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Dundalk have been drawn against Arsenal in the Europa League group stage

By James Fenton

October 2, 2020 at 12:41pm

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Dundalk's prize for qualifying for the Europa League group stage is a pair of meetings with Premier League giants Arsenal.

Filippo Giovagnoli's Dundalk clinched their place in the lucrative group stage for the second time in five seasons with a 3-1 win over Faroese champions KÍ at the Aviva Stadium last night.

Impressive as that was, the Lilywhites will need to step things up a level when they embark on a Europa League group containing Mikel Arteta's in-form Gunners, Rapid Wien of Austria and FK Molde of Norway.

The draw means that Arsenal will be making the short trip across the Irish Sea to face the League of Ireland champions this autumn, while Dundalk can also plan for a journey to the Emirates Stadium in London.

The last time Dundalk reached the Europa League group stage was in 2016/2017 when they were managed by current Ireland boss Stephen Kenny. The club won many admirers by picking up four points in what was only the second time an Irish side made the group stage of a European competition.

This year's Europa League group stage gets underway on October 22, with Dundalk due to play each of their three opponents twice (home and away). The top two sides in each group will qualify for the knockout stage which starts on February 18, 2021.

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