Champions League trophy
The Champions League play-off draw it at 11:00 BST on Friday.

Arsenal could face 2012 Europa League runners-up Athletic Bilbao for a place in the Champions League group stage after the two sides were kept apart ahead of the play-off draw on Friday.

Zenit St Petersburg's victory over AEL Limassol ensured they join the Gunners, FC Porto, Bayer Leverkusen and Napoli as the five seeded teams in the non-champions section of the draw, with the winner of each tie qualifying directly for the group phase.

Bilbao are the strongest ranked team of Arsenal's five possible opponents which include Lille, FC Copenhagen, Standard Liege and Besiktas – all of whom came through their third qualifying round ties this week.

The second half of the draw, the champions section, sees the likes of Salzburg, Steaua Bucharest, APOEL, Bate Borisov and Ludogorets Razgrad seeded ahead of potential meetings with Maribor, Slovan Bratislav, Legia Warsaw, Malmo and Aalborg.

Despite reaching a major European final just three seasons ago, Bilabo have suffered from a host of high-profile departures in recent summers, with the like of Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente and Ander Herrera all taking their leave.

Ernesto Valverde's side finished fourth in La Liga last season but a full 17 points behind third place Real Madrid. Arsenal were just seven points adrift of eventual champions Manchester City last term and are bidding for a 17th successive appearance in the group stage of the competition.

The signings of Alexis Sanchez, Callum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina have worked to bolster Arsenal's squad ahead of the new season and the north London club will be confident of reaching the group stage regardless of their opposition.

Other potential opponents Lille, Copenhagan, Liege and Besiktas each finished off the pace in pursuit of the league title in their respective divisions last year and enter the draw as signficant underdogs against the seeded European heavyweights.

The draw for the play-off round takes place at 11:00 BST and IBTimes UK will have live coverage of proceedings from the UEFA.com DrawCentre.