Europa League draw: Brighton drawn with Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens

Brighton players celebrate a goal against Luton in August
Brighton are playing Euopean football for the first time in their 122-year history

Brighton have been drawn with Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens in Group B of the 2023-24 Europa League.

The Seagulls finished sixth last season, securing European football for the first time in their 122-year history.

Liverpool will face LASK, Union St-Gilloise and Toulouse in Group E, while West Ham take on Olympiacos, Freiburg, TSC Backa Topola in Group A.

Rangers are with Real Betis, Sparta Prague and Aris Limassol in Group C.

In the Europa Conference League, Aston Villa have been drawn alongside AZ Alkmaar, Legia Warsaw and HSK Zrinjski Mostar in Group E.

Aberdeen take on Eintracht Frankfurt, PAOK and HJK Helsinki in Group G.

Europa League group stage draw in full

Group A: WEST HAM, Olympiacos, Freiburg, TSC Backa Topola

Group B: Ajax, Marseille, BRIGHTON, AEK Athens

Group C: RANGERS, Real Betis, Sparta Prague, Aris Limassol

Group D: Atalanta, Sporting Lisbon, Sturm Graz, Rakow

Group E: LIVERPOOL, LASK, Union St-Gilloise, Toulouse

Group F: Villarreal, Rennes, Maccabi Haifa, Panathinaikos

Group G: Roma, Slavia Prague, Sheriff Tiraspol, Servette

Group H: Bayer Leverkusen, Qarabag, Molde, BK Hacken

Brighton face two former European champions

Brighton’s highest-ever Premier League finish last season means the Seagulls are rewarded with ties against two former European champions in Ajax and Marseille.

Ajax are four-time winners of the Champions League and won the Europa League’s predecessor the Uefa Cup in 1992, while Marseille won the Champions League in 1993.

Their group is rounded out by Greek champions AEK Athens.

Liverpool, who feature in this season’s Europa League after missing out on the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17, face last season’s third-placed Austria side LASK, Belgium’s third-place finishers Union St-Gilloise, and French cup winners Toulouse.

Reds midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, who signed from Brighton this summer in a £35m deal, could line up against his brother Kevin, who plays in defence for USG.

West Ham, who qualified for this season’s Europa League after winning the Conference League last campaign, take on Greek side Olympiacos, who finished third in the league in 2022-23.

Germany’s Freiburg, who finished fifth in the Bundesliga, and Serbian runners-up TSC Backa Topola will also face the Hammers.

And Rangers, who dropped to the Europa League after defeat by PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League play-off this week, will travel to Seville to face La Liga outfit Real Betis, as well as the Czech Republic’s Sparta Prague and Cypriot champions Aris Limassol.

Villa face Alkmaar in Conference League

In the Uefa Conference League, Aston Villa will face off with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, who lost to West Ham in last season’s semi-final.

Poland’s Legia Warsaw and HSK Zrinjski Mostar, who are champions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, join them in Group

Aberdeen will face Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt, who beat Rangers to win the 2022 Europa League final, Greece’s PAOK and Finnish champions HJK Helsinki.

Group A: Lille, Slovan Bratislava, Olimpija Ljubljana, KI Klaksvik

Group B: Gent, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Zorya Luhansk, Breidablik

Group C: Dinamo Zagreb, Viktoria Plzen, Astana, Ballkani

Group D: Club Brugge, Bodo/Glimt, Besiktas, Lugano

Group E: AZ Alkmaar, Aston Villa, Legia Warsaw, Mostar Zrinjski

Group F: Ferencvaros, Fiorentina, Genk, Cukaricki

Group G: Frankfurt, PAOK, HJK Helsinki, Aberdeen

Group H: Fenerbahce, Ludogorets Razgrad, Spartak Trnava, Nordsjaelland

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