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Arsenal’s Possible Champions League Opponents Revealed

Emirates club in £25million two-legged tie.

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Arsenal have now learnt who they could possibly face in their £25million play-off qualifier for the Champions League.

The Gunners will be hoping to avoid Udinese and Rubin Kazan when the draw is made in Nyon, Switzerland, tomorrow.

The two-legged tie will determine whether they reach the lucrative group stage for the 14th year in a row.

Manager Arsene Wenger has cited the fact Arsenal have repeatedly qualified for the Champions League to defend his record in the wake of their six-year trophy drought.

Defeat in the matches, which take place on August 15 and 22, would pile even more pressure onto the Frenchman and his young team.

As well as Udinese and Rubin, Wenger’s men could face FC Twente, FC Zurich or Odense, who were runners-up in Holland, Switzerland and Denmark respectively.

Arsenal have never played either side but Rubin earnt a reputation for causing upsets by beating Barcelona 2-1 at the Nou Camp.

Wenger will also be keen to avoid the long trip to Russia.

Udinese are a threat but have sold many of their best players including Gokhan Inler, Alexis Sanchez and Christian Zapata.

The Gunners have also never played Zurich but thrashed Twente – then managed by Steve McClaren – 6-0 in the play-off round three years ago

While Odense were their opening opponents when they won the 1994 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Arsenal are seeded in the play-off round’s ‘league route’, as are four-time European champions Bayern Munich, two-time winners Benfica, Villarreal and Lyon.

The ‘champions route’ boasts Rangers’ conquerors Malmo, FC Viktoria Plzen and Wisla Krakow, all of whom are looking to reach the group stage for the first time.

They are unseeded, along with Genk and Sturm Graz and will play one of the five seeded sides – FC Copenhagen, BATE Borisov, Maccabi Haifa, Dinamo Zagreb and APOEL.

Tomorrow’s draw takes place at 1100 UK time, with the Europa League draw following at 1230 UK time.

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