Europa League

Swansea handed Valencia draw

The Europa League trophy is displayed inside the Arena ahead of the UEFA Europa League final football match between Benfica and Chelsea
The Europa League draw was made in Monaco on Friday.
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Swansea has been drawn alongside Valencia in the group stages of the Europa League, while Tottenham faces a trip to Russian crisis-club Anzhi.

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Swansea's Spanish stars face a daunting trip to back home in their first-ever Europa League group stage campaign as long-haul journeys to Russia, Moldova and northern Norway beckon for Tottenham.

After beating Petrolul Ploiesti of Romania in a two-legged play-off, Michael Laudrup's Capital One Cup champions Swansea have earned the right to play Primera Division giants Valencia, Kuban Krasnodar of Russia and Switzerland's St Gallen.

Winger Pablo Hernandez returns to the Mestalla while Chico Flores, Michu and Jordi Amat are just a few former La Liga stars plying their trade with the Swans.

Tottenham - quarter-finalists last season - knocked out Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday night and will meet Anzhi Makhachkala, who have recently sold high-earners Willian, Christopher Samba and Samuel Eto'o after a massive cut in their budget, as well as venturing east to Moldova for a meeting with Sheriff Tiraspol and to the Arctic Circle outpost of Tromso in Norway.

FA Cup winners Wigan keep the Russian flavor alive by tackling Rubin Kazan, Slovenian club Maribor and Zulte Waregem of Belgium.

The other notable groups see Italian giants Fiorentina face Dnipro, Pacos de Ferreira and Pandurii while Serie A rivals Lazio tackle Legia Warsaw, Trabzonspor and Apollon.

France's Lyon and Real Betis of Spain are joined by Guimaraes and Rijeka, as Sevilla and Germans Freiburg look to dominate Estoril of Portugal and Czech side Slovan Liberec in their group.

Shakhter Karagandy of Kazakhstan, who were beaten to the Champions League group stages by Celtic, meet AZ Alkmaar, PAOK Salonika and Maccabi Haifa.

Dutch side AZ had to finish their play-off game against Atromitos on Friday morning - progressing on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate draw - after the original tie was abandoned due to a stadium fire.

The Greek club had led 1-0 after 57 minutes on Thursday night and scored again on the resumption, but AZ's 3-1 first-leg win had guaranteed their progress.

APOEL were handed a way back into the competition as 'lucky losers' when Besiktas' exclusion for allegations of match-fixing was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Greek side join Bordeaux, Eintracht Frankfurt and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group F.

A CAS statement read: "CAS has today dismissed the appeal filed by Besiktas JK against the decision taken by UEFA to exclude it from the European Europa League 2013-14.

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"Due to the urgency of the matter, the CAS Panel has issued its decision without the grounds. The full, reasoned award will be issued as soon as possible."

Eredivisie hopefuls PSV Eindhoven challenge Dinamo Zagreb, Chornomorets and Ludogorets with Standard Liege, Salzburg, Elfsborg and Esbjerg, and Dynamo Kiev, Genk, Rapid Vienna and FC Thun also forming groups.

The top two in each group will progress to a knockout round of 32 clubs including the eight sides that finish third in the Champions League groups.

GROUP A: Valencia, SWANSEA CITY, Kuban Krasnodar, St Gallen.

GROUP B: PSV Eindhoven, Dinamo Zagreb, Chernomorets Odesa, Ludogorets Razgrad.

GROUP C: Standard Liege, Salzburg, Elfsborg, Esbjerg.

GROUP D: Rubin Kazan, WIGAN ATHLETIC, Maribor, Zulte Waregem.

GROUP E: Fiorentina, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Pacos de Ferreira, Pandurii Targu Jiu.

GROUP F: Bordeaux, Apoel FC, Eintracht Frankfurt, Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

GROUP G: Dynamo Kiev, Genk, Rapid Vienna, FC Thun.

GROUP H: Sevilla, Freiburg, Estoril Praia, Slovan Liberec.

GROUP I: Lyon, Real Betis, Vitoria, Rijeka.

GROUP J: Lazio, Trabzonspor, Legia Warsaw, Apollon Limassol.

GROUP K: TOTTENHAM, Anzhi Makhachkala, FC Sheriff, Tromso.

GROUP L: AZ Alkmaar, PAOK, Maccabi Haifa, Shakhter Karagandy.

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