We now know which teams Arsenal could be paired with in Friday’s Champions League Play-off Round draw.
Taking place from 11 am, the draw will consist of two paths – the Champions Path and the Non-champions Path.
Arsenal are in the Non-champions path, which sees the five seeds – decided by Uefa club coefficient rankings – drawn against five non seeds.
- Olympique Lyonnais
- Sporting Club de Portugal
- VfB Stuttgart
Below is the list of five teams who Arsenal COULD face.
The ‘Viola’ finished fourth in Serie A and were knocked out of the Champions League First Round last term. The sides met in this Group stages during the 1999 season. After a goalless draw in the away fixture, legendary striker Gabriel Batistuta scored the only goal of the game in Arsenal’s ‘home’ leg at Wembley.
Arsenal know all about these Spanish giants, having beaten them 2-1 in the Emirates Cup thanks to Andrey Arshavin’s late goals. Known as the Mattress Makers because of their red and white striped shirts, Atletico finished fourth in La Liga in 2008/09 20 points behind champions Barcelona.
SPL runners-up Celtic are in the draw having dispatched Dinamo Moscow 2-1 on aggregate in their Qualifying Round. The Hoops, in their first season under former-West Brom boss Tony Mowbray, have never met the Gunners in a European competition. Celtic’s ‘Lisbon Lions’ won the competition in 1967 and were beaten finalists in 1970.
The Purple-and-whites swept aside Sivasspor 6-3 on aggregate in the Third Qualifying Round to book their place in the draw. They finished level on points and wins with Standard Liege at the top of the Belgian Premier League in 2008/09 but lost 2-1 (agg) in their 'Championship playoff'. Arsenal beat RSC 4-3 on aggregate in the 1970 Fairs Cup Final.
Romanian Liga 1 Runners-up Timisoara booked their place in the draw with two draws against Shakhtar Donetsk – progressing on away goals. Based in the country’s second largest city, the White-Violets are the youngest team in the competition, having been formed in 2002. However, investigations regarding the club’s ownership rights are ongoing.
The play-offs are played over two legs on 18/19 and 25/26 August.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 6 Aug 2009