Man United face Robin van Persie showdown in Europa League

Dutch striker will be up against two of his former clubs, while Southampton are drawn with Inter Milan

Robin Van Persie
(Image credit: Osan Kose/Getty)

West Ham's hopes of marking their inaugural season at the Olympic Stadium with a good run in Europe were embarrassingly dashed by Romanian side Astra Giurgiu on Thursday night.

As a result, there were only two English clubs in the Europa League draw – and they've both been handed intriguing ties.

Manchester United can look forward to a "mouthwatering reunion with former striker Robin van Persie", says the Daily Mail after the Red Devils were drawn against Turkish side Fenerbahce in a group that also features Dutch side Feyenoord and Ukrainians Zorya Luhansk, who are making their first appearance in the group stages.

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"Dutch Van Persie striker left Old Trafford for the Turkish side in 2015 after netting 48 Premier League goals for the Red Devils and will now return to face his former side, United, as well as Feyenoord - the club where he burst onto the scene," says the Daily Mirror.

Southampton, meanwhile, have been handed a tough group that features Italian side Inter Milan. The Italians are one of the favourites for the tournament alongside United.

"A trip to the San Siro will surely be their toughest test of the group, as they face a front line including the likes of Mauro Icardi, Stevan Jovetic and Ivan Perisic," says the Mail.

The Saints' other opponents are Sparta Prague and Hapoel Be'er Sheva of Israel.

Europa League groups:

Group A: Manchester United, Fenerbahce, Feyenoord, Zorya

Group B: Olympiacos, APOEL, Young Boys, Astana

Group C: Anderlecht, Mainz, Qabala, St-Etienne

Group D: Zenit, AZ, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Dundalk

Group E: Viktoria Plzen, Roma, Austria Vienna, Astra

Group F: Athletic Club, Genk, Rapid Vienna, Sassuolo

Group G: Ajax, Standard Liege, Celta, Panathinaikos

Group H: Shakhtar, Braga, Gent, Konyaspor

Group I: Schalke, Salzburg, Krasnodar, Nice

Group J: Fiorentina, PAOK, Liberec, Qaraba

Group K: Inter Milan, Southampton, Sparta Prague, Hapoel Be'er Sheva

Group L: Villarreal, Steaua, Zurich, Osmanlispor

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