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Europa League Draw, Transfers And Team News: Football Countdown – Live!

Europa League group stage drawGroup A: Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, Bodø/Glimt, Zurich

Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes, Fenerbahce, AEK Larnaca

Group C: Roma, Ludogorets, Real Betis, HJK

Group D: Braga, Malmö, Union Berlin, St Gilloise

Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sheriff, Omonoia

Group F: Lazio, Feyenoord, Midtylland, Sturm Graz

Group G: Olympiacos, Qarabag, Freiburg, Nantes

Group H: Crvena zvezda, Monaco, Ferencvaros, Trabzonspor

Key events

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Speaking to the media earlier, Frank Lampard laughed off the idea that Chelsea have made a £60m bid for Anthony Gordon. Here is today’s story via PA Media:

Everton boss Frank Lampard is adamant the club will sign a new striker before next week’s transfer window deadline. They have been linked with a move for Brighton’s Neal Maupay and, while Lampard refused to discuss individual targets, he insisted a signing will be completed.

When asked if the money was available regardless of whether the club accept an offer from Chelsea for Anthony Gordon, Lampard said: “Yes. Obviously things are relative. I’m not saying the number I’ve got, but it’s an area I want to improve and we will improve it. We will improve it in this window, by the end of it. It will happen.”

Lampard confirmed no bid had been received from his former club Chelsea for Gordon, after reports the Londoners are set to offer £60m for the England Under-21 forward. “They haven’t bid £60m, so let’s not talk about a number,” Lampard said. “It hasn’t come in, he’s our player and remains so. He’s in the squad for tomorrow. He’s a huge player for us.”

The Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, doubtless with a spring in his step after that 2-1 victory against Liverpool last Monday, is due to speak at 1.30pm.

My mistake, Manchester United won’t be playing in Tiraspol. Good knowledge Jeremy.

@LukeMcLaughlin You can take a few kms off from Manchester to Tiraspol, as no matches are allowed in Transnistria. Looks like it will be in Chişinău… Don’t think Nicosia is a short hop either.

— Jeremy Ives 💙🇺🇦 (@JeremyIves) August 26, 2022 Vieira: Palace prepared to “suffer” at Manchester CityIn his media conference before a trip to the champions, Patrick Vieira is reminded that Crystal Palace have inflicted Manchester City’s previous two defeats in Premier League Saturday 3pm kick-offs:

“We know the challenge,” Vieira says. “We know how tough and how difficult it is to go there and try to get a result … we have nothing to lose, we will go there prepared to suffer … and [we will] get ready for those couple of chances that we are going to create. We will have to take them.”

Does he want to add players before the window closes? “Yeah, we are a little bit light … we need more numbers, we need more players, and hopefully we will have a couple more come in before the end of the window. But we need the right players. If we don’t [sign anyone else], I’m really happy with the players we have, they are working really hard and really well.”

Vieira is asked if Palace can keep up (in terms of investment) with the big-spending clubs in the top flight including the likes of promoted Nottingham Forest: “We can’t keep up with those football clubs … we know who we are, we are a sustainable football club. We can’t spend the money we don’t have. But that doesn’t stop us bringing in the right players, and being smart … we have shown we can bring in young players who do really well at that level.”

Is he interested in signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka? “There are reports, I won’t speak about a player who is at another football club. We will try to improve the squad.”

And finally on Wilfried Zaha: “He has been fantastic since I’ve joined the club, on and off the field. He is working every day to try and improve … we are talking about how he can improve and do well for the team … he is an important player. You can see the love the fans are showing him every weekend. He came through the system and he loves the club.”

Vieira dodges the question of whether they are speaking to Zaha about a new deal.

Our snap news report following that Europa League draw:

Louise Taylor

Eddie Howe believes Alexander Isak possesses the “X factor” to succeed at Newcastle United and is convinced the £59m Sweden striker is ideally suited to the English game.

As the crow flies, it’s 2,370km from Manchester to Tiraspol in Moldova, so that’s a significant trip for Erik ten Hag and the Manchester United boys to be making midweek.

A Soviet-era car in Tiraspol, Moldova, in July. Photograph: Anton Polyakov/Getty ImagesHere, in somewhat snazzy social media graphic form, is Manchester United’s Group E:

I don’t think there’s an obvious group of death, although with Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes and Fenerbahce all being in Group B, that looks tricky to say the least for AEK Larnaca out of pot 4. Group H also looks difficult with Crvena zvezda, Monaco, Ferencvaros and Trabzonspor vying for spots in the knockout rounds.

And that concludes the draw. Not even one of the special guests denigrated the Europa League as the “Cup of Losers”, as Thomas Helmer did a couple of years back, which remains the most spectacular failure to read the room in the history of football draws.

Free tickets for Joe! Congratulations.

Europa League datesGroup stage Matchday 1: 8 September 2022

Matchday 2: 15 September 2022

Matchday 3: 6 October 2022

Matchday 4: 13 October 2022

Matchday 5: 27 October 2022

Matchday 6: 3 November 2022

Knockout stagesKnockout round play-offs: 16 & 23 February

Round of 16: 9 & 16 March 2023

Quarter-finals: 13 & 20 April 2023

Semi-finals: 11 & 18 May 2023

Final: 31 May 2023

Via “Matches are generally played on Thursdays (other than the final) and in principle equally split between two time slots: 18:45 CET and 21:00 CET.”

Arsenal’s meetings with PSV won’t be easy, but I reckon both the Gunners and Manchester United should be happy enough with that. What do you think, sports fans?

Europa League group stage drawGroup A: Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, Bodø/Glimt, Zurich

Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes, Fenerbahce, AEK Larnaca

Group C: Roma, Ludogorets, Real Betis, HJK

Group D: Braga, Malmö, Union Berlin, St Gilloise

Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sheriff, Omonoia

Group F: Lazio, Feyenoord, Midtylland, Sturm Graz

Group G: Olympiacos, Qarabag, Freiburg, Nantes

Group H: Crvena zvezda, Monaco, Ferencvaros, Trabzonspor

Pots 1-3 are now settled: Arsenal get Bodø/Glimt of Norway, United will be off to Moldova to play Sheriff.

For Arsenal, Bodø/Glimt looks favourable, PSV does not. Man Utd should be happy enough so far, there were tougher Pot 2 draws than Sociedad …

Group A: Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven, Bodø/Glimt

Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes, Fenerbahce

Group C: Roma, Ludogorets, Real Betis

Group D: Braga, Malmö, Union Berlin

Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sheriff

Group F: Lazio, Feyenoord, Midtylland

Group G: Olympiacos, Qarabag, Freiburg

Group H: Crvena zvezda, Monaco, Ferencvaros

Pots 1 & 2 are done: Arsenal have PSV, Manchester United are with Real Sociedad.

Group A: Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven,

Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Rennes

Group C: Roma, Ludogorets

Group D: Braga, Malmö

Group E: Manchester United, Real Sociedad

Group F: Lazio, Feyenoord

Group G: Olympiacos, Qarabag

Group H: Crvena zvezda, Monaco

Olympiacos in Group G.

Manchester United are in Group E, Braga in Group D, Lazio in Group F.

Roma in Group C.

Dynamo Kiev in Group B.

Arsenal are first out of Pot 1, and are in Group A.

Here is Giorgio Marchetti, the man tasked with ensuring they don’t balls it up (of you’ll pardon the pun), and have to do it all again.

And now we are getting some in-depth detail on how the draw works. I’ll be honest and tell you I either can’t be bothered or am literally incapable of expressing all the permutations right now, but there is some impact on the Europa League on the Conference League, especially regarding kick-off times for clubs from the same country. All about keeping the telly people happy, I suppose.

All will become clear – or at the very least, I will tell you as quickly as humanly possible which teams are in which groups.

The next special guest – or ambassador, as Uefa likes to call them – is former West Brom and Fulham legend Zoltan Gera! Great player, and a personal favourite of mine.

Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel is one of Uefa’s special guests for the draw. He played an astonishing 602 times for Eintracht Frankfurt before retiring in 1991. He also got six caps for Germany.

You will remember, of course, that Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers on penalties to win the Europa League in May:

Manchester United fans, Arsenal fans, or indeed any fans – you can email me or get in touch on Twitter with hopes, expectations, and even post-draw reaction.

Here we go! The presenter Adriano Del Monte is in charge of proceedings in Istanbul. Bring on the hilarious gags about the man from Del Monte saying yes.

Five-minute warning: The Europa League draw, including Manchester United and Arsenal, will begin shortly.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has given an entertaining interview to Sky Sports News. He is asked about the team spirit at the club: “From the first day, Chelsea was … it was strange, when you go to a big club, as a young player you think it’s going to be crazy, they have so many big characters … but I have to say all the staff and players were so close, so friendly … it’s like a big family when you enter the training facilities.”

And he is asked about settling into the culture: ““Chilly” [Ben Chilwell] said strange things to me like geezer … mate … pal … then he said mandem, and I was like “Mate, what are you talking about?”

From the playing fields of Lewisham and Bromley to the Premier League, south London’s football clubs have nurtured wave after wave of stars. And these players have become proud symbols of a place reshaped by each new generation of migrants.

A podcast about how south London became a talent factory for Black British footballers:

Conference League draw: the teamsWest Ham and Hearts are both in the mix. The draw is scheduled to take place at 1.30pm UK time.

Pot 1



Slavia Praha

AZ Alkmaar


Istanbul Basaksehir


West Ham

Pot 2

CFR Cluj





H Beer-Sheva


Slovan Bratislava

Pot 3




Austria Wien


Shamrock Rovers



Pot 4









Howe hopes Isak will sign in time to face WolvesEddie Howe is hoping Alexander Isak with add “the X-factor” to his team as Newcastle close in on a club-record signing. The 22-year-old Sweden international was on Tyneside on Friday with a view to completing a move understood to be worth around £58m from Real Sociedad.

On the progress of the deal, Howe said: “It’s not completed. We hope to get it done.”

Asked if Isak could be signed in time to play at Wolves on Sunday, he added: “Yes, fingers crossed. There’s no guarantee with these things because we’re in other people’s hands, but hopefully. He will add those qualities he has – he has pace, technical ability, dribbling ability, he has got a bit of X-factor about him.

“He is slightly different and I think he is capable of scoring goals.” (PA Media)

Sad times for Linfield last night, as they missed out on a historic place in the group stage of the Europa Conference League in the cruellest possible fashion:

Europa League draw: the teamsThe teams in the Europa League draw, and the pots, are as follows. It’s coming up in under 40 minutes at 12pm UK time:

Pot 1


Manchester United




Crvena zvezda

Dynamo Kyiv


Pot 2





Real Sociedad




Pot 3






Union Berlin



Pot 4




AEK Larnaca



St Gilloise


The Arsenal head coach, Mikel Arteta, is speaking to the media before tomorrow evening’s Premier League match against Fulham (5.30pm): “The mood is really good, the boys trained really well …”

On the Europa League: “We have to try to win every competition in which we are present … we will see what the draw brings, and begin to prepare for that as best we can.”

Regarding the rumour that Arsenal may (allegedly) be in danger of breaking Uefa’s FFP regulations: “We are compliant, and I don’t know where that is coming from … we are very clear with the limitations we have, and how we have to deal with things.”

On reaching his 100th PL match with Arsenal: “Time flies … it’s such a privilege to be in this football club … hopefully we can bring joy, and a lot of wins.

What has he learned in those 100 matches? “How difficult, or how beautiful life is, when you win or lose … every decision counts … do what you believe in, because in the end it will happen.

“We are human beings … when you lose football match, and you don’t find a real way to win … you have to adapt and at the end you have to “feel” what you do, that’s the best way to transmit it to the players and to the supporters, and that is what we’ve tried to do at all times.”

On the in-form summer signing Gabriel Jesus: “We are exceptionally happy with the way he’s settled, with the way he’s performed, and what he’s bringing to the club.”

Arteta is asked about the prospect of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returning to play in London: “With Auba, we wish him the best with whatever he decides for his future.”

Will Arteta have a coffee with Aubameyang if he comes back to London? “Normally, I don’t do that with players.” He smiles.

Andy Hunter

Brighton forward Neal Maupay is undergoing a medical ahead of a proposed move to Everton, with Frank Lampard insistent any incomings are not dependent on the sale of Anthony Gordon.

Maupay, who has scored 26 goals in 102 Premier League appearances for Brighton, is currently on Merseyside finalising the transfer and what would be a three-year contract. The French forward could make his Everton debut away at Brentford on Saturday if registered by noon today.

Everton have been in desperate need of additions in attack all summer and have also rejected interest from Chelsea in England under-21 international Gordon. Lampard has denied reports that Chelsea have offered up to £60m for Gordon and that he needs to raise funds to buy in the final days of the transfer window.

“Yes I do (have money to spend),” the Everton manager said. “Things are obviously relative. It’s an area we want to improve and we will improve it by the end of the window. It will happen.”

On Chelsea’s £60m bid for Gordon, he added: “No, that hasn’t come in. He is our player and remains so. He is in the squad for tomorrow. He is a huge player for us and of huge value to the team. He is an Everton boy.”

Lampard revealed Dominic Calvert-Lewin is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a knee injury sustained just before the season and is due to resume training next week. He added: “If he trains in the middle of next week, will he be ready for Liverpool? That will be tough but we can start to look at the games after that.”

Could Marco Asensio become the latest Real Madrid player to head for Old Trafford? Come and get your football transfer rumours, while they are still hot. Courtesy of Gregg Bakowski:

In an interview with Sky Sports, Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham says he is enjoying playing in the Premier League because the quality of the pitches is so much better than it was in Serie A. Good job, Premier League ground staff across the land.

Scott Arfield of Rangers is having a chat with Sky Sports News now about the Champions League Group A draw – they will face Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli:

“The three of them are amazing cities, so we’re definitely looking forward to going to them but the one that captures the attention is Liverpool because it’s closer to home and we know our following is going to be sensational,” said Arfield. “They’ve been finalists for numerous years, they’re one of the best teams in the world, and now we can show what we’re all about.

“We feel as if we’re in a better position than we were six weeks ago, eight weeks ago [squad-wise] … hopefully if we add one or two more, we’ve got a right chance.”

Borussia Dortmund “failed bitterly” in the Champions League group stage last season but they are confident of making it through this time, sporting director Sebastian Kehl said. Dortmund were knocked out in the group stage after they finished third with nine points from six games.

Edin Terzic’s side are in Group G this season alongside Premier League champions Manchester City, LaLiga club Sevilla and FC Copenhagen. “We failed bitterly in the group phase last year. We don’t want that to happen to us this year. We have the chance to progress in this group and still have to stretch ourselves because each team will try to give their best performance,” said Kehl.

“It’s not easy in Seville. Very emotional stadium, very, very emotional squad, also with the emotional coaches. And Manchester City is one of the top favourites for this title. So it’s still an exciting group, but I think we’ll approach it in a very positive way and I hope that we’ll definitely get through the group stage.”

A reunion with Norway striker Erling Haaland awaits Dortmund when they face City after the 22-year-old joined moved to Etihad in the close season. The Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel said Haaland will have extra incentive when he faces his former side.

“I’m sure he will come back very, very motivated,” Kobel said. “It’s always the case against your old club. But as I said, we will make it as difficult as possible for him. And we want to win these games.” (Reuters)

Erling Haaland: Heading back to Dortmund for a Champions League tie. Photograph: Jose Breton/NurPhoto/ShutterstockI’ll post some details looking ahead to the Euro draws a bit later, but meanwhile, why not have a squizz at 10 things to look out for in the Premier League this weekend:

Before his Southampton side face Manchester United at St Mary’s tomorrow lunchtime, Ralph Hassenhüttl reckons Erik ten Hag is going to pull it all together and get Manchester United challenging for titles again:

“This is a team that has a new manager – it is not surprising that it doesn’t work immediately everything perfectly,” Hassenhüttl said. “It would be more surprising when they’re immediately flying. I see a very clear identity of what they’re doing now, what they want to do now.

“You are speaking still about a top team that is going for titles and will also do this this season. If you beat Liverpool, this is a big sign, a big message to everybody that they are definitely in a good way and I see the clear identity of what they want to do and after all the problems they had. They will come with a lot of self confidence.” (Quotes via PA Media)

Just in case you missed it yesterday:

Champions League group-stage draw in fullA: Ajax, Liverpool, Napoli, Rangers

B: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, Bruges

C: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Internazionale, Viktoria Plzen

D: Eintracht Frankfurt, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting, Marseille

E: Milan, Chelsea, Salzburg, Dinamo

F: Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic

G: Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Copenhagen

H: Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Benfica, Maccabi Haifa

PreambleNever mind that the World Cup starts in less than three months: the Champions League draw has been made, the Premier League and Football League is ready to roar back into action this weekend, and the transfer window will close in roughly six-and-a-half days.

Before the standard weekend action, though, the Europa League group stage draw (feat. Manchester United and Arsenal) is due today at 12pm UK time and the Uefa Conference League draw will be coming up later, too. It’s all go.

Luton and Sheffield United kick off the EFL action at 8pm this evening, before Southampton v Manchester United begins the top-flight programme at 12.30pm tomorrow.

Team news, press conference quotes and much more coming up throughout the day including those European draws … let’s begin with Jonathan Wilson’s analysis of yesterday’s Champions League fun:

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