Europa League draw: Everything you need to know as Arsenal await opponents

Fresh Arsenal newsletter

Despite it not being the tournament they were striving for, Arsenal are back in European action this season and will discover their fate on Friday.

Embed from Getty Images

Following a years absence from the tournament, Mikel Arteta’s side will be up against some of Europe’s elite as they fight to get back in the Champions League.

The draw for the group stages takes place this Friday 26th August, where the Gunners will wait to learn their opponents for a packed schedule of fixtures.

To give you an idea of everything you need to know, we’ve broken it down to make it as simple as possible:

When does it take place?

The draw for the group stage will commence at 11am (GMT) on Friday 26th August. It’s likely that 12pm (GMT) will be more likely the start time for teams to be drawn from the hat. It will take place live from Istanbul.

Where can I watch it?

The draw will be live via BT Sport and will be available via their streaming platforms. BT Sport tend to show the draw for free via Twitter and YouTube channels.

When are the fixtures?

Arsenal will kick off their Europa League campaign on Thursday 8th September. The group stage will then conclude on Thursday November 3rd.

What’s different this year?

The main difference with the competition is how quickly the group stage is played out.

Matches will take place on 8th and 15th September, before a three week break ahead of games on 6th and 13th October. The final round of fixtures will then take place on 27th October and 3rd November.

This is mainly due to the World Cup taking place in the middle of the season, meaning UEFA want the Europa League group stage concluded before the tournament kicks off in Qatar.

Also different from the last time Arsenal were in the Europa League is the fact that the winner of the group will progress straight to the round of 16.

That means two less fixtures to worry about, ensuring there is a genuine desire to top the group and not just play out the fixtures with a team made up of kids and reserves.

On the flip side, if you finish second in the group you will be involved in the R32 games, whilst a third placed finish will land you in the Europa Conference League.

Who else is involved?

Over the years this tournament has grown in stature and importance and with many clubs strengthening, it means some big names are always involved.

Arsenal will be seeded in pot one and won’t be allowed to be drawn with fellow English opposition, Manchester United. The full list of teams involved is as follows:

Roma, Manchester United, Arsenal, Lazio, Braga, Feyenoord, Rennes, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Union Berlin, Freiburg, Nantes, Monaco, Sturm Graz, Union Saint-Gilloise, Midtjylland.

How big are the squads?

Arsenal must name a 25-man squad for the Europa League so there will be a few notable absentees when all players are to be registered a week before the first fixture.

Five substitutes can be used in each match, similar to what is currently applicable in the Premier League where you can only make three separate substitute periods.

Sign up to our new free weekly newsletter to get the updated Arsenal Power Rankings to your inbox every week, plus lots of other Arsenal content by clicking here. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for Arsenal news and stats including breaking transfer news. Subscribe to our new YouTube channel for video content.