Africa-Press – Eritrea. The 2023-24 UEFA Europa League campaign will start Thursday with a match between the Netherlands’ Ajax and France’s Olympique Marseille in Amsterdam.
The second-tier European football club tournament’s first matchday will see 16 games.
Ajax and Olympique Marseille, the UEFA Champions League winners in 1990s, are in Europa League Group B, and set for a battle for the top spot in this group.
Group B’s other competitors are England’s Brighton Hove Albion and Greek club AEK Athens.
Brighton are in the Europa League for the first time, and the club from England’s south is expected to challenge Ajax and Olympique Marseille.
The Ajax vs. Olympique Marseille match at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena will begin at 1900 GMT.
The group phase in the tournament will end on Dec. 14 with six matches in each group.
The eight group winners will automatically qualify for the last 16, while the group runners-up will play a knockout round playoff with eight third-placed clubs in the Champions League group stage for the rest eight tickets.
The 2023-24 Europa League will end in Ireland with the final at Dublin Arena on May 22.
Dublin Arena, which opened in 2010, is home to Irish national football and rugby union teams.
It will host the first Europa League final since 2011, an all-Portuguese final in which Porto beat Braga 1-0.
Europa League matchday 1 fixtures:
Union Saint-Gilloise vs. Toulouse
LASK vs. Liverpool
Rennes vs. Maccabi Haifa
Panathinaikos vs. Villarreal
Servette vs. Slavia Prague
Sheriff vs. Roma
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hacken
Qarabag vs. Molde
West Ham United vs. Backa Topola
Olympiacos vs. Freiburg
Ajax vs. Olympique Marseille
Brighton vs. AEK Athens
Sparta Prague vs. Aris Limassol
Rangers vs. Real Betis
Atalanta vs. Rakow
Sturm Graz vs. Sporting