Get ready for the UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League group stage, consisting of 48 teams, 24 matches and 12 groups, brings 2,160 minutes of football to each match night.
Looking back on matchday 1, get a feel for a competition with big names, glamor and almost as many domestic champions as the UEFA Champions League.
MATCH OF THE WEEK: Celtic vs AC Milan
This Group H opener is full of old-school European charm, as Glasgow giants Celtic prepare for their 11th match against seven-time European champions AC Milan. Hoops boss Neil Lennon knows from experience that his team has battled Milan: he's understood as a player in four of the sides' past meetings, and as a manager in two, and has never won: D2 L4.
Zlatan Ibrahimović could play well for Stefano Pioli's men, but despite Celtic's overall record against Milan (W1 D3 L6), Lennon has hope. “They are AC Milan and this name carries a lot of weight in world football, never mind European football,” he said. But our players will be excited about it. It always brings out the best in them and hopefully we can maximize the home advantage. ”
worth pointing out
• Ibrahimović will start the day with 57 UEFA club competition goals and will be 13th in the overall standings. Two more would put him on the same level as Henrik Larsson (Sweden's all-time UEFA club competition top scorer) and Thierry Henry. The 39-year-old has had a stunning career, but the only European competition he won was the 2009 UEFA Super Cup in Barcelona, where he was injured in 2017 as Manchester United took his place in the UEFA Europa League final squad. .
• North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham face off against Austrian sides on opening night: Spurs host LASK, while Gunners at Rapid Wien. According to UEFA club standings, Arsenal is the best team in the group stage of this season; With a coefficient of 91,000, they are currently in 11th place in the continental rankings. With a coefficient of 85,000, Tottenham is 14th overall.
• Already 73 years old, Feyenoord's boss Dick Advocaat could become the oldest coach to win a UEFA club competition if his team makes it to this season's final in Gdańsk. But 75-year-old Dynamo Kiev boss Mircea Lucescu may not hold the record for long as he could potentially win the UEFA Champions League. The current record holder is Raymond Goethals, who was 71 years old when the Marseille team won the 1992/93 UEFA Champions League.
• Granada visited PSV Eindhoven, which defended the % 100 record in UEFA club competitions. Diego Martínez's men, who finished seventh in Spain last term, make their debut on the continent this season and have won all three matches so far, knocking out Albania, Georgia and Malmö in the qualifiers.
• Get the latest fixtures, standings and stats here .