Bundesliga teams Cologne, Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim have some intriguing European ties to look forward to in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage after learning who they would face on Friday.
Cologne’s reward for returning to the main draw of a European competition for the first time in 25 years will be two ties against English Premier League side Arsenal. Peter Stöger’s team have been drawn in Group H alongside the Gunners and - as well as testing themselves against former Bundesliga stars Per Mertesacker and Mesut Özil - the Billy Goats will also take on Bate Borisov of Belarus and Red Star Belgrade of Serbia.
Hertha Berlin, who qualified for the competition by finishing sixth in the Bundesliga last season, will battle for one of the top two qualifying spots from Group J along with 2012 runners-up Athletic Bilbao, Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine and Östersunds FK of Sweden.
Hoffenheim, who dropped into this tournament after losing a UEFA Champions League play-off against Liverpool on Wednesday, have been drawn in Group C alongside Portuguese outfit Braga, Ludogorets of Bulgaria and Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir.
The first round of matches in each group will take place on Thursday, September 14th.