Arsenal are preparing for an easy Europa League draw and could play against Arnold Schwarzenegger’s home club

Arsenal look set for an easy group in the Europa League whoever they draw today – and they could even face Arnold Schwarzenegger’s home club.

The high-flying Gunners are back in European competition after a year off.

Arsenal eyes relatively simple Europa League group draw

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Arsenal eyes relatively simple Europa League group drawcredit: Getty

And the way things are shaping up ahead of Friday’s draw, it looks like they should be well on their way to qualifying for the knockout stages – especially after a quick start at home.

Arsenal – runners-up to Chelsea in 2019 – will be in Pot 1 as one of the heavyweights in this season’s tournament.

They will be joined by the English Premier League team, Manchester United, Lazio, Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiacos, as well as the European League-winning club led by Jose Mourinho.

Even the worst-case scenario isn’t particularly frightening for Mikel Arteta.

Monaco, Real Sociedad and PSV Eindhoven are arguably the strongest teams in the second pot.

The emirate team finished last season in third place in Ligue 1 and were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers by PSV Eindhoven.

To make matters worse, they have lost star midfielder Aurelien Chuamini in a £85m transfer deal to Champions League champions Real Madrid this summer.

This week’s playoff matches confirmed the remaining teams that will compete in the 32-club group stage.

Europa League draw

First classification: Roma, Man United, Arsenal, Lazio, Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Dinamo Kyiv, Olympiacos.

Level Two: Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, Rennes, Monaco, Real Sociedad, Karabagh, Malmo, Ludogorets.

Third place: Real Betis, Midtjelland, Bodo / Glimt, Ferencvaros, Union Berlin, SC Freiburg, Fenerbahce.

Fourth level: Nantes, HGK, Sturm Graz, AEK Larnaca, Omonia, Zurich, Union Saint Giloise, Trabzonspor.

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Arsenal may be drawn into the same quartet as the Sturm Graz.

The junior team finished second in the Austrian league last season.

Graz is the second largest city in the country and is the birthplace of Schwarzenegger, the bodybuilder – in turn – actor – in turn – politician.

He grew up in a small village called Tal in the state of Styria, just two miles west of Graz.

They can take advantage of his strength and power if they want to outdo one of the best clubs in Europe if they face each other this season.

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Belgian second-placed Union Saint-Gilloise is guaranteed to be in Pot 4 due to the small Uefa coefficient.

Sister club Brighton are making their UEFA competition debut after being overtaken by Club Brugge in the Jubilee League play-offs.

However, the Gunners could face a tougher test if they draw against Feyenoord or Rennes from pot 2, Fenerbahce from pot 3 and Nantes from pot 4.

But with the way things are going in the Emirates so far this season, fans will be confident they can go for glory in the Europa League – no matter who they face in the group stages.

Arsenal, led by Unai Emery, lost the 2019 Europa League final to Chelsea

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Arsenal, led by Unai Emery, lost the 2019 Europa League final to Chelseacredit: Getty



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