11:55: We’ve already seen the goal of the season, right?
That’s certainly what Ronald Koeman thinks after seeing Gylfi Sigurdsson produce a spectacular long-range lob at Hajduk Split last night.
If you haven’t seen it, go and search for it now. Honestly, I’ll wait…
11:50: How does the draw work?
It’s rather simple really. Arsenal have been entered into Pot 1, while Everton are in Pot 2. They will be kept apart until the last 16.
You want to know the worst possible outcome, right?
The Gunners could potentially face Marseille, Hoffenheim and Istanbul Basaksehir.
Everton’s group of death would be AC Milan, Hoffenheim and Istanbul Basaksehir.
11:40: Thursday, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday…
The irregular fixtures and start times seem to be the main problem with Europa League football.
But just how much will the Europa League affect Everton and Arsenal’s domestic campaigns?
Here’s a couple of statistics courtesy of Bwin that might makes things clearer.
- Teams that go from no European football to the Europa League, lose an average of 4 points – Everton have spent upwards of £100million and can’t afford to lose pace on the top
- Teams improve by 3 points when leaving Europa League to no European football – Southampton and West Ham will look to improve their league position with no midweek games abroad to focus on.
- Teams improve on average 5 points when going from Champions League to Europa League – It’s not all doom and gloom for Arsenal, as a additional 5 points would see them climb back into the top 4.
11:30: Good morning folks, welcome to our LIVE coverage of the Europa League draw.
Arsenal supporters will be unfamiliar to the Europa League format having competed in the Champions League every season since 2000.
But Everton fans know the drill.
They’ve already played four qualifying matches to reach the group stage, and understand arduous nature of the competition.
That a positive enough start? Nope, didn’t think so…
Express Sport brings you LIVE coverage of the 2017/2018 Europa League draw
Arsenal enter their first European competition outside the Champions League since 1999/2000
Everton are in pot two after last night’s aggregate victory over Hadjuk Split
Pot 1: Arsenal, Zenit St Petersburg, Lyon, Dynamo Kiev, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao, Lazio, AC Milan, Viktoria Plzen, Salzburg, FC Copenhagen, Braga
Pot 2: Steaua Bucharest, Ludogorets, BATE Borisov, Everton, Young Boys, Marseille, Real Sociedad, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Lokomotiv Moscow, Austria Vienna, Hertha Berlin, Nice
Pot 3: Astana, Partizan Belgrade, Hoffenheim, Cologne, NK Rijeka, Vitoria Guimaraes, Atalanta, Zulte Waregem, Zorya Luhansk, Rosenborg, Sheriff Tiraspol, Hapoel Beer-Sheva
Pot 4: Apollon Limassol, Istanbul Basaksehir, Konyaspor, Vitesse Arnhem, Slavia Prague, Red Star Belgrade, Skenderbeu, FC Zlin, AEK Athens, FC Lugano, Vardar Skopje, Ostersunds
Everton will be kept apart from Arsenal in the draw.
The first group stage matches will be played on September 14 and the last on December 7 with the final scheduled in Lyon on May 16, 2018.