ARSENAL have been handed a tough clash with PSV in the Europa League group stage as they prepare to return to European competition.

The Gunners, who were the first team to be drawn, have been placed in Group A alongside the Dutch side, Norwegian outfit Bodo/Glimt and Swiss club FC Zurich.

Due to the World Cup in November, the six matches are crammed into three blocks of back-to-back gameweeks.

Those will be played on September 8, September 15, October 6, October 13, October 27 and November 3.

The final will take place on Wednesday, May 31 next year at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.

PSV have dropped down to the Europa League after losing to Rangers in their Champions League qualifier earlier this week.


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Bodo Glimt are in the Europa League for the first time after competing in the Europa Conference League last season, beating Jose Mourinho's Roma home and away.

The fourth side in the group, FC Zurich, are the reigning Swiss champions.

Elsewhere in the draw, Manchester United were drawn against Real Sociedad, FC Sheriff and Omonoia.

Arsenal are returning to European football after a season away last year.

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They were pipped to the Champions League places by bitter rivals Tottenham back in May after losing two of their final three games.

Prior to the 2021/22 campaign, the Gunners had spent four successive campaigns in the Europa League.

They reached the semi-finals on two occasions – in 2018 and 2021 – losing to Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.

But the closest they came was in 2019 when they made it all the way to the final, before being thumped 4-1 by Chelsea.

They also lost in the UEFA Cup final in 2000 when Galatasaray beat them on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes.

Arsenal have made a superb start to their Premier League campaign, winning all three of their matches so far against Crystal Palace, Leicester and Bournemouth.

Mikel Arteta has significantly bolstered his squad in the summer transfer window, signing five new players.

They are Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos.

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Arsenal also welcomed back defender William Saliba following his lengthy stint out on loan.

And he has hit the ground running with two clean sheets and a breathtaking goal against Bournemouth last weekend.

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