Lyon may be coming to the Emirates Cup in the summer but they’ll be hoping Arsenal tank the Europa League final because that would hand the French Ligue 1 side a Champions League group place without having to go through qualifying.

General secretary of the UEFA Gianni Infantino shows Olympique Lyonnais's name during the draw for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on December 16, 2011 at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon. England's two surviving representatives in the Champions League, Chelsea and Arsenal, were handed tough ties against Italian opposition in today's draw, while holders Barcelona will come up against Germany's Bayer Leverkusen. AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIEN BOZON
General secretary of the UEFA Gianni Infantino shows Olympique Lyonnais’s name during the draw for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on December 16, 2011 at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon. AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIEN BOZON

While we all wonder what will happen in Baku when Arsenal and Chelsea face off, Arsenal fans aren’t the only ones left wondering if they’ll be the Champions League group stages next season.

Should Arsenal fail to claim the Champions League spot on offer for winning the Europa League, that place would then go to the third-placed Ligue 1 side who usually have to go through a qualifying round to reach the lucrative group stages.

The winners of the Europa League go straight into the group stages.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Lyon have benefitted this way, either. They also got straight into the group stages last season because Atletico Madrid won the Europa League.

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