Tuesday, 7 October 2008

[UC] Favourable draw for Milan and Udinese

AC Milan and Udinese have both been handed English opposition in favourable UEFA Cup groups, but Sampdoria will face the stiffest test with theirs.

UEFA Cup DrawSeven-time European champions Milan have been drawn in the same group as Portsmouth, Dutch side Heerenveen, Portuguese outfit Braga and Wolfsburg from Germany.

Udinese will play Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Russians Spartak Moscow, Dinamo Zagreb from Croatia and NEC Nijmegen from the Netherlands, while Samp must overcome 2006 and 2007 winners Sevilla, Stuttgart from Germany, Partizan Belgrade from Serbia and Belgian giants Standard Liege.

Each team is in a five-team group and will play two opponents at home and the other two away, with the matches to be played over five UEFA Cup matchdays starting on 23 October.

Three teams from each group qualify for the Round of 32, where the eight third-placed UEFA Champions League teams enter the fray. The teams that finish first and third will be paired together in the knockout round, with the runners-up meeting the sides competing in the Champions League.

The final is in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 20 May.

This is the last year that the tournament will be in its current format before being relaunched as the UEFA Europa League next season.

UEFA Cup Group Stage Draw

[Group A]
Schalke, Paris St Germain, Manchester City, Racing Santander & FC Twente.

[Group B]
Benfica, Olympiakos, Galatasaray, Hertha Berlin & Metalist Kharkiv.

[Group C]
Sevilla, Stuttgart, Sampdoria, Partizan Belgrade & Standard Liege.

October 23 - Partizan Belgrade v Sampdoria
November 6 - Sampdoria have rest day
November 27 - Sampdoria v Stuttgart
December 3 - Standard Liege v Sampdoria
December 18 - Sampdoria v Sevilla

[Group D]
Tottenham Hotspur, Spartak Moscow, Udinese, Dinamo Zagreb & NEC Nijmegen.

October 23 - Udinese v Tottenham Hotspur
November 6 - Spartak Moscow v Udinese
November 27 - Udinese have rest day
December 3 - Udinese v Dinamo Zagreb
December 18 - NEC Nijmegen v Udinese

[Group E]
AC Milan
, Heerenveen, SC Braga, Portsmouth & Vfl Wolfsburg.

October 23 - Heerenveen v AC Milan
November 6 - AC Milan v SC Braga
November 27 - Portsmouth v AC Milan
December 4 - AC Milan have rest day
December 17 - AC Milan v Vfl Wolfsburg

[Group F]
Hamburg, Ajax, Slavia Prague, Aston Villa & MSK Zilina.

[Group G]
Valencia, Club Brugge, Rosenborg, FC Copenhagen & Saint-Etienne.

[Group H]
CSKA Moscow, Deportiva La Coruna, Feyenoord, Nancy & Lech Poznan.

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