Friday, 28 August 2009

BBC SPORT | Football | Europe | British trio discover Europa fate


"British trio discover Europa fate

Fulham, Celtic and Everton all face tricky games in the group stage
The three British clubs in the Europa League have been handed tricky draws for the group stage of the competition.
Celtic, who enter the competition after failing to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, face Hamburg, Hapoel Tel-Aviv and Rapid Vienna.
Fulham are in Group E, along with Italian side Roma, Swiss outfit Basel and Bulgaria's CSKA Sofia.
Everton play Benfica and face lengthy trips to Greece's AEK Athens and BATE Borisov of Belarus.
David Moyes' Everton defeated Czech side Sigma Olomouc 5-1 to reach the group stage.
They will face a Benfica side that has a rich pedigree in European football having won the European Cup in 1961 and 1962 and reached the final of the Uefa Cup in 1983.
But they finished third in the Portuguese league last season and despite boasting players such as Javier Saviola are no longer a major player on the European stage.
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Fulham, embarking on their second European campaign, can look forward to a match against a Roma side able to call upon Francesco Totti.
Celtic face a Hamburg outfit that finished fifth in the German Bundesliga last season under Martin Jol, who has now departed for Ajax.
'It is always good to win a competition, but it would be particularly good to become the first winners of the Europa League,' said Celtic's Head of Operations Ronnnie Hawthorn.
'Especially as we were also the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967.'
Tony Mowbray's side must also negotiate trips to Israel and Vienna, where they will take on a Rapid side that knocked Aston Villa out of the compe"

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