The 2018/19 UEFA Europa League will kick off on Thursday, with three players from Egypt, Mohamed El-Nenny, Arsenal’s midfielder; Amr Warda, PAOK’s winger; and Ahmed Hassan “Koka”, Olympiacos’ striker, are expected to make their first European appearance this season.
Forty eight teams entered the Europa League draw for this year’s competition and were split in four seeding pots based on their club coefficient ranking. Twelve groups have been formed in total, with no clubs from the same association able to face each other at this stage. PAOK Salonika was drawn in Group L, with Chelsea, BATE Borisov of Belarus, and MOL Vidi of Hungary. Amr Warda, who joined PAOK in January 2017, will start his Europa League campaign with a strong clash against Chelsea at 6.55 pm (Cairo Time) on Thursday at Toumba Stadium in Greece. Warda hopes to make a difference with his team in the Thursday game, to attract major clubs’ attention, especially as he will face one of the European football giants.
Arsenal was placed in Europa League’s Group E with Portugal’s Sporting CP, Azerbaijan’s Qarabag, and Ukraine’s FC Vorskla Poltava. The Gunners will start their group stage with hosting Vorskla at the Emirates Stadium, as the English side’s midfielder Mohamed El-Nenny hopes to find a place in the starting line-up, after he was neglected by the Spanish manager Unai Emery in the recent league games.
Olympiacos was drawn in Group F, with AC Milan, Real Betis, and Dudelange. The Greek giant is looking forward for an important victory in their
first group stage game when they face Real Betis at 9:00 pm on Thursday at the Karaiskaki Stadium. Egyptian striker Ahmed Hassan Mahgoub “Koka” has joined Olympiacos on a season long loan from Portuguese side Sporting Braga, during this summer transfer window. He hopes to present a good performance in his European debut with the Greek club.