There's no escaping it, the Europa League is the Junior Varsity tournament of the European footballing circuit. In terms of stature, symbolism, promotion and even scheduling, the Europa League always comes second. Accordingly, a day after Europe's Champions League clubs were slotted into their groups, the JVs had their day in the sun, as moments ago UEFA unveiled the groupings for the 2020-2021 Europa League campaign, which kicks off on October 22nd.
Roma were fortunate enough to be cast into a pretty favorable group, but that doesn't mean we'll be short on story lines:
As you can see, Roma were drawn into Group A with Swiss club SSC Young Boys, CSKA Sofia from Bulgaria and our old friends CFR Cluj from Romania, who Roma faced twice in the Champions League (2008-2009 and 2010-2011), winning two matches, drawing one and coming up on the short end of a shocking 2-1 defeat at the Olimpico on September 16, 2008.
By finishing second in Group J in last year's competition—trailing Istanbul Basaksehir by one point—Roma advanced to the knockout stages, defeating Gent before ultimately being bounced by Sevilla in the Round of Eight. Losing to Monchi's Sevilla was a bitter end to what was otherwise a pretty entertaining European run for Roma.
The rest of the Europa League draw can be seen here:
On the surface of things, Roma has a pretty favorable draw and seem like a decent bet to make it to the knockout stages along with Arsenal, Napoli, Spurs and the other presumptive favorites.
We'll dig a bit deeper into each of these opponents when the time comes, but what do you think about Roma's draw: are they guaranteed to make the knockout rounds or is an upset in the making?