Albion face Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens in Europa League

Two former European Cup winners among our opponents in the Europa League.

By Bruce Talbot • 01 September 2023

By Photo by Kristian Skeie - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images
Stéphane Mbia drew Albion in Group B.

Albion will face some of the biggest names in Europe during our first adventure in the Europa League.  

We were paired with Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens in Group B when the draw was made in Monaco on Friday. It is widely regarded as the toughest section in the group stages, given the pedigree of our opponents.

Amsterdam-based Ajax are one of the most storied clubs in European football, having won the European Cup – the forerunner of the Champions League – four times when the great Johan Cruyff was in their team as well as the Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Cup. They have also been Dutch champions a record 36 times.

They are coached by Maurice Steijn, who took over in the summer after leaving Sparta Rotterdam, and currently sit ninth in the Dutch Eredivisie after two games.

The capacity of Ajax's Johan Cruyff Arena is 55,865. 

Marseille won the Champions League in 1993, having been runner-up two years earlier. They have also been UEFA Cup finalists three times and reached the Europa League final in 2018.

The last of their French League titles was in 2010 and they are currently coached by the experienced Spaniard Marcelino. They have started the domestic season well and sit second after two wins and a draw so far. The Stade Velodrome in Marseille holds up to 67,000.  

AEK Athens, who were the second ranked team in Pot 4 based on UEFA's co-efficient, have won 13 domestic titles in Greece and drew the opening game of their Super League season last week. They are coached by former Argentinian international Matias Almeyda.

AEK's OPAP Arena holds 32,500. 

Our Group B fixtures will be confirmed shortly.

Group A: West Ham, Olympiacos, Freiburg, TSC Backa Topola

Group B: Ajax, Marseille, Brighton & Hove Albion, AEK Athens

Group C: Rangers, Real Betis, Sparta Prague, Aris Limassol

Group D: Atalanta, Sporting CP, Sturm Graz, Rakow

Group E: Liverpool, LASK, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, Toulouse

Group F: Villarreal, Rennes, Maccabi Haifa, Panathinaikos

Group G: Roma, Slavia Prague, Sheriff Tiraspol, Servette

Group H: Leverkusen, Qarabag, Molde, Hacken