Sat12152018

Last update02:06:32 PM

Today Live:

Tough Italian job for Arsenal

1st round of champions league

Arsenal have been drawn with crack Italian outfit Udinese in the first round of Champions League.

The Gunners finished fourth in the Premier League last season, with Manchester City pipping them to the third automatic qualifying spot.

Arsene Wenger's troops were seeded for Friday's draw in Nyon, and will face a two-legged fixture over August 16/17 and 23/24, which is sandwiched between some tough Premier League games against Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Even though Arsenal were one of the seeds, there was no fixture weighting, meaning the Gunners will play the first leg at Emirates Stadium.

Friuli qualified for the tournament, having finished last season in fourth placein Serie A. They could meet Bayern Munich or Villarreal, and the fate of their detachments rival Arsene Wenger's team.

Four-time European champions Bayern Munich were drawn against Swiss league runners-up FC Zurich, with the German outfit at home in the first leg.

"Swiss football has come a long way recently, and we'll have to be very cautious. But I think it's a manageable draw, and we have a very good chance of making it into the group phase," Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes told FCB.tv.

"It's good we don't have far to travel at this early stage of the season. We'd expect to have sufficient class to make it to the next round.

" French giants Lyon, who reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2009-10, face a tough assignment against Russian outfit Rubin Kazan, while Dutch side FC Twente have equally testing tie against Portugal's Benfica.

Spanish outfit Villarreal are away to Denmark's Odense in their first-leg encounter, while Danish champions FC Copenhagen face Viktoria Plzen, who won the Czech league title for the first time in their history last season.

Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb face Swedish counterparts Malmo while Belarusian champions BATE Borisov meet Austrian title winners Sturm Graz.

The champions of Poland and Cyprus do battle as Wisla Krakow take on APOEL, while Israeli title winners Maccabi Haifa meet Belgian champions Genk.

Champions League play-off round:

Wisla Krakow v Apoel

FC Maccabi Haifa v Genk

Dinamo Zagreb v Malmo

FC Copenhagen v Viktoria Plzen

BATE Borisov v Sturm Graz

Odense v Villarreal

FC Twente v Benfica

ARSENAL v Udinese

Bayern Munich v FC Zurich

Lyon v Rubin Kazan