The draw for the 2022/23 Europa League group phase may not be taking place for another three months, but Arsenal have already discovered which pot they’ll be in when it is made.
Following AS Roma’s 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the first-ever Europa Conference League final on Wednesday night, just one more fixture with regards to UEFA club competitions remains this season and that’s the Liverpool vs Real Madrid Champions League final on Saturday night.
But as both teams will be back in UEFA’s top tier competition next season, it makes the draw for the Europa League group phase a lot clearer for the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Roma and the 29 other teams that will be waiting to discover their fates come August 26.
As things stand, 12 teams have already qualified for the group phase. This includes Real Betis and Real Sociedad from Spain, Lazio from Italy, Union Berlin and Freiburg from Germany, Nantes and Rennes from France, Braga from Portugal and Feyenoord as the representative from the Netherlands.
They’ll eventually be joined in the group stage by 20 other teams – some of which may have to endure two qualifying rounds to book their place. From there the sides will be drawn against one team from each of the eight other pots. Although clubs cannot be drawn against teams from the same association, which means, for example, Arsenal will avoid Man United in the group stage.
Meanwhile, as revealed by ESPN’s Dale Johnson on Twitter, the Gunners also can’t be paired with Roma, Lazio or Braga as they – along with Man United – are confirmed to be in Pot 1 when the 2022/23 Europa League group stage draw commences later in the year.
Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that Benfica, Rangers and Dinamo Zagreb are guaranteed to be in Pot 1 also if they drop into the Europa League by losing their respective Champions League qualifiers.
As explained by UEFA’s official website and due to the World Cup taking place in the winter months instead of the summer, matchday one of the group stage gets underway on September 8, 2022 and the final matchday is slated for November 3, 2022 which means next season’s Europa League group phase will be completed in eight weeks instead of the usual 12.