Dundalk have been handed a tough set of fixture dates in the Europa League after they were grouped with Russian side Zenit-St Petersburg, Dutch side AZ Alkmaar and Israeli side Maccabi-Tel Aviv.
Stephen Kenny’s charges and Lilywhite supporters alike will have plenty of travelling to do as they will take in Russia, Holland and Israel.
It was perhaps the draw Dundalk didn’t want as they missed out on ties against Roma, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Villareal. These would have attracted large attendances and the home games would probably have been played in the Aviva Stadium on television.
Jose Mourinho has also been handed a testing group for his first European campaign as Reds boss. His side will face Turkish club Fenerbache, Dutch side Feyenoord and Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk. Fellow Premier League side Southampton will play Italian giants Inter Milan, Czech Republic side Sparta Prague and Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
The match dates for the group stage are the 15th and 29th of September, 20th of October, 3rd and 24th of November and 8th of December.
The UEFA Europa League draw is as follows:
Zenit St. Petersburg
FC Astra Giurgiu
FC Red Bull Salzburg
Hapoel Beer Sheva