By 90Min
August 29, 2019

All associated with Arsenal are eagerly anticipating Thursday's Europa League draw, as the Gunners prepare for a third successive season in the competition after failing to secure Champions League football once again.

Unai Emery's side were presented with the perfect opportunity to return among Europe's elite, however, they succumbed to a 4-1 loss to Chelsea in last season's final in Baku, while a fifth-place Premier League finish ensured another season in the second-tier of European football.

The draw is taking place on Friday August 30 in Monaco, with Arsenal featuring in Pot 1 alongside Premier League rivals Manchester United. Here's who they could face and who they'll be hoping to take on, as well as who they'll ideally be looking to avoid.


Pot 1

OZAN KOSE/GettyImages

None of the sides in Pot 1 will face each other for the Europa League group stages, with the 12 sides featured all being drawn in separate groups starting from Group A to Group L. The draw will see all 48 teams split into four pots of 12 to compile the groups. Each of the 12 groups will contain one team from each seeded pot. 

While the Gunners can't face any sides in Pot 1, they will already be having their eyes on potential candidates for the trophy. The standout sides to lift the tournament will be themselves, United, Sevilla, Roma and Lazio, so it will be intriguing to see how those sides are drawn with.

Pot 1  UEFA Club Coefficient
Arsenal 101.000
Sevilla 104.000
Porto 93.000
Roma 81.000
Manchester United 78.000
Dynamo Kiev 65.000
Besiktas 62.000
Basel 54.000
Sporting CP  50.000
CSKA Moscow 48.000
Wolfsburg  40.000
Lazio  37.000

Best Case Draw: N/A

Worst Case Draw: N/A


Pot 2

Odsonne Edouard

One of the most striking aspects of Europa League football is the vast array of sides to feature from all across the continent. And, while the teams in the tournament certainly aren't as feared as those in the Champions League, Pot 2 could still feature some sides that Arsenal would still prefer to avoid, both geographically and based on the team's ability.

As is noticeable, a large number or matches are still undecided. However, if the sides listed first in the to-be-confirmed clashes secure passage to the group stages, then their coefficient score will place them in Pot 2.

With that in mind, close to home clashes against Celtic and Rangers would make for short trips, although there are one or two sides Arsenal would prefer facing in a potential encounter. Meanwhile, there are certainly sides to be avoided in Pot 2, however, Arsenal will be confident of securing victory against anyone outside of Pot 1, therefore the extensive travel will be the most desirable element of the draw.

Pot 2 (Unconfirmed) UEFA Club Coefficient
Krasnodar 34.500
Borussia Mönchengladbach 29.000
Young Boys 27.500
Apoel Nicosia 25.500
PSV Eindhoven or Apollon Limassol 37.000 
Braga or Spartak Moscow 31.000
Celtic or AIK 31.000
KAA Gent or HNK Rijeka 29.500
BATE Borisov or FC Astana 27.500
Ludogorets or NK Maribor 27.000
Legia Warsaw or Rangers 24.500
Eintracht Frankfurt or Strasbourg 24.000

Best Case Draw: Legia Warsaw

Worst Case Draw: PSV Eindhoven

Permutations: However, Saint-Etienne and/or Getafe from Pot 3 could sneak their way into Pot 2, should a number of results go their way on Thursday.

Strasbourg, Rangers, NK Maribor, HNK Rijeka, AIK, Spartak Moscow and Apollon Limassol could see the French side move up a Pot if they win their respective matches, as their inferior coefficient scores would deem them worthy of a place in the lower Pots, while Saint-Etienne's score would place move them up. 


Pot 3

Romain Saiss

One potential side in Pot 3 that Arsenal will not be able to face is fellow Premier League side Wolves. They could find themselves in this section of the draw if they overcome Torino on Thursday, while there are a host of dangerous looking sides that could hand the Gunners some long haul trips to far reaching parts of Europe. 

A few La Liga sides would be best avoided, although some of the more hostile atmospheres of Eastern Europe could make for interesting clashes. One clash to avoid for sure, is Qarabag, who Unai Emery's side had in last season's group stage. Another trip to Azerbaijan would be most unwelcome.

Pot 3 (Unconfirmed) UEFA Club Coefficient
Saint-Etienne 23.000
Getafe 20.713
Standard Liege 17.500
Feyenoord or Hapoel Be'er Sheva 22.000
PAOK or Slovan Bratislava 23.500
Steaua Bucharest or Vitória Guimarães 23.000
Qarabag or Linfield 22.000
Espanyol or Zorya Luhansk 16.800
Malmo FF or Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv 20.000
Partizan Belgrade or Molde 18.000
Wolves or Torino 12.564
AEK Athens or Trabzonspor 14.000

Best Case Draw: Malmo FF

Worst Case Draw: Qarabag

Permutations: However, there is the possibility that Rennes could sneak into Pot 3, if Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv reverse their three-goal disadvantage against Malmo, meaning they will drop into Pot 4. The same applies for Zorya Luhansk vs. Espanyol, Trabzonspor vs AEK Athens, Linfield vs. Qarabag, Vitória Guimarães vs. Steaua Bucharest and finally Slovan Bratislava vs. PAOK.


Pot 4

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,Damien Da Silva

Often the slot of the draw that is left for the aptly named 'whipping boys', Pot 4 of the Europa League coughs up a vast number of sides who've fought valiantly to reach this point, but will likely go no further than the group stages.

The standout tie to avoid would be facing Ligue 1 side Rennes, who the Gunners lost to in the first leg of their last-16 clash in the previous Europa League campaign, before overcoming at home to seal passage to the quarter finals. Their place in Pot 4 isn't assured, but if it remains as such then they will be the team to miss.

Plenty of long journeys could stand in the Gunners' way, but a potential trip to Luxembourg outfit F91 Dudelange should make for easy work.

Pot 4 (Unconfirmed) UEFA Club Coefficient
Rennes 11.699
Rosenborg 11.500
İstanbul Başakşehir
10.500
Olexandriya
7.780
Wolfsberg
6.250
LASK
6.250
Lugano
6.000
CFR Cluj
3.500
AZ Alkmaar or Royal Antwerp 10.500
F91 Dudelange or Ararat-Armenia
6.250
FK Suduva or Ferencvárosi TC
4.250

Worst Case Draw: Rennes
Best Case Draw: F91 Dudelange

Conclusion

If all the pots are assigned as above, based on coefficient scores, then Arsenal's most desirable group would look something like this:

Arsenal
Legia Warsaw
Malmo FF
F91 Dudelange
Meanwhile, the most undesirable group would lineup similar to this:

Arsenal
PSV Eindhoven
Qarabag
Rennes

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