Football

United to face former striker van Persie

Manchester United will come up against their former striker Robin van Persie, after being placed in the same group as the Dutchman's current club Fenerbahce in yesterday's draw for the group stage of the Europa League.

Jose Mourinho's side will also come up against Dutch giants Feyenoord and Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine in Group A.

Second in the Turkish league last season to Istanbul rivals Besiktas, Fenerbahce were eliminated from the Champions League by Monaco in the third qualifying round.

They have since sacked coach Vitor Pereira and replaced him with veteran Dutchman Dick Advocaat, whose squad include van Persie and ex-Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.

United can also look forward to coming up against van Persie's hometown team and first club Feyenoord. The 1970 European Cup winners and twice winners of the Uefa Cup finished third in the Dutch top flight last season and also won the Dutch Cup.

Now coached by former Arsenal and Barcelona left back Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the Rotterdam side are captained by Dirk Kuyt, formerly of Liverpool and Fenerbahce.

The other English Premier League representative, Southampton, were given a tough draw in Group K along with Italian giants Inter Milan, Sparta Prague of the Czech Republic and Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

West Ham did not make the group stage after they lost 1-0 to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu in the second leg of their play-off yesterday morning (Singapore time) and were eliminated 2-1 on aggregate. - Wire Services.


THE GROUPS

GROUP A: Man United, Fenerbahce, Feyenoord, Zorya Luhansk

GROUP B: Olympiakos, APOEL, Young Boys, Astana

GROUP C: Anderlecht, St Etienne, Mainz, Qabala

GROUP D: Zenit St Petersburg, AZ Alkmaar, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Dundalk

GROUP E: Viktoria Plzen, AS Roma, Austria Vienna, Astra Giurgiu

GROUP F: Athletic Bilbao, Genk, Rapid Vienna, Sassuolo

GROUP G: Ajax, Standard Liege, Celta Vigo, Panathinaikos

GROUP H: Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Gent, Konyaspor

GROUP I: Schalke, Salzburg, Krasnodar, Nice

GROUP J: Fiorentina, PAOK, Slovan Liberec, Qarabag

GROUP K: Inter Milan, Sparta Prague, Southampton, Hapoel Beer-Sheva

GROUP L: Villarreal, Steaua Bucharest, FC Zurich, Osmanlispor

  • Matchday 1 is on Sept 15.
Football