We’re all (probably not) going on a European tour

So the first bit of news is the Europa League draw.

Arsenal face Rapid Wein of Austria, Norway’s Molde and Republic of Ireland side Dundalk.

Europa League group stage draw made | UEFA Europa League | UEFA.com

As a travelling fan, it is a frustrating draw. Dundalk and Vienna would have been great trips.

The good news for Arsenal is that we do not have to travel to the far side of Europe.

Dundalk is an hour and 20 minutes and Vienna a little over 2 hours. There are not any direct flights from London to Molde, but expect Arsenal to charter a flight which will take around 2 and a half hours.

With games coming thick and fast due to the shortened season, Mikel Arteta will be pleased that players should be in their beds in London by around 2am.

It should be a group that Arsenal negotiate with ease.

Arsenal did not really get the respect for beating Liverpool in the League Cup that they perhaps deserved.

Many people have said Arsenal faced “Liverpool’s C side” or “Liverpool U23s”, but this is just not true.

Liverpool fielded their two best players Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk.

On top of these superstars, they also had the likes of 34-year-old James Milner and new £40million signing Diego Jota.

It also ignored that this was no where near Arsenal’s best team, without the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin.

Comparing the starting XI’s gives interesting results:

Transfer Value:

Arsenal £153.5m

Liverpool £168.5m

Average Age:

Arsenal 24.5yrs

Liverpool 25yrs

U21 Players:

Liverpool 3

Arsenal 3

Academy Products:

Liverpool 4

Arsenal 3

So yes, it was not Liverpool’s strongest XI, but it is clear that the XI put out by Arsenal was of similar standard. Arteta deserves some respect for beating Liverpool 3 times in 4 attempts, regardless of competition, team or penalties.

One player to come out of the Liverpool game with immense credit was Gabriel.

It was another powerful performance as he dealt easily with Salah.

If Arsenal move to 4 at the back, it has to be Gabriel plus one.

Dani Ceballos has been called up to the Spain squad. Thiago has been left out.

Tomorrow is Sheffield United.

It should have been the first game of the season for home fans this season. Instead it is unlikely we will be allowed back in grounds this year.

Maybe we might be able to do one of those Euro away trips if UEFA OK travelling fans.

We live and hope.

Keenos

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