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UEFA Europa League group stage draw

Happy memories were revived for Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Ajax after the draw for the UEFA Europa League group stage threw up plenty of intrigue.

UEFA Europa League group stage draw ©Getty Images

Fenerbahçe striker Robin van Persie will face former sides Manchester United and Feyenoord this autumn after the draw was made for the UEFA Europa League group stage.

2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage draw
Group A: Manchester United (ENG), Fenerbahçe (TUR), Feyenoord (NED), Zorya Luhansk (UKR)

Group B: Olympiacos (GRE), APOEL (CYP), Young Boys (SUI), Astana (KAZ)

Group C: Anderlecht (BEL), St-Étienne (FRA), Mainz (GER), Qäbälä (AZE)

Group D: Zenit (RUS), AZ Alkmaar (NED), Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR), Dundalk (IRL)

Group E: Viktoria Plzeň (CZE), Roma (ITA), Austria Wien (AUT), Astra Giurgiu (ROU)

Group F: Athletic Club (ESP), Genk (BEL), Rapid Wien (AUT), Sassuolo (ITA)

Group G: Ajax (NED), Standard Liège (BEL), Celta Vigo (ESP), Panathinaikos (GRE)

Highlights: Inter's UEFA Cup hat-trick

Group H: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR), Braga (POR), Gent (BEL), Konyaspor (TUR)

Group I: Schalke (GER), Salzburg (AUT), Krasnodar (RUS), Nice (FRA)

Group J: Fiorentina (ITA), PAOK (GRE), Slovan Liberec (CZE), Qarabağ (AZE)

Group K: Internazionale Milano (ITA), Sparta Praha (CZE), Southampton (ENG), Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR)

Group L: Villarreal (ESP), Steaua Bucureşti (ROU), Zürich (SUI), Osmanlıspor (TUR)

Top ten 2015/16 Europa League goals

When are the group stage games?
Matchday one: 15/09/16
Matchday two: 29/09/16
Matchday three: 20/10/16
Matchday four: 03/11/16
Matchday five: 24/11/16
Matchday six: 08/12/16

Watch Rooney's debut hat-trick against Fener
  • In Group A, Fenerbahçe forward Robin van Persie meets two of his three former teams, Manchester United and Feyenoord.
  • Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick against Fenerbahçe on his Manchester United and UEFA Champions League debut in 2004.
  • Dirk Kuyt, now 36, spent three seasons at Fenerbahçe before joining Feyenoord last summer. He previously had six seasons at United rivals Liverpool, scoring a hat-trick against them in a 3-1 Premier League win in March 2011.
  • Shakhtar defeated Braga 6-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of last season's competition.
  • Ajax lifted the first of their four European Cups by beating Panathinaikos 2-0 in the 1971 final. The Amsterdam outfit also ousted the Greens in the 1996 UEFA Champions League semis, Jari Litmanen netting twice in a 3-0 second-leg success in Athens.
  • Fiorentina took four points from their two matches against PAOK in the 2014/15 group stage, winning 1-0 in Greece and drawing 1-1 at home.
  • Group B is composed of four teams transferring from the UEFA Champions League.
  • Both sides won their home fixture when Villarreal and Zürich went head-to-head in the 2014/15 group stage.

Where is the final?
The Friends Arena in Solna, near the Swedish capital Stockholm, which opened on 14 November 2012 with a friendly between Sweden and England. Named after an anti-bullying campaign, it is the successor to the nearby Råsunda as the national stadium. It is also the home of the Swedish national team and club side AIK Solna.

Highlights: Cruyff leads Ajax to European Cup glory against Panathinaikos