OLE’S UNITED FACE KAZAKH CHALLENGE
Paris: Manchester United and last year’s finalists Arsenal headline an English trio that also features Europa League newcomers Wolves while record five-time champions Sevilla figure to be among the primary contenders as the group stage begins Thursday. Roma and Lazio bid to end Italy’s two-decade wait for the title. Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord are the other former European Cup winners in this competition.
United, Europa League winners in 2017, will host Astana in Group L as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side face opponents from Kazakhstan for the first time in club history. Unai Emery’s Arsenal visit Eintracht Frankfurt to kick off their campaign. Wolves, in their first European campaign since 1980, will meet Portuguese club Braga in their opening game at Molineux. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team came through three ties just to reach the group stage. They beat Torino 5-3 on aggregate in the play-offs. Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are at home to Jaap Stam’s Feyenoord.