Arsenal fans may not have embraced the Europa League with much gusto at the start of the season but now the club are into the knock-out stage they can start to dream of the final in Lyon in May.

The Gunners have barely had to break sweat in pursuit of qualification, surviving a scare against Cologne on a rip-roaring night at The Emirates before Olivier Giroud's 100th goal for the club saw off Bate Borisov.

A narrow win over Red Star Belgrade, thanks to a piece of Giroud magic, before a draw against the Serbian side was enough to secure passage even though they were beaten in the return game in Cologne. Victory over BATE rounded off the section nicely and now attention can turn firmly to attempting to win the competition for the first time in their history.

When and where is the last 16 draw?

The draw begins at 13:00CET on Monday 11 December and will take place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

How does the draw work?

The 12 group winners plus the four best performing sides who finish third in their Champions League and thus drop into the competition make up the seeded side. They will drawn against those sides who finished second during the group phase and the four remaining teams from Europe's premier club competition.

For the last 32 draw, no side from the same national association can be drawn against each other, while sides who played each other in their Europa League group are also kept apart. Arsenal therefore are prohibited from facing Red Star Belgrade in the knock-out phase.

Seeded clubs: Villarreal, Dynamo Kiev, Braga, AC Milan, Atalanta, Lokomotiv Moscow, Viktoria Plzen, Arsenal, Red Bull Salzburg, Athletic Bilbao, Lazio, Zenit St Petersburg, CSKA Moscow*, Atletico Madrid*, RB Leipzig*, Sporting Lisbon*.

Unseeded clubs: Astana, Partizan Belgrade, Ludogorets Razgrad, AEK Athens, Lyon, FC Copenhagen, Steaua Bucharest, Red Star Belgrade, Marseille, Ostersund, Nice, Real Sociedad, Napoli*, Spartak Moscow*, Celtic*, Borussia Dortmund*.

*Dropped down from the Champions League

Best case scenario? Ostersund

Ranked 150th in Uefa's coefficient rankings and embarking on the first European campaign in their history, it should in theory come no easier for Arsenal than minnows Ostersund from the Swedish top flight.

Only founded in 1996, their story is a real rags to riches fairytale. In 2016 then played in the top division in Sweden, Allsvenskan, for the first time and finished eighth but it was their victory in the Svenska Cupen which sent them into Europe. This year they have improved on that and finish 2017 fifth in the league.

The team managed by Englishman Graham Potter - a former England Under-21 international - has already played 12 games in the competition but have already been too good for Hertha Berlin and held Athletic Bilbao at home, to ensure they progressed to the last 32 with a game to spare.

Worst case scenario? Napoli

Feyenoord's late winner in Napoli's final Champions League group game not only put to bed any hopes they had of beating Shakhtar to qualification for the last 16, but also ensured the Serie A giants dropped into the group of unseeded clubs for the Europa League.

And there is little doubt the club managed by Maurizio Sarri is the outstanding threat to the Gunners. They had long been leaders of the Italian top flight until they were beaten by champions Juventus last week and in Europe they ran Manchester City close twice in two thrilling group games.

Dries Mertens meanwhile is arguably one of the most outstanding midfielders in world football and has scored 13 goals in all competitions this term - five more than the next Arsenal player. Both sides were paired in the group stage in 2013-14, with each side recording 2-0 wins on their respective home grounds.

Arsenal are braced to go to some of the darkest corners of Europe to continue their Europa League campaign. Getty Images