Soccer-Leicester to face Napoli, West Ham draw Genk in Europa League


Soccer Football - Europa League and Europa Conference League Group Stage Draws - Halic Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey - August 27, 2021 General view of the completed Europa League Group Stage Draw REUTERS/Murad Sezer

ISTANBUL (Reuters) -Leicester City will face Napoli, Poland's Legia Warsaw and Spartak Moscow in the Europa League this season after being drawn in Group C on Friday.

City's Premier League rivals West Ham United, who are making their group stage debut in the competition, have been handed trips to Croatia, Belgium and Austria after being drawn against Dinamo Zagreb, Genk and Rapid Vienna in Group H.

PSV Eindhoven, runners-up in the Dutch top-flight last season, have been placed in a tough Group B, which also includes AS Monaco, Spain's Real Sociedad and Austrian side Sturm Graz.

Scottish champions Rangers were drawn in Group A, where they will play France's Olympique Lyonnais, Czech side Sparta Prague and Danish club Brondby, while Celtic are in Group G alongside Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros.

This season's competition involves 32 teams, down from 48 last season, but will have an extra knockout round before the last-16 stage.

European soccer's governing body UEFA has also scrapped the away goals rule, with the winners of each two-legged group tie to be decided by extra time and penalties if level on aggregate.

The Europa League final will be held at Seville's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on May 18, with the group stages scheduled to start on Sept. 16.

Following is the draw for the Europa League group stage which took place in Istanbul on Friday:

GROUP A: Olympique Lyonnais, Rangers, Sparta Prague, Brondby

GROUP B: AS Monaco, PSV Eindhoven, Real Sociedad, Sturm Graz

GROUP C: Napoli, Leicester City, Spartak Moscow, Legia Warsaw

GROUP D: Olympiakos Piraeus, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Royal Antwerp

GROUP E: Lazio, Lokomotiv Moscow, Olympique de Marseille, Galatasaray

GROUP F: Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Ludogorets, Midtjylland

GROUP G: Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic, Real Betis, Ferencvaros

GROUP H: Dinamo Zagreb, Genk, West Ham United, Rapid Vienna

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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