The draw for the group stage of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League took place on Friday, with last season’s semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt pitted against Arsenal, and Borussia Mönchengladbach facing Roma. The Bundesliga's other representative, Wolfsburg, also learned their fate.
bundesliga.com runs you through who the German teams will face…
The 48 teams who qualified for this stage of the tournament were divided into four pots based on their UEFA club coefficients, which is a figure used to rank teams based on their previous performances in continental competition.
The teams were drawn into 12 groups of four, with one club from each pot going into each group. Clubs from the same country/association could not be drawn together. Each team will play six matches – three home and three away – between September and December. Only the top two will progress to the last 32 knockout stage.
Wolfsburg did not feature in continental competition over the past three seasons, but they are a club with good recent European pedigree. The Wolves reached the last 32 of the Europa League in 2009, and in the 2009/10 and 2014/15 campaigns they made it all the way to the quarter-finals. In 2015/16 they advanced to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League, suffering a narrow 3-2 aggregate loss against eventual winners Real Madrid.
That strong track record meant Oliver Glasner’s team were placed in Pot 1 for the draw, so they avoided heavy hitters like Arsenal, Manchester United, Porto, Roma, and Sevilla.
Belgium's Gent and French club Saint-Etienne will provide the biggest tests of their credentials, and there's also the little matter of a 2,220-mile round trip to Ukraine's Oleksandriya.
Group I: Wolfsburg, Gent (BEL), Saint-Etienne (FRA), Oleksandriya (UKR)
Gladbach boss Marco Rose is no doubt a fan of the Europa League, having guided his previous club Salzburg to the semi-finals two seasons ago and to the last 16 – as group winners with six wins from six – in 2018/19.
UEFA Cup winners in 1975 and 1979, the Foals are making their first appearance in continental competition since going out on away goals in the last 16 of the 2016/17 Europa League after a thrilling battle with fellow Bundesliga side Schalke.
Gladbach were placed in pot 2 as reward for finishing fifth in Germany last term, and joined Italian club Roma - sixth in Serie A in 2018/19 - in Group J. Turkey's Basaksehir, who were eliminated from Champions League qualifying by Olympiakos, and Austrian fairy-tale outfit Wolfsberger complete the quartet.
Group J: Roma (ITA), Borussia Mönchengladbach, Basaksehir (TUR), Wolfsberger (AUT)
Eintracht won the hearts of many neutrals on their brilliant run to the last four last season, winning all their group matches against Apollon Limassol, Lazio and Marseille before beating Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Benfica in the knockout stage.
Star strikers Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller have moved on since their agonising penalty-shootout defeat against Chelsea in the semi-finals, but many of the same heroic cast – like Filip Kostic, Kevin Trapp and Martin Hinteregger – are still around. Added to that are new signings like Bas Dost, Dejan Joveljic, Dominik Kohr and Djibril Sow.
Having seen off Flora, Vaduz and Strasbourg in the qualifying rounds to reach this stage, the Eagles – placed in pot 2 – can now look forward to a glamour tie against Arsenal. Adi Hütter's charges also face Standard Liege and Vitoria - third in Belgium's Jupiler Pro League and Portuguese Primeira Liga respectively last season.
Group F: Arsenal (ENG), Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege (BEL), Vitoria (POR)
Watch: Check out some of the goals that helped Eintracht return to the Europa League
Players who played for both Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen
bundesliga.com runs you through a team of big names to have made themselves homes in both Munich and Leverkusen…
The USA's Germany-based 2022 World Cup hopefuls
Gio Reyna should feature when the USMNT kick off their World Cup campaign - but will Jordan make the grade?
Bundesliga Fantasy Team of the Season so far
No Christopher Nkunku or Sadio Mane? Find out the top performers going into the unlimited transfer window...