The lowdown on Arsenal's Europa League group rivals

The lowdown on Arsenal's Europa League group rivals

English Premier league side Arsenal were handed a logistical challenge when they were pitted against Ukraine's Vorskla Poltava and Azeri side Qarabag as well as Portugal's Sporting in Group E.

There has been diplomatic tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory, with a ceasefire declared in 1994 after fighting erupted several years earlier.

Chelsea are back in the Europa League for the first time since they won the competition in 2013.

When Mkhitaryan played for Borussia Dortmund in 2015, the German club opted to leave him out of their squad for a Europa League game against Azerbaijani club Gabala.

'We've talked to the player again, and it's the best decision for all involved.

Arsenal have been drawn in Group E of the 2018/2019 Europa League draws that was held on Friday in Monaco.

Bayer Leverkusen, who missed out on Champions League football on goal difference last season, were placed in Group A with Bulgaria's Ludogorets, FC Zurich and AEK Larnaca of Cyprus.

In relation to the situation surrounding Mkhitaryan, UEFA said in a statement to Press Association Sport: "It is a standard procedure for UEFA to send letters of support to associations, clubs or embassies in order to obtain visas for players in order to be able to travel to another country and play in UEFA competition matches".

Maurizio Sarri's Blues have been drawn with Greek side PAOK, Belarusian champions BATE Borisov and Hungarian title winners Vidi in Group L.

RB Leipzig's reward for Thursday's last-gasp victory over Zorya Luhansk is a Europa League group including sister club Salzburg.

Cross-city rivals Rangers have the toughest-looking draw of the British quartet.

The first group games will played on September 20.

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