Europa League draw: Manchester United set for Robin van Persie reunion

Van Persie, 33, spent three seasons at Old Trafford before moving to Turkey last year.

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 26, 2016, 23:42 PM IST
Europa League draw: Manchester United set for Robin van Persie reunion

Monaco: Manchester United will come up against their former striker Robin van Persie after being placed in the same group as the Dutchman`s current club Fenerbahce in Friday`s draw for the group stage of the Europa League.

Jose Mourinho`s side will also come up against Dutch giants Feyenoord and Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine in Group A.

"It is a good draw for us. We think we are in the Champions League. There are very similar groups in the Champions League," said Mourinho.

"It is a difficult group but it is good. If you have teams without expression, even fans wouldn`t enjoy Thursdays.

"We all know the competition is not the same as the Champions League but to have Manchester United playing against clubs with tradition like Fenerbahce and Feyenoord is good for us. I don`t have more vision about Ukraine."

Second in the Turkish league last season to Istanbul rivals Besiktas, Fenerbahce were eliminated from the Champions League by Monaco in the third qualifying round.

They have since sacked coach Vitor Pereira and replaced him with veteran Dutchman Dick Advocaat, whose squad includes Van Persie and ex-Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.

Van Persie, 33, spent three seasons at Old Trafford before moving to Turkey last year.

United can also look forward to coming up against Van Persie`s hometown team and first club Feyenoord.

The 1970 European Cup winners and twice winners of the UEFA Cup finished third in the Dutch top flight last season and also won the Dutch Cup.

Now coached by former Arsenal and Barcelona left-back Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the Rotterdam side are captained by Dirk Kuyt, formerly of Liverpool and Fenerbahce.

United have faced both of these sides in the Champions League in the past, but the Ukrainians are a new proposition as they feature at this stage of European competition for the first time.

The other English Premier League representative, Southampton, were given a tough draw in Group K along with Italian giants Inter Milan, Sparta Prague of the Czech Republic and Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

The Israeli champions were eliminated from the Champions League play-offs by Celtic.

Meanwhile, Irish champions Dundalk, knocked out of the Champions League play-offs by Legia Warsaw, will face former UEFA Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg, AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands and Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel in Group D.