Arsenal will begin their Europa League group stage campaign against Rapid Wien in Austria later this month after Uefa confirmed the fixtures for the first six rounds of the competition.
The Gunners are the highest-ranked side currently in the Europa League, according to Uefa’s coefficients, leading to bookmakers’ installing them as early tournament favourites following their strong start to the season.
However, they have fallen short in their quest to win the Europa League over the last three seasons, and should they finally claim the trophy this season, they will need to emerge from what appears to be a fairly straightforward group.
Arsenal were drawn in Group B alongside Austrian league runners-up Rapid Wien, as well as Norwegian champions Molde, though Arsenal would normally expected to overcome both sides in a one-off game.
However, with this season’s bloated schedule almost certain to see Mikel Arteta rotate his side in order to maximise their chances in every competition, the Europa League provides great uncertainty and that could play right into the hands of group minnows Dundalk, with the Irish champions the fourth and final team to be placed in Group B.
The Gunners begin their campaign against Rapid Wien in Austria on Thursday 22 October, before taking on Dundalk at the Emirates the following week.
Like the Champions League group stage, the Europa League features a double-header through round three and four, meaning Arsenal take on Molde at home on 5 November before facing them against three weeks later.
Their penultimate match of the group stage comes with the return fixture against Wien at the start of December, before wrapping things up against Dundalk in Ireland on 10 December, and should the campaign go as planned, the last-32 draw will take place on 14 December.
Arsenal’s Europa League fixtures
22 October: Rapid Wien (A)
29 October: Dundalk (H)
5 November: Molde (H)
26 November: Molde (A)
3 December: Rapid Wien (H)
10 December: Dundalk (A)
Source: Read Full Article