Draw for the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League group stage, made in Istanbul on Friday:
West Ham United’s second top-six Premier League finish in the Club’s 25 years in the competition – and sixth top-six finish in 102 years since joining the Football League – was a significant and historic achievement.
Not only does it mean the Hammers earned themselves a place in this season’s UEFA Europa League group stage, but it also means the Club will receive welcome revenue for their achievement from a combination of their equal share, facility fees, merit payment and overseas broadcast income.
With a European campaign to plan for alongside the Premier League, EFL Cup (West Ham enter at the third round) and FA Cup, the Irons could be looking at playing over 50 first team matches in 2021/22 so there is lots to be excited about!
Yes, it is. The re-introduction of a third European competition, the UEFA Conference League, means the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League will be a streamlined competition.
The Europa League group stage will be contested by just 32 teams, rather than the 48 who were involved last season, with eight more dropping in from the UEFA Champions League in the knockout play-off round that follows.
The initial 32 group-stage teams will be comprised of two each from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and one each from Portugal and Russia, ten winners from the Europa League Play-Off round, six teams eliminated from the UEFA Champions League Play-Off round and four eliminated from the Champions League third qualifying round (League Path).
They will be drawn into eight groups of four, with the eight group winners qualifying directly for the Round of 16 knockout phase.
The eight group-stage runners-up will contest a preliminary knockout round in ties against the eight clubs who finish third in their UEFA Champions League groups for the right to join them.
The 16 remaining teams will then be gradually whittled down to two, who will contest the final at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville, Spain, on 18 May 2022.
Group A: Lyon (FRA), Rangers (SCO), Sparta Prague (CZE), Brondby (DEN)
Group B: Monaco (FRA), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Real Sociedad (ESP), Sturm Graz (AUT)
Group C: Napoli (ITA), Leicester City (ENG), Spartak Moscow (RUS), Legia Warsaw (POL)
Group D: Olympiakos (GRE), Eintracht Frankfurt (GER), Fenerbahce (TUR), Royal Antwerp (BEL)
Group E: Lazio (ITA), Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS), Marseille (FRA), Galatasaray (TUR)
Group F: Sporting Braga (POR), Red Star Belgrade (SRB), Ludogorets (BUL), Midtjylland (DEN)
Group G: Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Celtic (SCO), Real Betis (ESP), Ferencvaros (HUN)
Group H: Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), Genk (BEL), West Ham United (ENG), Rapid Vienna (AUT)