Europa League draw: Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur get tough test in group stage

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The draw for the group stage of the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League was made in Monaco on Friday, with both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur handed tricky tests.

[ MORE: Saints knocked out in Europa playoff ]

Spurs will face teams from last season’s UEFA Champions League in Group J as they meet Anderlecht and Monaco, while Mauricio Pochettino’s side also face a near 6,000 mile round trip to face Azerbaijan’s Qarabag.

Liverpool also have a bit of traveling in Group B as Brendan Rodgers’ side face a 5,000 mile round trip to play Russia’s Rubin Kazan, but have drawn Bordeaux from Ligue 1 and Sion from Switzerland in a more favorable looking group. Both Spurs and Liverpool crashed out in the Round of 32 last season but both have won this competition in the past, with Tottenham lifting the trophy in 1972 and then again 1984 when they beat Anderlecht on PKs, while Liverpool have won it it three times, most recently beating Alaves in extra time back in 2001.

Elsewhere the “Group of Death” — come on, there’s always one — seems to be Group A as Ajax, Glasgow Celtic and Fenerbache all square off alongside Norwegian champions Molde. As for one of the tournament favorites Borussia Dortmund, they face two monster trips to Azerbaijan and Russia as they were drawn against POAK, Kabala and Krasnodar in Group C.

The first group games take place on Sept. 15 and conclude on Dec. 10 with six group games in total as each team will play against eachother home and away. The top two teams from the 12 groups below will go through to the Round of 32 knockout stage where they will be joined by the eight third-placed teams in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Full group stage draw for the UEFA Europa League

Group A
Ajax
Celtic
Fenerbache
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 Pilzen
Rapid Vienna
Dinamo Minsk

Group F
Marseille
Braga
Slovan Liberec
Groningen

Group G
Dnipro
Lazio
Saint-Etienne
Rosenborg

Group H
Sporting Lisbon
Besiktas
Lokomotiv Moscow
Skenderbreu Korce

Group I
Basel
Fiorentina
Lech Poznan
Belenenses

Group J
Tottenham Hotspur
Anderlecht
AS Monaco
Qarabag

Group K
Schalke
APOEL
Sparta Prague
Asteras Tripoli

Group L
Athletic Bilbao
AZ Alkmaar
Augsburg
FK Partizan