After qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in six seasons, Arsenal would surely have hoped for an easier passage into the knockout stages of the competition.
Their last foray into Europe’s premier club competition ended in a 10-2 hammering on aggregate by Bayern Munich in the Round of 16.
The Gunners are in much better shape these days, and Mikel Arteta is likely to relish playing up against some of the top teams that the continent has to offer.
— FUN88 (@fun88eng) August 31, 2023
Though Sevilla are believed to have problems off the field, they are the reigning Europa League holders for a reason, and at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in particular, they’ll present a tough test.
It’s also worth pondering on the fact that Lens came within a whisker of taking the Ligue Un title last season, finishing just a point behind a Paris Saint-Germain side that boasted a front three of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe for the most part.
PSV Eindhoven weren’t quite as close to eventual Eredivisie winners, Feyernoord, last season, however, they too will be expected to provide a stern test.
If there’s one positive to take out of the draw, it’s that all three away ties are a short plane ride away, and that can’t be overlooked, particularly coming at such a hectic stage of the season.