Leicester City and Celtic face stern tests in the Europa League group stages, after Friday's draw pitted two of the British sides against some tough opposition.

Brendan Rodgers' men meet European regulars Napoli in Group C, along with a difficult trip to the Russian capital to take on Lokomotiv Moscow and Polish champions Legia Warsaw.

Rodgers' former side Celtic, under the tutelage of Ange Postecoglou, will face the Bundesliga's Bayer Leverkusen, La Liga's great entertainers Real Betis and Ferencvaros of Hungary.


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West Ham, in the Europa League for the first time, were handed a relatively kind draw in Group H as The Hammers avoided any of the true heavyweights in this season's competition.

David Moyes' men will go up against Dinamo Zagreb, who knocked Tottenham out last term, Belgium's Genk and Rapid Vienna of Austria.

And the fourth and final British team, Rangers, are in an evenly-matched group with Ligue 1 big boys Lyon, Czech giants Sparta Prague and Brondby of Denmark.

The introduction of the Europa Conference League means there will be a revised format as the European campaign gets under way in mid-September.

Elsewhere, former Champions League finalists Monaco meet La Liga outfit Real Sociedad, the Eredivisie's PSV Eindhoven and Austrians Sturm Graz.

Group stage draw in full

GROUP A - Lyon, Rangers, Sparta Prague, Brondby

GROUP B - Monaco, PSV, Real Sociedad, Sturm Graz

GROUP C - Napoli, Leicester, Spartak Moscow, Legia

GROUP D - Olympiacos, Eintracht, Fenerbahce, Royal Antwerp

GROUP E - Lazio, Lokomotiv Moscow, Marseille, Galatasaray

GROUP F - Braga, Red Star, Ludogorets, Midtjylland

GROUP H - Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic, Real Betis, Ferencvaros

GROUP I - Dinamo Zagreb, Genk, West Ham, Rapid Vienna

With the draw in Istanbul, Fenerbahce, of the Turkish capital, were pitted against Greek giants Olympiacos, the Bundesliga's Eintracht Frankfurt and Royal Antwerp of Belgium.

There's a tough-looking Group E as Serie A's Lazio take on Russia's other representatives Lokomotiv Moscow, Jorge Sampaoli's Marseille and Galatasaray - another of the Istanbul giants.

And finally Group F, features an ecletic mix of Primeira Liga's Braga as the top seed, Serbia's Red Star Belgrade, Bulgarians Ludogorets and Denmark's Midtjylland.

Read on as BTSport.com provides a handy Q&A on everything you need to know about the upcoming Europa League group stage with info on the new format, dates of fixtures and how it relates to the new Europa Conference League.

What has changed in the 2021/22 Europa League?

The introduction of the Europa Conference League means several significant alterations for the Europa League.

The group stage will be reduced from 48 to 32 teams – eight groups of four. The eight group winners progress automatically to the round of 16.

There will be additional knockout round play-offs prior to the round of 16; these will be between the eight group runners-up and the eight third-ranked teams of the Champions League groups.

Matches will continue to be played on Thursday (other than the final), alongside UEFA Europa Conference League games.

The matches of the two competitions will in principle be equally split between the two time slots: 5.45pm and 8pm.

When are the other draws taking place for the 2021/22 Europa League?

After the group stage draw on Friday 27 August, the draw for the new knockout round play-offs will take place at 12.30pm on Monday 13 December.

The Round of 16 draw will then take place at midday on Friday 25 February 2022, while the quarter-final and semi-final draw is set for Friday 18 March 2022 at 12.30pm.

What are the dates for the 2020/21 Europa League?

Group stage

Matchday 1: September 16

Matchday 2: September 30

Matchday 3: October 21

Matchday 4: November 4

Matchday 5: November 25

Matchday 6: December 9

Knockout stages

Kncokout round play-offs: February 17, 2022 – February 24, 2022

Round of 16: March 10, 2022 – March 17, 2022

Quarter-finals: April 7, 2022 – April 14, 2022

Semi-finals: April 28, 2021 – May 5, 2022

Final: May 18, 2022 in Seville.