Europa League matchday one: what to get excited about!

The group stage kicks off on 20 September: join us on our quest to make Thursday night a football night.

Beşiktaş are chasing the dream in the UEFA Europa League
Beşiktaş are chasing the dream in the UEFA Europa League ©Getty Images

No Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, maybe, but the UEFA Europa League has grit and glamour aplenty, with 24 games every matchnight – and some massive sides in the running for the heaviest of the UEFA club competition trophies.

UEFA.com will provide updates on social media and in our MatchCentres during all of this season's UEFA Europa League games, with highlights to follow from 12:00CET the day after every matchnight. Join us and we guarantee that by the end of matchday one, you will know all the words to the UEFA Europa League Anthem!*

Matchday one: 20 September

Steven Gerrard has taken Rangers into the #UEL
Steven Gerrard has taken Rangers into the #UEL©Getty Images
  • Beşiktaş welcome first-timers Sarpsborg, playing their first group stage fixture
  • 2012/13 UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea kick off at PAOK
  • Rangers returning to group stage after an eight-year absence at Villarreal
  • Arsenal enter post-Arsène Wenger European era at home to Ukraine's Vorskla
  • AC Milan visit group stage debutants Dudelange in Luxembourg
  • Fenerbahçe, Sevilla, Celtic, Marseille and Leverkusen also primed for action

Early games (kick-off 18:55CET, click fixture for match centre)
Group G: Rapid Wien v Spartak Moskva, Villarreal v Rangers
Group H: Lazio v Apollon, Marseille v Frankfurt
Group I: Genk v Malmö, Beşiktaş v Sarpsborg
Group J: Akhisar v Krasnodar, Sevilla v Standard Liège
Group K: Dynamo Kyiv v Astana, Rennes v Jablonec
Group L: Vidi v BATE, PAOK v Chelsea

Unai Emery will lead Arsenal in the #UEL
Unai Emery will lead Arsenal in the #UEL©Getty Images

Later games (kick-off 21:00CET, click fixture for match centre)
Group A: Ludogorets v Leverkusen, AEK Larnaca v Zürich
Group B: Celtic v Rosenborg, Leipzig v Salzburg
Group C: Slavia Praha v Bordeaux, København v Zenit
Group D: Dinamo Zagreb v Fenerbahçe, Spartak Trnava v Anderlecht
Group E: Arsenal v Vorskla, Sporting CP v Qarabağ
Group F: Olympiacos v Betis, Dudelange v AC Milan

Matchday two: 4 October
Matchday three: 25 October
Matchday four: 8 November
Matchday five: 29 November
Matchday six: 13 December

Round of 32 draw: 17 December

Final: Baku Olympic Stadium, 29 May 2018

*NB: the UEFA Europa League Anthem has no words — it's an instrumental!

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