5 talking points as Arsenal and Tottenham discover Europa League fate

Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester should feel confident of qualifying for the Europa League knockout stages after they were handed a relatively kind group stage draw.

The Gunners were drawn in Group B along with Rapid Wien, Molde and Dundalk in what looks like a relatively straightforward route to the knockout stages.

Spurs, meanwhile, will also be strong favourites to finish first in their group after they were drawn with Ludogrets, LASK and Antwerp in Group J.

And Leicester will also fancy their chances in Group G after being put with Braga, AEK Athens and Zorya Luhansk.

Here are five talking points from Friday’s draw…

1. Arsenal out to avenge last season



Arsenal suffered heartache last season when they were knocked out by Olympiacos

Arsenal have suffered Europa League heartbreak in the last two seasons, losing the final to Chelsea in 2018-19 and being knocked out with a last-minute Olympiacos goal in the last-32 stage last time out.

Their manager Mikel Arteta will no doubt be desperate to add further silverware to his FA Cup and Community Shield so far, and the Europa League may well present their best chance of doing so.

The Olympiacos game will no doubt still live fresh in both his and his players’ minds, and there could be no doubt from their reaction at full-time that this is not a second-rate competition in their minds.

2. Dream draw for Dundalk

What a shame that fans of Irish champions Dundalk will not be able to pack into their 4,500 capacity Oriel Park to see them take on the mighty Gunners.

A game against Arsenal would certainly have been a huge appeal for supporters of the proud old side, who packed 18,000 in to watch a European Cup Winners’ Cup game against Spurs in the 1981-82 season.

It will still be a huge occasion for the players, who must have been dreaming of being drawn against such illustrious opposition last night.

3. Solskjaer an interested viewer



Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had two spells in charge of Molde

 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will no doubt be tuning in with intrigue when his former side Molde go up against Arsenal.

The Norwegian boss both played for and managed the team, and was in charge of his second spell before he left for United in 2018.

He will surely be cheering on from his sofa as he hopes to see his hometown club cause a major upset.

4. Spurs relieved to avoid more travel woes



Tottenham beat Maccabi Haifa to qualify for the group stage

With Spurs having to travel as far away as Bulgaria and North Macedonia for two of their three qualifying matches, Jose Mourinho may have been fearing the worst ahead of the group stage draw.

But other than one other trip to Bulgaria to take on Ludogrets, Spurs have got off relatively easy, with Belgium and Austria their other two fairly close away trips.

With their progression in the Carabao Cup continuing and the Premier League scheduling as hectic as ever, the draw could have been far, far worse with regards to travel.

5. Leicester looking to create more magic

Who could forget the last (and only) time Leicester City played in Europe?

Following their stunning Premier League win in the 2015-16 season, the Foxes created further shocks in next season’s Champions League, progressing to the quarter-finals while beating giants such as FC Porto and Sevilla on the way before eventually being knocked out by Atletico Madrid.

Brendan Rodgers’ team will fancy upsetting the odds again and progressing deep into the tournament this time around.

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.

source.



LuvNaughty | We're here to get you off LiL VAPE | Home of the vapour Latest Media News | Stay updated with us The Lazy Days | Procrastinate right