Arsenal Football Club will play CSKA Moscow in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, as revealed in the official draw which was made earlier today.
Arsene Wenger’s men will look to make a statement in the first leg when they host CSKA on April 5th, before travelling to the Russian capital seven nights later to decide which of the two teams will progress to the semi-finals of the competition.
The draw comes in the wake of renewed tension between the United Kingdom and Russia, but above that, many eyes will be on Wenger to see whether or not he can guide the Gunners into what would be their first appearance in the final four of a major European tournament in years.
In regards to the remaining games in the final eight, fellow favourites Atletico Madrid will take on Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, RB Leipzig will face Marseille, and underdogs Salzburg will come face to face with European heavyweights Lazio.
Over in the UEFA Champions League, the two remaining English teams will square off for a place in the semis as Manchester City take on Liverpool. If Arsenal wind up winning the Europa, they will book themselves a place in the UCL for the 2018/19 campaign.
Given that Arsenal are so far away from the top four it seems logical to suggest that this will be their only feasible route into Europe’s biggest club competition, and it’s clear to see that they’re taking it seriously off the back of their convincing victory over Italian side AC Milan in the Round of 16.
Their game prior to the first leg against CSKA will be a home tie against Stoke City, meanwhile, their final match before the visit to Moscow will be another game at the Emirates against struggling Southampton. If they do progress against the Russians, the semi-final legs will be played on April 26th and May 3rd following the initial draw on April 13th.