Arsenal Meet Fenerbahce in Champions League Playoff, While Swansea and Spurs Face Tricky Ties in Europa League
Arsenal will have to defeat Turkish side Fenerbahce over two legs in order to reach the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, while Premier League side Swansea City will travel to Romania in the next round of the Europa League.
Istanbul-based Fenerbahce were originally banned from UEFA competitions over match-fixing charges in the Turkish league. The club is now awaiting a final ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) whether they will be allowed to play in the UEFA competition this season. However, the ruling from CAS isn’t expected until after Arsenal’s matches with Fenerbahce are played. The only issue is what UEFA would do if Arsenal loses to Fenerbahce and then Fener’s CAS appeal is rejected. Presumably Arsenal would still qualify for the Group Stage, but UEFA has not made a decision yet.
Fenerbahce feature several star players that you’ll be familiar with including Raul Meireles, Dirk Kuyt, Emmanuel Emenike, Bruno Alves and Emre.
Fenerbahce will play Arsenal during the weeks of August 20-21 and 27-28.
The complete draw for the UEFA Champions League playoff matches is:
Dinamo Zagreb v Austria Vienna
Ludogorets v Basel
Plzen v Maribor
Shakhter Karaganda v Celtic
Steaua Bucharest v Legia Warsaw
Lyon v Real Sociedad
Schalke 04 v FC Metalist Kharkiv
Pacos Ferreira v Zenit St Petersburg
PSV v Milan
Fenerbahce v Arsenal
Meanwhile, the draw for the third-qualifying of the Europa League was made today. Swansea, after defeating Malmo over two legs, now faces Romanian side FC Petrolul Ploieşti. Tottenham, on the other hand, faces an even trickier tie against Georgia team FC Dinamo Tblisi.
The draw is as follows:
FC Kuban Krasnodar (RUS) v Feyenoord (NED)
SV Zulte Waregem (BEL) v APOEL FC (CYP)
SK Rapid Wien (AUT) v FC Dila Gori (GEO)
Tromsø IL (NOR) v Beşiktaş JK (TUR)*
CS Pandurii Lignitul Târgu Jiu (ROU) v SC Braga (POR)
Apollon Limassol FC (CYP) v OGC Nice (FRA)
FC Aktobe (KAZ) v FC Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
Swansea City AFC (ENG) v FC Petrolul Ploieşti (ROU)
Atromitos FC (GRE) v AZ Alkmaar (NED)
FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL) v KRC Genk (BEL)
IF Elfsborg (SWE) v FC Nordsjælland (DEN)
WKS Slask Wrocław (POL) v Sevilla FC (ESP)
FC Salzburg (AUT) v VMFD Žalgiris (LTU)
Qarabag FK (AZE) v Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
FC Minsk (BLR) v R. Standard de Liège (BEL)
FK Jablonec (CZE) v Real Betis Balompié (ESP)
HNK Rijeka (CRO) v VfB Stuttgart (GER)
FC Chornomorets Odesa (UKR) v KS Skënderbeu (ALB)
Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (ISR) v PAOK FC (GRE)
FC St Gallen (SUI) v FC Spartak Moskva (RUS)
Molde FK (NOR) v FC Rubin Kazan (RUS)
FK Vojvodina (SRB) v FC Sheriff (MDA)
Trabzonspor AS (TUR) v FK Kukësi (ALB)
Esbjerg fB (DEN) v AS Saint-Étienne (FRA)
Grasshopper Club Zürich (SUI) v ACF Fiorentina (ITA)
Maccabi Haifa FC (ISR) v FC Astra (ROU)
Udinese Calcio (ITA) v FC Slovan Liberec (CZE)
FC Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Tottenham Hotspur FC (ENG)
Estoril Praia (POR) v FC Pasching (AUT)
JK Nõmme Kalju (EST) v FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR)
FK Partizan (SRB) v FC Thun (SUI)
* Beşiktaş JK’s participation in the competition is subject to CAS proceedings.
The first legs will take place on August 22, with the returns a week later.