Arsenal drawn with Köln and Red Star in Europa League

Arsenal drawn with Köln and Red Star in Europa League

Arsenal will face some big names in the Europa League group stage

dylan_walsh
Dylan Walsh

Arsenal have been handed a tricky group in the Europa League with a group of BATE Borisov, FC Köln, and Red Star Belgrade.

The Gunners are competing in the competition for the first time since 2000, and it will be the first time Arsenal are involved in the group stages of the Europa League since 1998.

Nostalgia trip

Arsenal will travel to Belarus to face off against BATE, the most successful team from the nation, and the tie will serve as a nostalgia trip for some fans due to a certain player, Alexander Hleb, who played for both teams during his career.

A tough test

Köln, on paper, look to be the most difficult team in the group, with the German club finishing 5th in the Bundesliga last season after an incredible season that saw the Billy Goats exceed all expectations.

However, Köln have been hindered in the summer transfer window after Anthony Modeste, who scored 24 goals last season in Bundesliga for the club, was sold off to China for a reported fee of £35 million.

A classic club

Rounding off the group is Red Star Belgrade. The Serbian giants are one of the most well known Eastern European football clubs on the continent, having been the only Serbian and former-Yugoslavian club to lift the Champions League.

Red Star could only finish in second place last season as the Belgrade based club came runners up to hated rivals, FK Partizan, in the Championship round of the Serbian SuperLiga.

A tough group for the Toffees

The other English team in the competition, Everton, were dealt with one of the hardest groups in the Europa League. The Toffees will face off against Olympique Lyon, Atalanta, and Apollon Limassol.

Lyon was selected as the host city for the 2018 Europa League final.

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