Arsenal to take on Fenerbahce in Champions League play-off

Arsenal will face Fenerbahce for a place in the Champions League group stage, the Independent has reported, after the draw for the Champions League play-off round was made on Friday morning. The Gunners will be away in the first leg.

The Turkish side, along with rivals Besiktas, were initially barred from competing in Europe this season after a match fixing scandal, but pending a hearing which takes place on August 28 – around the time of the second leg – they have been reinstated.

It represents a difficult tie for Arsene Wenger’s side, who qualified for the Champions League for the 16th consecutive season by virtue of a late run to finish fourth in last season’s Premier League, as Fenerbahce reached the Europa League semi-finals in 2012-13. Their squad contains former Premier League players Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles.

Celtic, who beat Elfsborg in the third qualifying round 1-0 on aggregate, face a trip to Kazakhstan to take on Shakhter Karagandy, who are aiming to reach the group stage for the first time. In the pick of the other ties, seven-time European champions Milan face PSV Eindhoven, winners in 1988.

The first legs take place on August 20-21, with the second legs a week later.

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