United discover European opponents
Manchester United's opponents for the 2019/20 Europa League group stage have been confirmed.
It means United will face two long journeys, to Kazakhstan and Serbia, and a relatively short trip to the Netherlands.
WHEN WILL THE FIXTURES TAKE PLACE?
The schedule for our six group games was announced a few hours after the draw on Friday afternoon and is as follows:
Astana (H) - 19 September, 20:00 BST
AZ Alkmaar (A) - 3 October, 17:55 BST
Partizan Belgrade (A) - 24 October, 17:55 BST
Partizan Belgrade (H) - 7 November, 20:00 GMT
Astana (A) - 28 November, 15:50 GMT
AZ Alkmaar (H) - 12 December, 20:00 GMT
HAVE WE PLAYED THEM BEFORE?
The Reds have never previously encountered Astana and they will be our first-ever opponents from Kazakhstan.
We have not faced AZ Alkmaar before either, despite playing several other Dutch sides on 17 occasions during our history.
We have, however, played against Partizan Belgrade in the past but only when Matt Busby's United team lost over two legs in the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1966.
OUR RECORD IN THE TOURNAMENT
This year will be the 10th time we have participated in the Europa League (or the UEFA Cup if we include its former guise), although two of those campaigns followed our mid-season elimination from the Champions League.
The first time the Reds played in the competition was in 1976/77, when we were defeated in the second round by Italian giants Juventus, who won 3-1 over two legs.
United last featured in the Europa League in 2016/17, when we won the tournament after beating Ajax 2-0 in the final. That year, the Reds played Fenerbahce, Feyenoord and Zorya Luhansk in the group stage and knocked out Saint Etienne, Rostov, Anderlecht and Celta Vigo en route to the showpiece final in Stockholm.
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