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Europa League 2015/16 group draw: Tough pools for Spurs and Celtic

Europa League champions Sevilla won’t be able to defend their title this season, not unless they finish third in their Champions League Group D, but a number of teams will be aiming to lift the trophy and thus gain entrance to next term’s European elite competition too.

Among the 48 clubs drawn into the 12 groups vying to reach the 2015/16 final at St Jakob-Park in Basel, are British outfits Liverpool, Tottenham and Celtic.

It is the latter duo that have been given the toughest pools, with two-time UEFA Cup winners Spurs set to face French giants Monaco and Belgian outfit Anderlecht (champions in 1983) in Group J, as well as Qarabag of Azerbaijan.

The Hoops, who were beaten by Malmo in the Champions League play-offs, meanwhile, are drawn with Dutch titans Ajax, a Robin van Persie-led Fenerbahce and Norwegian champions Molde in Group A.

Liverpool (three-times UEFA Cup winners) were given a more favourable Group B, with Rubin Kazan, Bordeaux and Sion standing in their way to reach the knockout rounds.

Another intriguing Group I sees ex-Swansea City boss Paulo Sousa, now of Fiorentina, against his former club Basel, while he will also return to homeland against Belenenses. Lech Poznan make up the rest of the pool.

Other top Italian teams Napoli and Lazio, meanwhile, should come through their respective Groups D and G against Club Brugge, Legia Warsaw and Midtjylland, and Dnipro, St-Etienne and Rosenborg.

European giants Borussia Dortmund, who missed out of the Champions League this term, have been given a straightforward Group C against PAOK, Krasnodar and Gabala.

Group A
Ajax
Celtic
Fenerbahce
Molde

Group B
Rubin Kazan
Liverpool
Bordeaux
Sion

Group C
Borussia Dortmund
PAOK
Krasnodar
Gabala

Group D
Napoli
Club Brugge
Legia Warsaw
Midtjylland

Group E
Villarreal
Viktoria Plzen
Rapid Vienna
Dinamo Minsk

Group F
Marseille
Braga
Slovan Liberec
Groningen

Group G
Dnipro
Lazio
St-Etienne
Rosenborg

Group H
Sporting Lisbon
Besiktas
Lokomotiv Moscow
Skenderbeu Korce

Group I
Basel
Fiorentina
Lech Poznan
Belenenses

Group J
Tottenham
Anderlecht
Monaco
Qarabag

Group K
Schalke
Apoel Nicosia
Sparta Prague
Asteras

Group L
Athletic Bilbao
AZ Alkmaar
Augsburg
Partizan