Arsenal land Udinese
Arsenal's testing summer took another bad turn on Friday morning when the draw was made for the final round of Champions League qualifying and they landed Udinese.
Arsene Wenger's preparations for the 2011-12 campaign have undoubtedly been disturbed by the ongoing transfer sagas surrounding Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri but he will not get a smooth route - at least on paper - into the lucrative group stage of the Champions League.
Progress from the qualifying round would bring in as much as £17.4 million to the Arsenal coffers, but it is not assured against an Udinese side who came fourth in Italy's Serie A and sold three of their star players - Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Zapata and Gokhan Inler this summer.
The Gunners were seeded for the 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.
Arsene Wenger, Robin Van Persie and Samir Nasri are all suspended for the first game after being handed bans for their actions in the 3-1 defeat to Barcelona last season.
Udinese boss Giampaolo Pozzo told Sky Italia: "Fascinating matchup. It's for us like someone who's never been to a big city then visits New York... There is a chance we'll go out, but this being Arsenal, you are going to give it all, physically and mentally, perhaps more than against a side without a tradition like that"