Arsenal tie is fate says McClaren

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Former England boss Steve McClaren admits it was "fate" that his FC Twente side would be drawn against Arsenal in the Champions League third qualifying round.

McClaren took the reins at the Enschede side earlier this summer and the Eredivisie outfit will make their Champions League debut after beating Ajax in a play-off last season.

Liverpool were paired with Belgian former European powerhouse Standard Liege and Rangers or FBK Kaunas will play either Danish club Aalborg or Bosnians Modrica.

"It was strange, because as soon as I joined (Twente) I knew we had the draw coming up," said McClaren, who was sacked as England coach last season.

"I expected one of the English teams. I think fate deals you certain cards and it has dealt us this draw.

"On one hand it's very, very tough for us but on the other it is very exciting."

He added on Sky Sports News: "I think of all the teams we could have had, that is the toughest - or one of the toughest.

"Obviously we looked at Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus, Schalke and we got one of the most difficult.

"In one respect it's a tough draw for us; on the other it's now an opponent we know very well, not just myself, everyone in Holland knows the Premier League well so Arsenal will be no strangers to us.

"This is a reward for a great achievement last season in reaching this stage, to get one of the big teams.

"It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that doesn't come along that often. I'm sure the fans will be delighted.

Irish champions Drogheda will take on Spartak Moscow if they reverse a 2-1 first-leg deficit against Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kiev.

The British clubs managed to avoid Spain's Atletico Madrid, the strongest of the unseeded teams, as they were paired with German outfit Schalke.

Arsenal company secretary David Miles told Sky Sports News: "We will be pleased with the draw; logistically Holland isn't too far and it will give our fans the opportunity to see the game.

"As you rightly say it's a reunion with Steve, and we are looking forward to it.

"When Steve was first-team coach for the national team and then manager they used to use our training ground (at London Colney) so there are good relations there."

The ties will be played on August 12/13 or August 26/27.

McClaren may not be the only British coach returning to the United Kingdom in the competition.

Former Arsenal boss Bruce Rioch is currently in charge of Aalborg, the 2008 Danish SuperLiga champions. Assuming their 5-0 first-leg lead over Modrica after the first leg is enough to progress, former Scotland captain Rioch will be faced with a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers.

Elsewhere in the draw Galatasaray were paired with Steaua Bucharest, Fiorentina will play Slavia Prague, Barcelona will play either Beitar Jerusalem or Wisla Krakow and Juventus face Tampere United or Artmedia Bratislava.