Swansea’s Spanish stars face a daunting trip to Valencia 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 flavour alive by tackling Rubin Kazan, Slovenian club Maribor and Zulte Waregem of Belgium.
Europa League Groups Stage Draw:
Valencia Swansea Kuban Krasnodar St Gallen
PSV Dinamo Zagreb Chornomorets Ludogorets
Standard Liege SV Red Bull Salzburg IF Elfsborg Esbjerg
Rubin Kazan Wigan Maribor Zulte Waregem
Fiorentina Dnipro Pacos Ferreira Pandurii Targu Jiu
Bordeaux Apoel Nicosia Eintracht Frankfurt Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Dynamo Kiev Genk Rapid Vienna FC Thun
Sevilla Freiburg Estoril Praia Liberec
Lyon Real Betis Guimaraes Rijeka
Lazio Trabzonspor Legia Warsaw Apollon Limassol
Spurs Anzhi Makhachkala FC Sheriff Tromso
AZ PAOK Salonika Maccabi Haifa Shakhtyor Karagandy