The draw for this season’s Europa League has been made, and Arsenal will face Sporting Lisbon, Azerbaijan champions Qarabag and Ukrainians Vorskla Poltava in the group stages.
The Gunners were semi-finalists last season, eventually going out to winners Atletico Madrid, and new boss Unai Emery – having won the competition three times with Sevilla – will be hoping to do better this season.
With the winners gaining access to the following season’s Champions League, it could well be a solid route back to Europe’s top table with competition for a top four spot in the Premier League still very strong, and with the Spaniard still trying to mould the team in his image.
The games kick off on September 20th, with kick off times of 5.55pm or 8pm (UK).
Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon
We last played the Portuguese side on our way to our 1970 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup success; the club’s first of two European trophies. We drew 0-0 away before winning the 2nd round tie 3-0 at Highbury.
Arsenal v Qarabag
We’ve never faced Qarabag. They did get spanked by Chelsea in the Champions League group stage last season, but also achieved notable draws home and away with Atletico Madrid.
Arsenal v Vorskla Poltava
Yeah, you guessed it…we’ve never played them.
The fixtures will be out in the next couple of hours, we’ll have an update on that later.