Champions League draw today

I do like it best when we avoid having to play our way into the Champions League. To me, it’s unimaginable that Arsenal would not have a place in Europe’s premier competition and so I’m always worried that there’s a banana skin waiting at this stage.

Last season we breezed past Fenerbahce in the play-offs with Aaron Ramsey scoring two goals in the home leg to finish 5-0 on aggregate.

These are the teams we could face in today’s draw.

Spanish side Athletic Bilbao are in the draw. They finished fourth in La Liga. They were also seeded until Russian side Zenit St Peterburg – who have a higher co-efficient – beat Cypriot side Limassol in the third qualifying round. On paper they are probably the team to avoid.

Arsenal are seeded and so the other unseeded teams that we can be drawn against are FC Copenhagen (Denmark), Lille (France), Besiktas (Turkey) and Standard Liege (Belgium).

The two-legged ties will be played on 19-20 and 26-27 August.

The draw takes place today at 11.00 BST.

MickyDitIt, I believe, is hoping for a trip to Copenhagen although Bilbao would be his second choice.

Whoever it is we meet, I can’t wait to hear the Champions League anthem ringing out around the Emirates Stadium.






51 Responses to Champions League draw today

  1. Not very exciting I know but ………….. we’ll be talking about it ……

  2. Morning Peaches

    Bilbao will clearly be the ‘banana skin’. Copenhagen probably our easiest opposition and we don’t want to go to Turkey… despite the lure of a decent kebab 🙂
    Travel wise it has to be Lille… quite scoot through the tunne… give ’em a battering and retreat back to blighty.

  3. “quick scoot through the tunnel”
    Must stop drinking wine in the mornings 🙂

  4. kelsey says:

    Standard Liege it is then 🙂

  5. TwentyTwelve says:

    Hi all,

    Hope everyone is having a good summer. I have been lurking, but having not much to say, have kept quiet. This news, which I know is off-topic but is so unfair, drew me out:

    “Celtic reinstated to Champions League”. [BBC]

    According to an earlier BBC report, the rule violation involved fielding an ineligible player, who needed to serve the one more game from his three-game suspension started last season.

    “Bartosz Bereszynski played in the final two minutes of the Polish champions’ 2-0 victory at Murrayfield on Wednesday, a result that earned them a 6-1 win.”

    For two minutes at the end, when Legia Warsaw were winning 6-1 aggregate! How can this substitution ever matter? It could have helped Legia win 7-1, 8-1?

    Well,… that’s enough from me. Back to the program.

  6. Eddie says:

    Vermalen sold to Barca for £15mil. Shit.

  7. chas says:


  8. chas says:

    Napoli v Bilbao – Ouch

  9. chas says:

    I think they said first out plays at home first and that was Besiktas.

  10. chas says:

    19/20 and 26/27 August
    Beşiktaş(TUR) v Arsenal(ENG)
    Standard Liège(BEL) v Zenit(RUS)
    København(DEN) v Leverkusen(GER)
    LOSC(FRA) v Porto(POR)
    Napoli(ITA) v Athletic(ESP)

  11. Eddie says:

    that’s hardly a walk in the park, init

  12. LB says:

    Can someone remind me how this works?

    So, if we beat Beşiktaş are we then in the actual CL group stage?

  13. chas says:

    None of them are, but Besiktas finished 3rd 12 points behind Fenerbahce who we played in the qualifying round last year.

    If we’re not good enough to beat them over two legs, we don’t deserve to be in the group phase. Simples.

  14. chas says:

    Yep, LB.

  15. Gööner In Exile says:

    Besiktas will be a tricky away tie, mainly due to Turkish fans hostility….they sure no how to make a oppressive atmosphere.

    But cone through that and we can have done fun in CL Group Stages again, and if we don’t? Well we will have a good crack at the League with a good squad.

  16. Bryan says:

    Besiktas isn’t the easiest team we could of got but nor are they the hardest.
    We should go through over 2 legs though, I would like to think.

    I just wish we had that DM in place, it is frustrating me as we have been crying out for one, long before we needed a top striker

  17. chas says:

  18. chas says:

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    Good money for Vermaelen and glad he’s not going to United. Just hope the money is reinvested in a decent replacement. I’m sure it will be.

    Happy that we avoided Bilbao. Besiktas never easy but should have more than enough to beat them over 2 legs.

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    What’s this about Vermaelen sold to Barca? There’s nothing about it on

    Besiktas, hmm. Not easy but over two legs we should be OK.

  21. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’ve just read that we could be in for Khedira after all

    Cut price offer from Real as they don’t want to lose him on a free transfer next year.

    Do we want him? His injury record isn’t great, but our new medical staff member has worked with him at the German training camps for the past few years so should know all there is to know about him.

  22. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches, I’ve e mailed a possible post for tomorrow…

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Besiktas eh
    Chas, best Mate, can I text you tomorrow 😉
    Can’t talk now, just going in for first ever night surf
    Sun going down, clear skies, Big moon
    This could be epic

  24. Michael says:

    Champions league anthem….If he was alive Handl would probably give you an argument. 🙂

    Isn’t Turkey supposed to be nice that time of year and agree with Chas 11.34

  25. chas says:

    Sounds amazing.

    Ant and me are at Rebellion at Blackpool tomorrow, so replies to texts might be sporadic. 🙂

    If you are interested in tickets to the Istanbul game, we’ll endeavour to oblige. (you’ll probably have a few days to decide if it’s possible)

    Just had a look and there are only 1,000 tickets allocated to us priced at £12.50. 🙂
    With our current away points, tickets are on sale from 12.30pm Monday 11th August.

    For us to receive an away point credit, they are instituting a new procedure (after the bit that says “Process to redeem your voucher) – see link below.
    p.s. this isn’t a deal breaker. 🙂

  26. chas says:

    You are possibly the first person who has ever agreed with me on here. 🙂

    Somebody on twitter suggested there is nothing to fear from the reception in Turkey as, after all, it’s where their Nan goes on her holidays. 🙂

  27. arnie says:

    Haf knot bin ear for a while, apols. Travel and being under the weather conspired. But back to pavilion now, I mean Michigan.

    Well done to Peaches for the nice conversation starter today, and to Kelsey, LB, Micky and even Arsene Wenger for the nice stuff over the past few days. Lovely discussion. Have fully caught up with all the chat.

    Besiktas, eh? Tasty, munch munch. For whatever it is worth, disagree with Chas at 11:34 and Michael at 20:31. 😛 We deserve to progress under any circumstances. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok cheers Chas
    We’re still alive
    Actually probably never felt more alive 😀
    About to sleep well

  29. chas says:
  30. chas says:

  31. Eddie says:

    Peaches- nope, cannot open the blog on my laptop. What the hell???? Everything else is ok, mt mob login is ok….no idea

  32. That’s really weird, must be a gremlin in your laptop no?

    At least the blog is still there 😉

  33. Someone texted me last night that they’d heard that arseblog had been sold, anyone confirm?

  34. Oh dear, no-one around 😦 we have a very enjoyable post from chas coming up to remind us how much fun was had going to Wembley a few weeks ago.

    ………. New Post …………….

  35. Shard says:

    So we got Besiktas. Not the worst (that would have been Bilbao – poor Napoli) , but not ideal in terms of travel. Especially since we have to play the away leg first, just before we travel to Everton. Oh well. It is what it is. We should be ok.

    Vermaelen off to Barca? Well, prefer that to ManU. I know people like to claim that ManU are not a good side, but I think that’s false. We didn’t fail to beat the worst ManU side in years. Arsenal and ManU’s traditional rivalry (and the RVP thing) was enough to have those Mancs fired up enough to put in a shift against us. All the rest of the while they were undermining their patsy of a manager. Vermaelen would have strengthened them, especially if they are actually going to play three at the back. A left footed defender, who is good with the ball at his feet could be just what they need. The question for Arsenal is who we get in as replacement. I hope it’s not Hummels. Somehow I’ve never been too impressed by him and also I don’t think we should be looking to break up the Mert-Kos partnership yet.

    One rumour I am praying is true is that Arsenal are in for Marco Reus. I know it’s impractical, but I’d be willing to sacrifice a DM purchase if it meant we got Reus. Arsene first mentioned him when he was at Gladbach, he’s on record as saying he likes Arsenal, his idol was Tomas Rosicky, and boy, what a front four of Reus, Sanchez, Ozil and Walcott could do! With Ox, Campbell/Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud as backups.. Sigh.

    Oh and Rosicky. Got to love the man. (Note to all the pop lovers. He’s a metal fan. Rock on Tomas!)

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