Champions League Qualifying Draw Preview

Bonjour Mes Amis…

Today is Champions League draw day, and within the next half of the day, we should find out who we have been drawn against in the qualifying round of the Champions League. I’ve been asked a lot of questions in the last few days about the draw and the background of the competition and how the seeding works etc – so I’ll try my best to answer them now!

Why do Arsenal have to qualify for the Champions League?

As we finished fourth last season, we have to play a qualifying match in order to gain entrance to the Champions League “proper”. If we win, we will qualify for the group stage of the competition; if we lose, we will be eliminated from the competition.

When will the ties be played?

The play off round will be a two legged affair. The first leg will be scheduled for either August the 16th or August the 17th with the second leg on a week later, on either August the 23rd or August the 24th. There is no home and away seedings, so we could be at home for the first leg or we could be away.

Who can we face?

There are 20 teams in this round – split into two pots – those who won their league “champions”, predominantly from smaller countries and those who have not won their league, but qualified through their finishing position. We are in the “non-champions” side.

Out of the 10 teams left, 5 are seeded and 5 are not seeded. We, along with 4 other teams are seeded.

We will be drawn against one of the following five teams:

  • Rubin Kazan
  • Udinese
  • Odense
  • Twente
  • FC Zürich

These 5 teams have won their previous qualifying round and are not seeded.

Who else is in our side of the draw?

Along side us, Benefica, Bayern Munich, Lyon and Villareal will make us the other five teams. We cannot play against any of them as they are all seeded. The draws are quite exciting this year and all of the sides who are seeded will be favourites to win their matches.

Who would we prefer to avoid?

Rubin Kazan stand out as a tie we’d like to avoid. Sandwiched between Newcastle, Liverpool and United, the trip to Rubin Kazan would be very taxing – it’s about 4000 miles there and back! In addition, they’re actually quite a decent side – if I am correct, they’ve held their own, especially with their shock win against Barcelona in October 2009 followed up two weeks later by a 0-0 draw.

Who would be our ideal choice?

My choice would be Odense as they are very much the smallest of the teams in the draw – although they shot to fame when they beat Real Madrid in 1995. In reality, they are the 3rd best club in Denmark, and have a small 14,000 seater stadium. Ideal distance and without a doubt, we should be able to be them convincingly.

When and where is the draw?

The draw will be held later today, circa 1300 BST and will be held in Nyon – the draw will be available to watch live on Sky Sports, the BBC and

Hopefully that’s answered all the questions! I am looking forward to knowing who we have…!

Before I leave you, in other news, Kyle Bartley has rejoined Rangers for a year loan, sparking speculation that we’re on the verge of signing a new centre back – and secondly, young Cescito was back in training yesterday in front of 1000’s of members at member’s day, alongside Arsene, Ivan and Silent Stan – perhaps the owner has come to sort out the Cesc situation once and for all…

Adios for now, I’ll be back around midday!

  • Highman

    A nice job.thanks for educating supporters on how the draws are being made

  • nigel

    Whatever that very, very old, half witted, bloated, butt smoking daddies boy says. Stan do yourself a favour, kick him out or shove him in the attic and feed him fish heads for the rest of his miserable life, he really is that embarrassing relative that messes his pants at a party but won’t go home because he won’t admit he smells.

    Once again we have had all summer to buy what we need and once again this club has failed spectacularly, Wenger already has his excuses lined up just like the rubber ducks he pays so much money to, and we can’t get them off the books, again, smart management. But no one ever says a word!

    If you like me have watched pre-season, you can see we haven’t missed cesc and that killer pass, because when Cesc plays, we play tippy tappy football.

    What we have missed since the invincibles is a credible defence, Squillaci, Koscielny and Djourou aren’t it I’m afraid, I have inside information that says the whole staff know it too, but Wenger’s ego won’t allow him to admit he’s cocked up royally, so we all have to suffer, please don’t think stubborn and massive ego are the same thing.

    What happened to the days of sacking under performing managers, ask Terry Neil, Don Howe and Bruce Rioch!

    It’s great having Gervinho, but we only got him because Chamakh is so bad, Bendtner is also poor but that’s because he is played out of position, either way we have had to suffer him for years because Wenger said he would come good, now he realises he won’t, he quietly disses him. Oh and remember when he used to quote Denilson’s Opta stats???

    We are all so fed up, we applaud Gervinho arriving instead of questioning why we suffered Bendtner for so long, now we are going through the same thing with Chamakh.

    I can see no difference between this season and last, we play the same way and defend as bad, we don’t miss Cesc, we miss Adams, Keown and Campbell, that’s what we miss. There are scores of top stoppers out there and we get 3 that can’t stop, smart move for a top manager that.

    I can never understand the logic in selling a top player, then looking for a replacement, then using the excuse, ‘they know we have a lot of money so we can’t buy anyone, I won’t pay inflated prices’

    We should buy Mata or whoever we like and let Cesc know we don’t give a rats arse about his feelings, this is Arsenal football club, not Arsene’s nursery and ex player roadshow, Sunday’s debacle showed us that.

    Yes I know TH14 was a legend, but you know what? He left us for riches elsewhere, he now plays for Red Bull New York and getting 5 minutes for us is all about him and it should be all about us. And like everything else this club does, Wenger said he pleaded with the ref at half time, how long have we known about this fixture? If he wanted that he should have stipulated it last year, when the fixture came out.

    I have said before, Cesc will be a crock, I have said before get a replacement in before we decide on him, I have said before we need 2 world class centre backs and we will need 4 throughout a season, TV5 and Bartley will make up the four, and I have said before that Bendtner, Almunia, Denilson, Squillaci and Eboue are not good enough, all are still here and the season starts next week, no wonder we have no money.

    But Eboue makes everyone laugh, well so does a plastic turd at a party but you wouldn’t pay that £60k a week and give it an 8 year contract and image rights would you? Hmmmm but I know someone that might!

    Denilson by the way says he’ll be back next year, as we are kindly letting him have a year off so he can be near his 3 year old daughter, generous that, never mind Arsenal’s needs, I also bet we are paying his massive salary too.

    So a quick report on progress so far boss, we sell Clichy and replace him with one of two players that aren’t as good. We buy in a right back for the future and three 16 year olds, we buy in Gervinho (who does look good) and we are begging Cesc and Nasri to stay, but at what cost, oh and we are trying to sell 4 more.

    Oh and I didn’t even bother mentioning the youth players let go or sold.

    Me? I’d keep Nasri, but only if he signed a new contract, otherwise I would sell him to the highest bidder, if it were to City I would ask for Richards and De Jong in return or I would sell him for less elsewhere.

    Cesc would go to the highest bidder, I’m afraid he has blotted his copybook once to often for me, I also believe he is now a crock, and who’s fault is that? Playing a kid at 16 in a mans team will do that everytime, there aren’t too many young kids that make it through a career, look at Michael Owen.

    Jury is out on Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere and Theo, time will tell

  • lornik


    WTF…….IT’S NOT LIKE ARSENAL DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO BRING IN THE PLAYERS WE SO DESPERATELY NEED…IF HE HASN’T SIGNED CAHILL OR SAMBA OR JAGKEILKA (sp Embarassed ) BY NOW THEN THERE’S NO WAY HE’S GOING TO AT THIS LATE STAGE !!!!banghead banghead banghead banghead banghead banghead banghead banghead banghead banghead banghead


  • agentsmurf

    @lornik – to be honest, I don’t give a fuck about Cesc any more. Great player, been great for Arsenal, he doesn’t want to play for us at all any more so let him go for £33m if necessary. Why? Because if we don’t we’ll have a half arsed Cesc for part of the season (when he’s not injured…again) and then we’ll go through this all over again next year. Get it done, whatever the cost. banghead banghead
    Nasri can fucking follow him, I certainly don’t want him at Arsenal, if he can’t be bothered to sign a contract, fuck him off to City for 22m.
    Until we clear out the unwanted and unhappy there is no way this football club can move on.
    Oh, and get rid of the cancer that is Arsole Wenger too, eating away at the club, infesting it with his bullshit.
    There’s only one Arsole Wenger!

  • agentsmurf

    Gazidis is currently on holiday

  • rado

    Hope we get Rubin Kazan

    We’ve always got lucky in these play off draws and the Group stages.

    Rubin destroyed Dynamo Kiev in the previous round and showed they were no mugs against Barca on more than one occasion.

    Sadly Wenger’s project needs to be terminated….that will only happen without CL football

  • Kodjo

    @ Nigel

    Please stop copying and pasting someones written work (blog). Legrove to be precise!!!!