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Home|Football News|Europa League|Europa League 2009-2010


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Europa League

Europa League.Europa League: Ozren Podnar

The Europa League is the successor tournament to the old UEFA Cup.

The Europa League is the second most important European football competition after the UEFA Champions League.

Fulham test the holders, Everton off to Lisbon again

This season's Europa League (the rebranded UEFA Cup) promises loads of excitement from the round of 32 onwards. There are plenty of former European competition winners (Liverpool, Everton, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Sporting Lisbon, Benfica, Shakhtar, Anderlecht, Benfica, Hamburger, Werder, PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, Marseille, Juventus and Roma) and beaten finalists (Brugge, Standard, Athletic Bilbao, Salzburg, Twente and Panathinaikos) plus a newcomer to the continental elite, the mighty Rubin Kazan, the Russian champions in the last two seasons.

The English teams have had diverse luck, with Liverpool in a good position to reach the next round over Romania's champions Unirea. On the other hand, trouble lurks for Everton, who meet the other Lisbon club, Sporting, after being thrashed twice by Benfica in the group stage.

Fulham will presumably have an even tougher job against holders Shakhtar Donetsk, but their recent 3-0 win over Manchester United at Craven Cottage suggests that a triumph over the Ukrainians is not so far-fetched as the teams' international record would suggest.

Elsewhere, the matches between former European champions Hamburger and PSV as well as Ajax and Juventus should provide much emotion. The latter two have met on numerous occasions, including two Champions League finals, in 1973 (1-0 to Ajax) and 1996 (1-1 and 5-3 on penalties to Juventus).

Round of 32 draw (Feb 16-25)

Club Brugge vs Valencia
Liverpool vs Unirea Urziceni
Villarreal vs Wolfsburg
Lille vs Fenerbahce
Everton vs Sporting Lisbon
Atletico Madrid vs Galatasaray
Fulham vs Shakhtar
Athletic Bilbao vs Anderlecht
Standard Lieja vs Salzburg
Rubin Kazan vs Hapoel Tel Aviv
Hertha Berlin vs Benfica
Hamburger vs PSV Eindhoven
FC Kobenhavn vs O. Marseille
Twente vs Werder Bremen
Ajax vs Juventus
Panathinaikos vs Roma

Qualification

The trophy awarded to the winning team is the same as the old UEFA Cup. Shakhtar Donetsk from Ukraine were the last UEFA Cup winners before the rebranding of the competition.

Places in the Europa League are awarded to teams who finish in various runners-up places in the top European leagues and the winners of the main cup competitions and the league cup winners in both England and France. Places are also awarded to 3 teams who qualify from UEFA's Fair Play table. The previous Intertoto Cup has been discontinued.

Format

The current format is of 12 groups (A-L) of four teams playing each other home and away after an initial qualification stage for smaller nations' teams and teams losing out in the qualification rounds for the Champions League.

The the top two teams in each group progress to two-legged knockout rounds together with eight third placed teams from the Champions League group stage.

The 2010 one-off final will be held at HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg, Germany.



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