Spurs will face Rennes and Vitesse in the Conference League



Tottenham Hotspur will face Rennes and Vitesse Arnhem as well as Slovenian Mura in the group stage of the Europa League Premier League following Friday’s draw in Istanbul.

Spurs, who are the only English representative after finishing seventh in the Premier League last season, probably couldn’t have secured a more difficult draw in the new third tier competition.

However, coach Nuno Espirito Santo will be relieved to have avoided long trips to faraway destinations as Spurs could have found themselves drawn against opponents from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Israel.

Tottenham advanced to the group stage by beating Portugal’s Pacos de Ferreira 3-0 on Thursday to a 3-1 aggregate victory, with Harry Kane scoring twice.

Rennes, who finished sixth in Ligue 1 last season and spent € 50million ($ 58.8million) on new signings this summer, beat Norway’s Rosenborg to qualify.

Vitesse finished fourth in the Dutch Eredivisie last season. They have had close ties with Chelsea in recent years, which have seen Nemanja Matic and Mason Mount have loan spells at the Gelredome.

Mura first won the Slovenian title last season, but was beaten by Bulgarian Ludogorets in the Champions League second qualifying round and then Austria’s Sturm Graz in the Europa League play-offs this week, to parachute into the new competition.

Jose Mourinho’s Roma, the only Italian team in the tournament, will face Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk, Bulgarian Cup winners CSKA Sofia and Norwegian champions Bodo / Glimt in Group C.

Meanwhile, the Lincoln Red Imps, who made history by becoming Gibraltar’s first team to reach the group stage of a European competition, can look forward to games against FC Copenhagen, PAOK de Greece and Slovan Bratislava.

The group stage kicks off on September 16 and the final takes place in the Albanian capital Tirana on May 25 next year.

Draw for the group stage:

Group A: LASK Linz (AUT), Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR), Alashkert (ARM), HJK Helsinki (FIN)

Group B: Ghent (BEL), Partizan Belgrade (SRB), Flora Tallinn (EST), Anorthosis Famagusta (CYP)

Group C: Roma (ITA), Zorya Luhansk (UKR), CSKA Sofia (BUL), Bodo / Glimt (NOR)

Group D: AZ Alkmaar (NED), CFR Cluj (ROM), Jablonec (CZE), Randers (DEN)

Group E: Slavia Prague (CZE), Feyenoord (NED), Union Berlin (GER), Maccabi Haifa (ISR)

Group F: FC Copenhagen (DEN), PAOK (GRE), Slovan Bratislava (SVK), Lincoln Red Imps (GIB)

Group G: Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Rennes (FRA), Vitesse Arnhem (NED), Mura (SLO)

Group H: FC Basel (SUI), Qarabag (AZE), Kairat Almaty (KAZ), Omonia (CYP)

as / jc

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