Arsenal will get to pretend they’re playing in the Champions League instead of the Europa League when they play on Wednesday next month instead of Thursday, but what’s that about?
Arsenal face Portuguese side, Vitoria, on Wednesday 24 October with a 3.50pm kick-off, a time normally reserved for nothing but pre-season matches.
As we know, UEFA get a bit antsy if two teams from the same region are due to play at home at the same time. FC Braga, who live about 20 minutes away from Vitoria’s home ground will host Besiktas on Thursday, so UEFA moved Arsenal’s game to make sure the area wasn’t flooded with fans.
It now kicks-of at 3.50pm because it cannot also clash with any Champions League matches and the first matches that day kick-off at 5.55pm when Club Brugge host Galatasaray and Tottenham travel to Olympiacos.
UEFA have form in this area, especially when it comes to moving Arsenal matches. Last season they switched both our last 16 and quarter final ties because Chelsea, who had a higher ranking, were also slated to play at home on the same day.