VfB Stuttgart (GER)FC Sibir Novosibirsk (RUS)
Beşiktaş JK (TUR)CS Marítimo (POR)
Aston Villa FC (ENG)ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL)HJK Helsinki (FIN)
FC BATE Borisov (BLR)The New Saints FC (WAL)
Group 7
Villarreal CF (ESP)*FC Timişoara (ROU)
Fenerbahçe SK (TUR)PAOK FC (GRE)
Manchester City FC (ENG)Motherwell FC (SCO)
FC Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)FC Lausanne-Sport (SUI)
Odense BK (DEN)FC Dnepr Mogilev (BLR)
NK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)Győri ETO FC (HUN)

* The draw is made under the reservation of a possible appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).