Gunners draw Udinese

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Arsenal have been handed a Champions League play-off draw against Italian side Udinese.

Arsene Wenger's men collapsed at the end of the last Barclays Premier League season to finish fourth and so face a qualifying tie to secure safe passage to the lucrative group stages for a 14th season.

The Gunners were seeded for Friday's draw in Nyon, and will face a two-legged fixture over August 16/17 and 23/24, which is sandwiched between some tough Barclays Premier League games against Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Even though Arsenal were one of the seeds, there was no fixture weighting, meaning the Gunners will play the first leg at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger, though, must serve a one-match touchline ban following UEFA disciplinary action in the wake of last season's second-round exit to Barcelona in the Nou Camp, after being charged with "inappropriate language" directed towards referee official Massimo Busacca.

The Swiss official had controversially shown Robin van Persie a second yellow card for shooting at goal just one second after he had blown the whistle for offside - the Dutch striker claimed he had not heard it due to the noise of the 95,000-plus crowd.

The 10-men of Arsenal, who had beaten Barcelona in the first leg, went on to lose 3-1 to crash out of Europe.

Midfielder Samir Nasri was also sanctioned by UEFA for his outburst at Busacca, and will not be available, nor will van Persie, whose suspension was carried over into Arsenal's next European tie.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Robin Van Persie
European News
Premier League
Newcastle United
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Samir Nasri

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