Arsenal drawn against Turkish side Fenerbahce in Champions League play-off
Gunners are looking to reach their 15th consecutive appearance in the group stages while Celtic will face Shakhter Karagandy
Friday 09 August 2013
Arsenal have been drawn against Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-off draw.
The Gunners are looking to reach the Champions League group stages for the 15th consecutive time under manager Arsene Wenger, having pipped rivals Tottenham to fourth-place on the final day of last season.
Fenerbahce were one of two Turkish teams - along with Besiktas - to be banned from European competition for match-fixing, but thy were reinstated pending an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The hearing is expected to take place on August 28, meaning they will have likely played the second-leg against Arsenal before they find out their fate, with the second round of matches taking place on the 27/28 August with the first leg a week earlier.
Wenger will be hoping for an easy route to the group stages in an effort to convince Liverpool striker Luis Suarez that Arsenal will be competitive in the Champions League this season. With owner John W Henry's comments that they will not sell the Uruguayan under any circumstances, it may be down to Suarez to fight the club to try and force a move away should he desire to.
Celtic have been drawn against Shakhter Karagandy of Kazakhstan, meaning that both British teams in the play-offs will actually face away trips to Asia, despite the standing of the Champions League as the premier European competition.
Karagandy were disqualified from the Kazakstan Premier League for their part in a fixed match, with coaches and management involved banned from the sport for 60 months.
The decision was review and instead they were deducted nine points from their league total, with opponents FC Vostok expelled from the competition.
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