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Spurs and Everton face difficult group stage

ESPN staff
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Tottenham eased past AEL Limassol in the Europa League qualifier © Getty Images
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Tottenham have been handed a tricky Europa League draw after being pitted alongside Besiktas, Partizan Belgrade and Asteras in Group C.

Spurs earned their place in the group stage of the competition by advancing past AEL in the play-off round, winning 5-1 on aggregate.

Mauricio Pochettino's side will be eager to do well in the Europa League this term, given that for the first time the winner of the tournament will earn a place in the Champions League for the following season.

Turkish outfit Besiktas will be confident taking on Spurs, having impressed over two legs against Arsenal in the Champions League play-off, coming close to knocking Arsene Wenger's side out.

As well as travelling to Turkey, the current Premier League leaders also face trips to Serbia and Greece, to take on Partizan and Asteras respectively.

Everton, meanwhile, face a real challenge in trying to advance past Group H on their return to Europe.

Roberto Martinez's men, competing in the Europa League for the first time since the 2009-10 season, have been drawn alongside Lille, Wolfsburg and Krasnodar.

Celtic will take on Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb and Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu, while Sevilla will open the defence of their title with Group G ties against Standard Liege, Feyenoord and Rijeka.

The Spanish side, who beat Benfica in last term's final, are aiming to win the trophy for the fourth time in 10 seasons.

Elsewhere, Italian giants Inter Milan have been drawn in Group F with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, St Etienne and Qarabag, while Napoli, who were knocked out of the Champions League play-off round by Athletic Bilbao, will meet Sparta Prague, Young Boys and Slovan Bratislava in Group I.

Group A: Villarreal, Zurich, Borussia Monchengladbach, Apollon Limassol
Group B: Copenhagen, Club Brugge, Torino, Helsinki
Group C: Besiktas, Tottenham, Partizan Belgrade, Asteras
Group D: Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Astra
Group E: PSV Eindhoven, Estoril, Panathanaikos, Dinamo Moscow
Group F: Inter Milan, St Etienne, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Qarabag
Group G: Sevilla, Standard Liege, Feyenoord, Rijeka
Group H: Lille, Everton, Wolfsburg, Krasnodar
Group I: Napoli, Young Boys, Sparta Prague, Slovan Bratislava
Group J: Dynamo Kiev, Steaua Bucharest, Rio Ave, Aalborg
Group K: Fiorentina, PAOK, Guingamp, Dinamo Minsk
Group L: Metalist Kharkiv, Trabzonspor, Lokeren, Legia Warsaw

Matchday 1: September 18
Matchday 2: September 30, October 2
Matchday 3: October 23
Matchday 4: November 6
Matchday 5: November 27
Matchday 6: December 11

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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