Updated: 10/08/2013 15:59 | By pa.press.net

Arsenal to face Fenerbahce

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side take on Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-offs

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.

09/08/2013 12:11
Maybe Wenger should raise his standards & focus on a top 2 or 3 finish next season then we would not have to play these extra games.
09/08/2013 18:36

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.


09/08/2013 15:26
Good job you didn't get Suarez. He'd be wanting away after two games.
Saved you £40,000,001.
09/08/2013 12:10
09/08/2013 17:47
so let me get this right-arsenal play fernebache in the first leg then the hearing of their appeal for match fixing gets held before the second leg at which point arsenal have to play 2 legs against a different team if they are thrown out of europe
only UEFA could think that was right
quite clearly arsenal should be given a by into the group stages should that occur-the situation is not of their making
10/08/2013 10:30

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.

09/08/2013 19:04
Shakter Karagandy??????

That's the club we're selling Suarez to.......for £40,000,001 +1p.

10/08/2013 09:30
If I ever hear Wenger moralising on other clubs attitudes and style of play again I will reply Suarez the biter. What a two faced prude.
09/08/2013 23:08
re suarez; If Arsenal get through the CL qualifiers against Fenerbahce then I can see an official transfer request going in, probably already agreed between his agent and AW.
He has no chance of getting Suarez now, he should be relieved.
10/08/2013 10:44
09/08/2013 18:54

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.

10/08/2013 06:39

Ha ha ha id love it if they lose.


09/08/2013 18:00
that's good because arse fans build too many hopes every year.
this way they will not even get to CL.

09/08/2013 19:02

Arsenal to win cup after this tricky tie????

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