Arsenal draw Besiktas in Champions League qualifier

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Arsenal have been drawn against Turkish side Besiktas in the Champions League play-off round on August 19th and 27th.

Arsenal have never failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League for the past 16 years and last year beat fellow Turkish side Fenerbahce 5-0 on aggregate at the same stage of the competition.

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Plenty of exciting play-off ties

Liverpool, Chelsea and the current Premier League champions Manchester City have already qualified for the group stages, but the Gunners will be confident of joining them despite being picked to take on another tricky Turkish test.

In the other Champions League play-off draws Celtic will play against Slovenia side Maribor. Celtic were beaten 6-1 on aggregate in the previous qualifying round by Legia Warsaw, however the Polish side had fielded an ineligible player, meaning that Celtic would proceed to the play-off rounds and not Legia Warsaw.

Other key Champions League play-off matches include Lille against Porto, Napoli against Athletic Bilbao and Copenhagen FC against Bayer Leverkusen.

Europa round-up

In the Europa League play-off draw, Tottenham were drawn against Cypriot side AEL Limassol, whilst the fellow English team Hull City will face Belgian side Lokeren. 

FA Cup finalists Hull who are playing in the European competition for the first time in their history, beat Slovakian side Trencin 2-1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round of the Europa League to reach the play-offs.

The first legs of the Europa League play-offs will be played on Thursday, 21 August and the second legs on 28 August. Hull and Tottenham will be hoping to join Everton in the group stage, who finished 5th in the Premier League table last season.

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