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.
Villarreal, Borussia M’gladbach, Zurich, Apollon Limassol
Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Torino, HJK Helsinki
Tottenham Hotspur, Besiktas, Partizan Belgrade, Asteras Tripoli
Salzburg, Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb, Astra Giurgiu
PSV, Panathinaikos, Estoril Praia, Dynamo Moscow
Inter Milan, Dnipro, St Etienne, FK Karabakh
Sevilla, Standard Liege, Feyenoord, Rijeka
Lille, Wolfsburg, Everton, Krasnodar
Napoli, Sparta Prague, Young Boys, Slovan Bratislava
Dynamo Kiev, Steaua Bucuresti, Rio Ave, AaB
Fiorentina, PAOK, Salonika Guingamp, Dinamo Minsk
Metalist Kharkiv, Tranzonspor, Legia Warsaw, Lokeren