UEFA Champions League play-off draw: Arsenal face Besiktas, Celtic back in
On Friday the draw for the final qualifying stage of the UEFA Champions League was made.
Premier League side Arsenal face a tricky trip to Istanbul to play Turkish outfit Besiktas home and away for a place in the UCL knockout stages.
[RELATED: Celtic reinstated to UCL]
The Gunners made it to the last 16 in 2013-14 but were knocked out by Bayern Munich and have struggled to make waves in Europe’s elite club competition for some time.
As for the other British side in the mix, Celtic were sensationally reinstated on Friday morning after being beaten by Legia Warsaw in the third-qualifying round but the Polish outfit fielded an ineligible player so Celtic were sent through and now face Slovenian champions Maribor for a place in the group stages.
Elsewhere the tie of the round is arguably Spanish side Athletic Bilbao going up against Napoli, as both teams plays attractive soccer and will add some spice to the group stages if they make it through. Lille vs. Porto and FC Copenhagen vs. Bayer Leverkusen also catch the eye.
Below is the draw in full, as you can already start to hear that Champions League music building up in your head.
UEFA Champions League play-off draw, ties to be played August 19/20 & 26/27
Maribor vs. Celtic
Salzburg vs. Malmo
Aalborg vs. Apoel Nicosia
Steaua Bucharest vs. Ludogorets
Slovan Bratislava vs. BATE Borisov
Besiktas vs. Arsenal
Standard Liege vs. Zenit St. Petersburg
FC Copenhagen vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Lille vs. Porto
Napoli vs. Athletic Bilbao