Arsenal set for easy Europa League group draw and could play against Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown club | The Sun

ARSENAL look set for an easy Europa League group whoever they draw today – and could even be pitted against Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown club.

The high-flying Gunners return to European competition after a year off.

And the way things are shaping up ahead of Friday's draw, it looks as though they should be well on course to qualify for the knockout stages – especially after their lightning start domestically.

Arsenal – runners-up to Chelsea in 2019 – will be in Pot 1 as one of the heavyweights in this season's tournament.

They will be joined by fellow Premier League side Manchester United, Lazio, Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiacos as well as Europa Conference League winners Roma, managed by Jose Mourinho.

Even the worst-case scenario is not particularly daunting for Mikel Arteta.

Monaco, Real Sociedad or PSV Eindhoven are arguably the strongest teams in Pot 2.

The principality side finished third last season in Ligue 1 and were knocked out of Champions League qualifying by PSV.

To make matters worse, they have lost superstar midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni in an £85million transfer to Champions League winners Real Madrid this summer.

This week's play-offs have confirmed the remaining teams who will compete in the 32-club group stages.

Europa League draw pots

Pot 1: Roma, Man Utd, Arsenal, Lazio, Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Dynamo Kyiv, Olympiacos

Pot 2: Feynoord, PSV, Rennes, Monaco, Real Sociedad, Qarabag, Malmo, Ludogorets

Pot 3: Real Betis, Midtjylland, Bodo/Glimt, Ferencvaros, Union Berlin, SC Freiburg, Fenerbahce

Pot 4: Nantes, HJK, Sturm Graz, AEK Larnaca, Omonia, Zurich, Union Saint-Gilloise, Trabzonspor

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Arsenal may be drawn in the same quartet as Sturm Graz.

The minnows finished second in the Austrian Bundesliga last season.

Graz is the country's second-largest city and is the birthplace of bodybuilder-turn-actor-turn-politician Schwarzenegger.

He grew up in a tiny village called Thal in the state of Styria, just two miles west of Graz.

And they could do with his power and strength if they want to outmuscle one of Europe's top clubs should they face each other this season.

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Belgian runners-up Union Saint-Gilloise are guaranteed to be in Pot 4 due to their tiny Uefa coefficient.

The sister-club of Brighton are making their debut in a Uefa competition after being pipped by Club Brugge in the Jupiler Pro League play-offs.

However, the Gunners could face a sterner test if they are drawn against Feyenoord or Rennes from Pot 2, Fenerbahce rom Pot 3 and Nantes from Pot 4.

But with the ways things are going at the Emirates so far this season, fans will be confident they can go all the way to Europa League glory – regardless of who they face in the group stages.

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