We can confirm that Zorya Luhansk is not the name of a Game of Thrones character, but instead the name of Manchester United‘s Ukrainian opponents in the Europa League.
The Old Trafford club are competing in Europe’s second competition after finishing fifth in the English Premier League last season.
After the Champions League group stage draw took place yesterday, it was the turn of the Europa League this afternoon – and there was English interest as United and Southampton found out who they’d be playing in the group stage of this competition.
While Saints have the more well-known names of Inter Milan, Sparta Prague and Hapoel Be’er Sheva in their group, United have Zorya Luhansk alongside Feyenoord and Fenerbahce.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) August 26, 2016
Everyone is aware of the Dutch and Turkish teams, but absolutely no-one had heard of Zorya Lutansk before they were pulled out of the hat in United’s group – and some of the reactions are brilliant:
Zorya finished fourth in the Ukrainian Premier League last season and made it through to the group stages after Dnipro – who finished third – were disqualified by UEFA.
They were unable to make it through to the group stages on two previous attempts, but will now get their big chance to compete in Europe.