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Europa League 2015: Tottenham group stage schedule released

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Who has two thumbs and predicted a Chelsea match after a trip to Baku? THIS GUY.

The Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan
The Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

UEFA released the schedules for the group stage matches in the 2015-16 Europa League today, and if you were hoping that Spurs will avoid some major Thursday-Sunday match weeks, prepare to be disappointed.

Tottenham Europa League Schedule

Thurs. September 17: Qarabag (H)
Thurs. October 1: Monacao (A)
Thurs. October 22: Anderlecht (A)
Thurs. November 5: Anderlecht (H)
Thurs. November 26: Qarabag (A)
Thurs. December 10: Monaco (H)

For Tottenham, the matches that come before and after Europa group stage games are almost as important as the games themselves. And there are some doozies in here. Thankfully, Spurs play three home matches and three away matches after Europa group stage games.

Tottenham matches following Europa League matches

Sun. September 20: Crystal Palace (H)
Sun. October 4: Swansea City (A)
Sun. October 25: Bournemouth (A)
Sun. November 8: Arsenal (A)
Sun. November 29: Chelsea (H)
Sat. December 12: Newcastle (H) [may be moved?]

Some killer follow-up matches in there. Worst is the trip to Qarabag (57 hour drive from London! ROAD TRIP!) followed by a home match against Chelsea, but the North London Derby after hosting Anderlecht isn't fun either, nor is the trip to Monaco followed by an away match in Wales.

Of course, a lot of this could/should be mitigated depending on Spurs' lineup. Spurs have a young squad with a lot of hungry players, and Pochettino may decide to play them at the expense of first-team players depending on the match. If Tottenham decide to play a rotated lineup and/or the kids in Qarabag especially, that may help mitigate some of the travel-related issues. And with luck, Spurs might have already qualified for the knock-out stages by that point anyway (one can dream).