Arsenal to face Fenerbahce
Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side take on Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-offs
Arsenal have been drawn to face Turkish club Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-offs.
Fenerbahce are awaiting a final ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over whether they will be allowed to go into the competition proper this season, having been banned from competing in Europe by UEFA for match-fixing in domestic competition.
They have challenged that ruling and a CAS verdict is due before the group stage draw is made, but home and away matches against Arsenal stand to go ahead before that decision arrives.
UEFA on Friday said no decision has yet been made regarding what would happen in the event of Fenerbahce winning the tie and losing their CAS appeal.
Fenerbahce finished second in the Turkish Super Lig last season, while Arsenal took fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.
Celtic have been drawn against Shakhter Karagandy of Kazakhstan in what appears a favourable draw, travel notwithstanding, for Neil Lennon's team as they bid to reach the group stages.
Celtic came through 1-0 on aggregate against Elfsborg in the third qualifying round, winning at Parkhead and then holding on for a hard-earned goalless draw in Sweden on Wednesday night.
The Scottish champions made it through to the last 16 last season, beating Barcelona at home in the group stages to advance along with the Spanish giants before bowing out to Juventus.
It proved a lucrative run for the Glasgow club, who will now face a team who have no European pedigree, aiming to reach a main-draw stage for the first time. Celtic, by contrast, won the old European Cup in 1967.
Shakhter landed the Kazakh league title in 2012 but their form in 2013 has been shaky. They ended the regular season in third place, behind Aktobe and Astana, and are heading into the championship round of the domestic campaign.
Arsenal's task against Fenerbahce looks more daunting than the challenge facing Celtic.
Fenerbahce have former Premier League players Raul Meireles, Joseph Yobo and Dirk Kuyt in their ranks.
The ties are to be played on August 20-21 and August 27, with Celtic and Arsenal both away from home, facing long trips, for the first legs.
Among other ties, former European champions PSV Eindhoven and AC Milan will meet in a mouthwatering tie.
Real Sociedad's reward for their impressive Spanish league campaign is a two-legged tie with French giants Lyon.
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I've been following Arsenal for 45yrs, I will not be going anymore. In the last 5yrs Arsenal have changed, they have tripled there ticket prices. They can not compete with any teams in the transfer market. They have sold every player that's worth more then £1m. It will be nice when the fair play rule comes in. Maybe Arsenal will start being fair to the fans again and give us a little bit back.
How can you Arsenal fans carry on supporting the club the way it`s being handled.
Highest prices in the League, all the best players sold, no prospect of new team members, same old excuses from Wenger, and nobody seems to care.
Same old boring Arsenal year in year out.
A tough tie for Arsenal and one that could end up being pointless. Personally I would object to playing these games until the hearing was heard and everyone knew exactly what is happening. There is already a pointless round of international friendlies and to add these ties there is a good risk of tiredness and injury before the season really gets going.
this way they will not even get to CL.