Mkhitaryan security fears over Arsenal's Azerbaijan trip

UEFA Europa League Final Preview – Stockholm

UEFA Europa League Final Preview – Stockholm

There are now no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, primarily because of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and as a policy Azerbaijan denies issuing entry visas to Armenian nationals or even people with Armenian surnames.

Marseille, last season's beaten Europa League finalists, were drawn with Lazio and Eintracht Frankfurt in a strong Europa League group on Friday (Aug 31).

Arsenal's other opponents in Group E are Sporting Lisbon and Ukraine's Vorskla Poltava.

Some potentially tricky games are compounded by questions over Mkhitaryan's availability for the trip to Azerbaijan, which is also hosting the Europa League final in the capital of Baku. Mikhail Gordeychuk will be looked on to score for BATE while former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb continues to play a role at the age of 37.

In addition to the two Ukrainian clubs in the UEFA Europa League will play several Ukrainian players representing teams from overseas - Ruslan Malinovskiy ("Genk"), Evgenie Seleznev ("Bafra"), Yevhen Makarenko (Anderlecht), Evgeny Shakhov and Yevhen Khacheridi (both PAOK).

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Salzburg and Leipzig, which share close ties with energy drink Red Bull, were drawn together in a group with Celtic and Rosenborg.

Playing in their first European campaign in half a century, Burnley ran out of juice Thursday as they bowed out in their Europa League qualifier against Olympiakos while Rangers and Celtic both advanced.

Rangers, a fourth seed, face a tough task progressing on their return to Europe against Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow.

The first set of group fixtures take place on September 20.

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