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 30 August 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

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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
Sevilla 104.000
Arsenal 101.000
Porto 93.000
Roma 81.000
Manchester United 78.000
Dynamo Kiev 65.000
Besiktas 62.000
Basel 54.500
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

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. 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 undesirable element of the draw. 

Pot 2 UEFA Club Coefficient
Krasnodar 34.500
Borussia Monchengladbach 29.000
Young Boys 27.500
Astana or BATE Borisov 27.500
APOEL 25.500

Best Case Draw: Young Boys

Worst Case Draw: Astana

Still to Be Decided

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It is herein the issues lie. With still a swathe of qualifiers yet to play, 21 slots are undetermined until after the remaining matches are played on Thursday night. What will transpire will be whoever's coefficient score is highest, will resume their place in the group that fits them.

In some cases, the outcome of the matches could have major changes on the groups, although so-called 'big boys' won't see all that much movement. There is a possibility for Premier League side Wolves to make their way into either Pot 2 or Pot 3. However, as already mentioned, Arsenal can't face another side from England at this stage of the competition.

Pot 2 or 3 UEFA Club Coefficient
Saint-Etienne 23.000
Getafe 20.713
Standard Liege 17.500
Braga or Spartak Moscow 31.000 or 16.000
Ludogorets Razgrad or Maribor 27.000 or 18.500
Torino or Wolverhampton Wanderers 14.495 or 17.092

Scottish champions Celtic will earn a spot in Pot 2 if they successfully hold onto their lead over Stockholm-based side AIK for the second leg. Arsenal could play the Hoops, which would make for an enticing encounter, with Neil Lennon's side playing their second-leg qualifier in Scotland. That said, if the Swedish side produce a stirring comeback, they will fall into Pot 4.

Meanwhile, a clash with FC Copenhagen would make for a very short journey, but they are one of the stronger outfits and would ideally be avoided.

Pot 2 or 4 UEFA Club Coefficient
Celtic or AIK 31.000 or 5.500
FC Copenhagen or Riga FC 31.000 or 1.125

There is every chance the Gunners could draw Rangers, which, as with Celtic, would make for an engrossing all-British match up, although there are certainly easier sides to face in Pot 4.

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Facing off against Legia Warsaw, they face a stern test, who would definitely be pushed up into Pot 2 due to their high coefficient score. Currently eighth in the Polish league, they would make for decent opposition.

Other notable ties include PSV Eindhoven, who Arsenal would certainly want to avoid, while if Malmo see off their Isreali opponents they would make for an acceptable tie.

Pot 2, 3 or 4 UEFA Club Coefficient
PSV Eindhoven or Apollon Limassol 37.000 or 12.000
KAA Gent or HNK Rijeka 29.500 or 13.500
Legia Warsaw or Rangers 24.500 or 5.250
Strasbourg or Eintracht Frankfurt 11.699 or 24.000
Slovan Bratislava or PAOK 6.000 or 23.500
Steaua Bucuresti or Vitoria SC 23.000 or 9.646
Linfield or Qarabag 2.250 or 22.000
Feyenoord or Hapoel Be'er Sheva 22.000 or 12.000
Espanyol or Zorya Luhansk 20.713 or 11.500
Malmo or Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv 20.000 or 3.725
Partizan Belgrade or Molde 18.000 or 13.500
AEK Athens or Trabzonspor 14.000 or 8.000

Down in Pot 3 and 4, Rennes stick out as the obvious side to miss. Arsenal lost against the Ligue 1 outfit last season in the first leg of their last-16 clash, before overcoming the French side in the second leg. Unai Emery knows their qualities and will be hoping to avoid them at all costs. Whether they fall into Pot 3 or 4 is still now assured, as the results determine their placing.

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Pot 3 or 4 UEFA Club Coefficient
Rennes 11.699
Rosenborg 11.500
Istanbul Basaksehir 10.500
AZ Alkmaar or Royal Antwerp 10.500 or 7.980
Oleksandriya 7.780

Pot 4


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 Aaraat Armenia, who will pose a long flight time in the far reaches of eastern Europe. FC Cluj would be a similar journey, while not as long, and ideally missing out on a trip to Romania would be very welcome

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

Pot 4 UEFA Club Coefficient
Wolfsberg 6.250
LASK 6.250
Lugano 6.000
FC Cluj 3.500
Suduva or Ferencvaros 4.250 or 3.500
Aaraat Armenia or F91 Dudelange 1.050 or 6.250

Best Case Draw: F91 Dudelange

Worst Case Draw: Aaraat Armenia

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