The draw for the first knock-out round of the Europa League was made this afternoon, and Arsenal will face BATE Borisov.
The clubs met in last season’s competition during the group stages with the Gunners running out 4-2 winners in Belarus, and then 6-0 winners in the game at the Emirates.
BATE have former Gunner Alex Hleb in their squad, which adds something to the occasion, such as it is, but it’s a reasonably long trip for Unai Emery to contend with.
We’re away in the first leg which takes place on February 14th, and while most second leg games will take place on February 21st, the Arsenal game is being moved to Wednesday 20th to avoid a clash with Chelsea’s home game in the same competition.
That fixture will have a kick off time of 5pm which is absolute nonsense, but then that’s true of a lot of things about this competition.