Toffees facing minefield in Europe

Everton may be returning to European football in the continent’s secondary competition, but they have been drawn in a group worthy of the Champions League, according to one of the men plotting their downfall.

Toffees facing minefield in Europe

Yesterday’s Europa League draw was unkind to Roberto Martinez’s side, who came from pot three to line up against Lille, Wolfsburg and Krasnodar.

With a side who finished third in Ligue 1 last year, one that came fifth in the Bundesliga and a gruelling journey to a distant Russian outpost, Group H is sure to be a tough ask for the Toffees between now and Christmas.

Tottenham, face top seeds Besiktas in Group C, the same side that rivals Arsenal beat 1-0 over two legs in their Champions League play-off.

Everton will not be the only side in Group H cursing their luck, with Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs, whose side travel to Goodison Park on September 18, saying: “It will not be easy. It looks a bit like a Champions League group.”

Lille striker Divock Origi has an added incentive to take down Martinez and company, having signed for Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the summer before being loaned back to his former club for one more season.

Besiktas, managed by Slaven Bilic and spearheaded on the field by former Chelsea forward Demba Ba, are Tottenham’s biggest threat in a group rounded out by Serbia’s Partizan Belgrade and Asteras Tripolis of Greece.

Tottenham beat Besiktas 2-0 at the Ataturk Stadium in the Uefa Cup group phase in 2006, Hossam Ghaly and Dimitar Berbatov scoring, and return to the scene on the final matchday, December 11.

Europa League holders Sevilla were drawn with Feyenoord, Standard Liege and Rijeka.

Hull, beaten in the play-offs, saw their conquerors Lokeren handed a gruelling schedule with matches against Trabzonspor, Legia Warsaw and Metalist Kharkiv.

UEFA Europa League group stage draw

Group A

Villarreal, Borussia M’gladbach, Zurich, Apollon Limassol

Group B

Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Torino, HJK Helsinki

Group C

Tottenham Hotspur, Besiktas, Partizan Belgrade, Asteras Tripoli

Group D

Salzburg, Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb, Astra Giurgiu

Group E

PSV, Panathinaikos, Estoril Praia, Dynamo Moscow

Group F

Inter Milan, Dnipro, St Etienne, FK Karabakh

Group G

Sevilla, Standard Liege, Feyenoord, Rijeka

Group H

Lille, Wolfsburg, Everton, Krasnodar

Group I

Napoli, Sparta Prague, Young Boys, Slovan Bratislava

Group J

Dynamo Kiev, Steaua Bucuresti, Rio Ave, AaB

Group K

Fiorentina, PAOK, Salonika Guingamp, Dinamo Minsk

Group L

Metalist Kharkiv, Tranzonspor, Legia Warsaw, Lokeren

More in this section

CourtsSoccerPlace: EuropePlace: Goodison ParkPlace: MerseysidePlace: SerbiaPlace: GreecePlace: Ataturk stadiumPerson: Roberto MartinezPerson: Klaus AllofsPerson: Divock OrigiPerson: MartinezPerson: Slaven BilicPerson: Demba BaPerson: Hossam GhalyPerson: Dimitar BerbatovEvent: Champions LeagueEvent: Europa LeagueEvent: Ligue 1Event: ChristmasEvent: UEFA CupEvent: UEFA Europa LeagueOrganisation: ToffeesOrganisation: EvertonOrganisation: LilleOrganisation: WolfsburgOrganisation: KrasnodarOrganisation: Group HOrganisation: TottenhamOrganisation: BesiktasOrganisation: ArsenalOrganisation: LiverpoolOrganisation: ChelseaOrganisation: Partizan BelgradeOrganisation: Asteras TripolisOrganisation: SevillaOrganisation: FeyenoordOrganisation: Standard LiegeOrganisation: RijekaOrganisation: HullOrganisation: LokerenOrganisation: TrabzonsporOrganisation: Legia WarsawOrganisation: Metalist KharkivOrganisation: VillarrealOrganisation: Borussia M’gladbachOrganisation: Apollon LimassolOrganisation: CopenhagenOrganisation: Club BruggeOrganisation: TorinoOrganisation: HJKOrganisation: Tottenham HotspurOrganisation: Asteras TripoliOrganisation: SalzburgOrganisation: CelticOrganisation: Dinamo ZagrebOrganisation: PSVOrganisation: PanathinaikosOrganisation: Estoril PraiaOrganisation: Dynamo MoscowOrganisation: Inter MilanOrganisation: DniproOrganisation: St EtienneOrganisation: FK KarabakhOrganisation: NapoliOrganisation: Sparta PragueOrganisation: Young BoysOrganisation: Slovan BratislavaOrganisation: Dynamo KievOrganisation: Steaua BucurestiOrganisation: Rio AveOrganisation: AaBOrganisation: KOrganisation: FiorentinaOrganisation: PAOKOrganisation: Salonika GuingampOrganisation: Dinamo MinskOrganisation: Tranzonspor

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