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August 29, 2015

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Liverpool faces tricky Europa group

FIVE-TIME European champion Liverpool faces a stern test of its continental experience after drawing former domestic champion Bordeaux of France and Rubin Kazan of Russia when the Europa League group phase draw was made yesterday.

Brendan Rodgers’ side will also take on Sion of Switzerland after 12 groups of four teams were pulled out of the hat at the UEFA-hosted draw in Monaco.

Liverpool, which won the UEFA Cup, the former version of the Europa League, three times in 1973, 1976 and 2001 will face Bordeaux for only the second time after defeating the Girodins home and away during the group phase of the 2006-07 Champions League.

Bordeaux came closest to European glory in 1996 when it lost the UEFA Cup final 5-1 on aggregate against a star-studded Bayern Munich side coached by Franz Beckenbauer while Rubin Kazan reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League in 2013 when it was beaten by eventual champion Chelsea.

In other groups, north Londoners Tottenham was drawn with last season’s Champions League quarterfinalist Monaco, experienced Belgian side Anderlecht and Karabakh of Azerbaijan.

Holder Sevilla qualified for the Champions League after lifting the trophy for a record fourth time last season and was absent from the draw.

Scotland’s Celtic finds itself in a balanced Group A that includes Dutch side Ajax, Istanbul’s Fenerbahce and Norwegian outsiders Molde. Borussia Dortmund will take on PAOK of Greece, Russia’s Krasnodar and Qabala of Azerbaijan.


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