Arsenal could end up being drawn against Champions League drop-outs in the first knockout round of the Europa League.
We all thought being in the Europa League would see us avoid a tough draw in the knockout stages of the competition, but things haven’t worked out that way.
While we won’t be drawing Barcelona or Bayern Munich, who have thankfully qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, we could still get a very strong opponent it seems.
The eight third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage will drop down into the Europa League draw for the round of 32 – CSKA Moscow, Celtic, Sporting CP, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Spartak Moscow.
These teams will be seeded based on their records in the group stage. Atletico Madrid, who have reached two Champions League finals in four years, will be one of the big teams Arsenal have as competition.
Napoli and Borussia Dortmund will also provide a stern test for Arsene Wenger’s men, let alone a trip to face Celtic. The draw for the round of 32 will take place on Monday, December 11. Arsenal will be hoping to avoid the European giants until the latter stages.