Villa learn Conference League draw as Barcelona man arrives on loan

News Desk
Aston Villa duo Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz celebrate
Aston Villa duo Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz celebrate

Aston Villa have been drawn to face AZ Alkmaar, Legia Warsaw and Zrinjski in Group E of the Europa Conference League.

The Premier League club hosted their first European game in 13 years on Thursday night, sealing their place in the group-stage draw with an 8-0 aggregate win over Hibernian in their qualifying play-off.

Four-time Europa League winner Emery said: “Yes of course (I’m happy). We finished it tonight.

“We needed to be in the group stage and we have to be happy and enjoy it with our supporters.

“Today it was a full stadium and to finish and qualify was fantastic. I’m really happy because I really enjoy it in Europe and I want to enjoy it now with Aston Villa.”

Villa will have the services of Clement Lenglet in Europe after he joined on loan from Barcelona.

“I’m very, very happy to be here,” he said. “It’s a real pleasure.

“I played against the team last year with Tottenham and it was really, really difficult to play against Aston Villa.

“I spoke with the manager and Monchi during the summer and I’m very excited to be here.

“I’m very happy to share one year with the club.”

Aberdeen, the only other British club in the group stage of European football’s third-tier competition, have been drawn in Group G alongside Eintracht Frankfurt, PAOK Athens and Helsinki.

The cinch Premiership side dropped into the Europa Conference League after losing to Swedish champions Hacken 5-3 on aggregate in their Europa League qualifier.

Villa’s Group E opponents Zrinjski are the first team from Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach the group stages of a UEFA club competition.

AZ lost out to West Ham 3-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals last season and finished fourth in the Dutch Eredivisie. Legia finished second in Poland’s top flight.

Aberdeen’s top-seeded Group G opponents Eintracht Frankfurt beat fellow Scottish side Rangers on penalties in the 2021-22 Europa League final.

The 32 teams who featured in the draw, which took place in Monaco after the Europa League group-stage draw, are comprised of the 22 winners in the ECL play-off round along with the 10 losers in the Europa League play-off round.

The clubs were seeded in four pots of eight teams, in accordance with UEFA’s club coefficient rankings. Villa were in pot two, Aberdeen in pot four.

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