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English sides face Russian opposition in Europa League

Updated: Friday, 30 Aug 2013 16:52 | Comments

Wigan midfielder James McCarthy will face Rubin Kazan, Maribor and Zulte Waregem if he stays with the Championship club
Wigan midfielder James McCarthy will face Rubin Kazan, Maribor and Zulte Waregem if he stays with the Championship club

Swansea's Spanish stars face a daunting trip to Valencia in their first-ever Europa League group stage campaign as long-haul journeys to Russia, Moldova and northern Norway beckon for Tottenham.

After beating Petrolul Ploiesti of Romania in a two-legged play-off, Michael Laudrup's Capital One Cup champions Swansea have earned the right to play Primera Division giants Valencia, Kuban Krasnodar of Russia and Switzerland's St Gallen.

Winger Pablo Hernandez returns to the Mestalla while Chico Flores, Michu and Jordi Amat are just a few former La Liga stars plying their trade with the Swans.

Tottenham - quarter-finalists last season - knocked out Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday night and will meet Anzhi Makhachkala, who have recently sold high-earners Willian, Christopher Samba and Samuel Eto'o after a massive cut in their budget, as well as venturing east to Moldova for a meeting with Sheriff Tiraspol and to the Arctic Circle outpost of Tromso in Norway.

FA Cup winners Wigan keep the Russian flavour alive by tackling Rubin Kazan, Slovenian club Maribor and Zulte Waregem of Belgium.

The UEFA Europa League groups stage draw is as follows:

Group A: Valencia, Swansea, Kuban Krasnodar, St Gallen

Group B: PSV, Dinamo Zagreb, Chornomorets, Ludogorets

Group C: Standard Liege, SV Red Bull Salzburg, IF Elfsborg, Esbjerg

Group D: Rubin Kazan, Wigan, Maribor, Zulte Waregem

Group E: Fiorentina, Dnipro, Pacos Ferreira, Pandurii Targu Jiu

Group F: Bordeaux, Apoel Nicosia, Eintracht Frankfurt, Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Group G: Dynamo Kiev, Genk, Rapid Vienna, FC Thun

Group H: Sevilla, Freiburg, Estoril Praia, Liberec

Group I: Lyon, Real Betis, Guimaraes, Rijeka

Group J: Lazio, Trabzonspor, Legia Warsaw, Apollon Limassol

Group K: Spurs, Anzhi Makhachkala, FC Sheriff, Tromso

Group L: AZ, PAOK Salonika, Maccabi Haifa, Shakhter Karagandy

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