If you’re sitting at your computer today ready to book flights and accommodation for the Gunners Europa League quarter-final straight after the draw is made, please be aware there is the potential for fixture venues to be reversed.
Some fans were caught out when we drew Rennes because the first leg which was supposed to take place at the Emirates was switched to France because Chelsea were also drawn at home that night.
Unlike last time though, UEFA have clarified that this situation could occur again, saying:
Arsenal FC’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie could potentially be reversed.
Following a decision made by the relevant local authorities, Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC cannot play at home on the same night.
Should both clubs be drawn within the same sequence (home or away), the team having the lower priority — in this case Arsenal FC because Chelsea FC won the FA Cup – will be reversed in accordance with the UEFA Club Competitions Committee principles.
The match schedule for the quarter-finals (including a potential reversal involving Arsenal FC) will be communicated to all parties at approximately 14.45 CET on Friday 15 March.
The calendar for the semi-finals (including a potential reversal involving Arsenal FC, for the same reasons, if both clubs from London are still remaining in the competition) will be communicated to all parties on 20 April at the latest.
So, if there’s any possible clash, hold fire until they make the final decision about an hour and a half after the draw.
Our potential opponents in the quarter-finals are: Napoli, Villarreal, Valencia, Slavia Prague, Benfica, Frankfurt and Chelsea.