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Europa League draw: Who features in each pot?

Sports Mole takes a look at the four pots ahead of the draw for the group stages of the Europa League.

On Thursday night, as many as 22 teams came through their two-legged playoff ties to book their place in the group stages of the Europa League, joining 16 clubs that earned direct entry from their achievements last season and 10 sides who dropped out of the Champions League.

Celtic find themselves in European football's second-tier tournament through that route having lost to Malmo, and they join fellow British giants Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in Friday's draw, which gets underway at 12pm BST.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at the four pots, each of which consists of 12 teams.

Pot One

Mauricio Pochettino manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on August 8, 2015© Getty Images

Spurs take their place among the top seeds in the competition thanks to a high UEFA coefficient ranking largely achieved by last-eight appearances in both the Champions League and Europa League over the past five seasons, although they will be keen to improve on their last-32 placing last year.

Despite poor seasons in the Bundesliga in 2014-15, Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund are ranked highest after their exploits in the Champions League in 2011 and 2013 respectively, while Swiss outfit Basel have reached the quarter-finals and semi-finals of this competition over the past two campaigns.

Italian giants Napoli look the stand-out team in the pot, but Spanish pair Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao will be feared, as will Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, who surprised many by reaching last year's final only to miss out against Sevilla.

Clubs: Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund, Basel, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax, Villarreal, Rubin Kazan, Athletic Bilbao, Sporting Lisbon, Marseille, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

Pot Two

Liverpool FC coach Brendan Rodgers celebrates winning the international friendly match between Brisbane Roar and Liverpool FC at Suncorp Stadium on July 17, 2015© Getty Images

Liverpool, Fiorentina and Lazio are all teams that perhaps deserve to be ranked in Pot One, but their lack of consistency on both the domestic and European stage leaves them with the prospect of being paired with a major side at this stage of the competition.

Due to their final appearance in 2011, Portuguese outfit Braga are ranked highest in the second group of teams, while clubs such as Celtic and Besiktas only just sneak in despite their big-club status.

The rest of the pot includes names that opposing teams will be looking to be paired with, including Cypriot outfit APOEL who benefit from their appearance in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2012.

Clubs: Braga, Fiorentina, Lazio, Anderlecht, Liverpool, AZ Alkmaar, Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, PAOK, Celtic, Besiktas, APOEL

Pot Three

Monaco's Italian forward Stephan El Shaarawy celebrates after scoring the 4-0 during the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round second leg football match between AS Monaco vs BSC Young Boys on August 4, 2015© Getty Images

Pot Three is filled with potential opposition that many clubs would rather not face, with Monaco the pick of the sides after missing out on the Champions League. They are joined by fellow Ligue 1 sides Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne, who finished in fifth and sixth place on the domestic scene last season.

German newcomers Augsburg won't be considered an easy touch, and neither will the likes of Fenerbahce, Lokomotiv Moscow and FC Krasnodar who will largely rely on their home form to try to reach the next round.

Polish clubs Lech Poznan and Legia Warsaw, and Czech duo Sparta Prague and Sloven Liberec, would represent acceptable draws to many in the competition, with a trip to Austria to play Rapid Vienna perhaps the favoured pairing.

Clubs: Monaco, Sparta Prague, Fenerbahce, Legia Warsaw, Bordeaux, Lokomotiv Moscow, Lech Poznan, Saint-Etienne, Sloven Liberec, Augsburg, Rapid Vienna, Krasnodar

Pot Four

Pione Sisto of Midtjylland celebrates with goalscorer Tim Sparv after the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Play Off Round 1st Leg match between Southampton and Midtjylland at St Mary's Stadium on August 20, 2015© Getty Images

While the teams in Pot Four shouldn't pose too many problems to the leading teams, the distance involved in some of the trips means that clubs are likely to favour facing the likes of Portuguese outfit Belenenses, Dutch team Groningen and Swiss minnows Sion.

Skenderbeu Korce of Albania, as well as Qarabag FK and Qabala of Azerbaijan, are newcomers to this stage of the competition, but despite their lack of experience, they are no longer considered walkovers and could make an impact, especially in front of their home fans.

Rosenborg, Molde and FC Midtjylland, who beat Southampton on Thursday night, all involve trips to Scandinavia, while Serbian giants Partizan are always a threat.

Clubs: Partizan, Asteras Tripolis, Belenenses, Rosenborg, Qarabag FK, Molde, Dinamo Minsk, Groningen, Sion, FC Midtjylland, Skenderbeu, Qabala

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Villarreal's Argentinian forward Luciano Dario Vietto scores during the UEFA Europa League Group A football match Villarreal CF vs Vfl Borussia Moenchengladbach at El Madrigal stadium in Villareal on November 27, 2014
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea54101211113
2Liverpool54101211113
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd5410134913
4Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton540174312
5Manchester CityMan City53111111010
6Everton5311107310
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs530236-39
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham522111748
9Brentford52215238
10Aston Villa52128717
11Watford520368-26
12Leicester CityLeicester520358-36
13Arsenal520329-76
14Crystal Palace512258-35
15Southampton504146-24
16Wolverhampton WanderersWolves510425-33
17Leeds UnitedLeeds5032512-73
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle5023613-72
19Burnley501439-61
20Norwich CityNorwich5005214-120

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