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Arsenal head coach Unai Emery reacts to Europa League draw

PUBLISHED: 14:21 31 August 2018

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking at London Colney. PA

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking at London Colney. PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking about his side’s Europa League opponents during his press conference at London Colney on Friday afternoon. Read on for more.

Emery’s side will face Sporting Lisbon, Azerbaijan’s Qarabag and FC Vorskla from Ukraine.

The former PSG boss previewed the ties by saying: “First it’s three teams and we’ll have the recipe for them,” he said. “After this, we want to go far in this competition. Each match is different and each match involves a lot of travel.

“For some, the travel is very long but it’s like that. The adaptation for these three teams needs to be positive and we need to face them with ambition and our interest to do well in the competition.

“When you play two matches in a week, you have more time to prepare for the matches, to prepare the players physically. When you play three matches in a week, it’s hard. There’s less time to prepare for the match and work physically, but we want it like that.

“We want to play three matches in a week with the league and the cups. After the international break, we are going to play a lot of matches. In this moment, we are not playing every player in this squad because we’re only playing one match every week. But I am sure we’re going to use a lot of players after this international break.”

The tie with Sporting Lisbon is the first against the Portuguese giants since the Gunners beat them in November 1969 on the way to lifting the Fairs Cup.

Bertie Mee’s side drew 0-0 in Lisbon in the second round, first leg before dispatching the verde e brancos 3-0 at Highbury in front of 35,253 fans on November 26, 1969.

Arsenal will face a trip to Ukraine to face Qarabag, who are nicknamed the Horsemen.

They are managed by the well-travelled 46-year-old Gurban Gurbanov, who made 68 appearances for the Azerbaijan national side between 1992 and 2005, scoring 14 goals.

Qarabag qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the country’s history last term, and made it through to the group stages by beating Sheriff Tiraspol 3-0 on Thursday evening, to progress 3-1 on aggregate.

Arsenal’s final group stage opponenents are FC Vorskla who play in the 24,795 capacity Butovsky Vorskla Stadium in the Ukraine Premier League.

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