By Bariyo Brian Tumuramye
Teams around Europe are waiting to discover their fate, as the Europa League group stage draw takes place today in Switzerland, less than 24 hours after the Champions League draw was made.
All Arsenal fans’ eyes will be on the draw as they wait to find out who they will be playing in this year’s competition.
The Gunners came close to winning the crown in 2018/19 but were beaten by Premier League rivals Chelsea in the final.
Mikel Arteta’s side was knocked out by Olympiacos last season, so will be keen to improve on that this time around.
The Gunners are joined in the group stage draw by north London rivals Tottenham, who overcame Maccabi Haifa in their play-off on Thursday, and Leicester City, who fell agonisingly short in their top-four quests last season.
Scottish sides Celtic and Rangers are also in the hat, in what promises to be an intriguing group stage round.
We used a group stage simulator to determine who the Gunners might draw, and the results were fascinating.
With Arsenal among the top seeds and unable to draw any team from the same country, they avoided Spurs and Leicester but were pitted against European heavyweights AC Milan from Pot 3.
The Gunners also got Azerbaijani side Qarabag as their opponents from Pot 2, whilst a trip to Sivasspor awaits, with the Turkish club coming out of Pot 4.
Once the real draw is made this afternoon, fans won’t have long to wait until they see their teams in action as there is a gap of fewer than three weeks before the group stages get underway.
The group stage schedule is:
Matchday 1: October 22
Matchday 2: October 29
Matchday 3: November 5