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Ostersunds handed fairytale Arsenal tie, Napoli face Leipzig

ostersunds - cropped Ostersunds celebrate in the Europa League (source: Getty Images)

Ostersunds’ fairytale journey in the Europa League was given extra sparkle on Monday when they were drawn against Arsenal in the last 32.

The Swedish minnows were still a month away from being formed when Arsene Wenger took over the Gunners in September 1996, but they will compete on an even footing next year.

Under English boss Graham Potter Ostersunds have won three promotions since 2011, before qualifying for continental football by winning the domestic cup last season.

After coming through three qualifying rounds, they finished second in Group J and have been rewarded with a clash with the 13-time English champions, a tie that will see Potter return home looking to write another piece of history.

The last-32 meeting will be Arsenal’s first encounter with a Swedish side in Europe since 1999-2000, and they will look to maintain an unbeaten record.

Borussia Dortmund’s failure to make it out of Group H in the Champions League means they drop into the Europa League, and they will face Atalanta.

Atletico Madrid, Celtic and Napoli all suffered the same fate as Dortmund and they will return to European action against Copenhagen, Zenit and RB Leipzig respectively.

Leipzig’s draw with Napoli looks like the toughest tie of the round on paper, however, Maurizio Sarri has been prioritising Serie A success so the Bundesliga club may find it easier than expected.

Despite sacking Vincenzo Montella, AC Milan still made it through the group stage and will go head-to-head with Ludogorets in early 2018, while Sporting CP face the long trip to Kazakhstan to play Astana.

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