Wenger hoping Arsenal can avoid the big hitters

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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger admits there are a few sides he would like his Arsenal team to avoid when the draw is made today for the third qualifying round of the Champions League, which is one step away from the group stages.

Arsenal join Liverpool, Rangers and Drogheda in today's draw and despite the Gunners being one of 16 seeded teams, they could still face a tough test against the likes of Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray or Sparta Prague.

Rafael Benitez's side are also seeded, along with Rangers, who still have to get past Kaunas in the second qualifying round second leg in Lithuania next week.

Wenger admitted that although he has his preferences it is pointless reading too much into the draw at this stage. "There are quite a few teams we would like to avoid," he said. "That is why it is better not to look at it. We will just take who we get. We just have to improve now, to use the two [pre-season] tournaments we play to get physically stronger and better, then we will play who we get."

Among other possible opponents for the British sides are Steve McClaren's Twente Enschede. Meanwhile, Irish champions Drogheda will be hoping to face a big name, provided they reverse a 2-1 first-leg deficit against Dynamo Kiev in the second qualifying round