Who are Ostersunds? The club dreaming of ending Arsenal's Europa League run
Arsenal will face Swedish side Ostersunds in the last 32 of the Europa League (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal have been drawn to face Ostersunds in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The Gunners, who topped their group after winning four of their six games, will travel to Sweden on February 15 while the reverse fixture takes place at the Emirates on February 22.

Arsene Wenger’s side are the short favourites to progress in the competition but who are Ostersunds and what can Arsenal expect from the Swedish minnows?

More: Football

HISTORY

Ostersunds was only formed in October 1996 and they play their home fixtures at Jamtkraft Arena, a stadium with a capacity of 8,466. The team play in the club’s colours of black and red.

Having predominately featured in Sweden’s third tier since its founding just over two decades ago, Ostersunds gained promotion to the second tier in 2013 and Sweden’s top-flight, Allsvenskan, three years later.

Ostersund were founded on 31 October 1996…after Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal!

— Andrew Allen (@AAllenSport) December 11, 2017

Arsene Wenger smiles as he listens to a question
Arsene Wenger will be confident of progressing in the competition (Picture: Getty)

SUCCESS

The club won their first major trophy earlier in the year after beating IFK Norrkoping 4-1 in the final of the Svenska Cupen. The win saw Ostersunds qualify for this season’s Europa League campaign despite their fifth-place finish domestically.

They stunned Turkish giants Galatasaray in the second qualifying round over the summer, beating them 2-0 at home before clinching a 1-1 draw in Istanbul to reach the Group Stage.

The only Swedish team in this season’s UEFA competition won their first two games of the competition without conceding a goal before holding Athletic Bilbao to a 1-1 draw.

One more victory and a hard-fought draw ensured the club finished second in the group, joint on points with Bilbao in first place, meaning they became the first Swedish club to progress to the Europa League knockout stage.

Who are Ostersunds? The club dreaming of ending Arsenal's Europa League run
Ostersunds have enjoyed a fantastic Europa League campaign (Picture: Getty)
Who are Ostersunds? The club dreaming of ending Arsenal's Europa League run
Ostersunds will face Premier League giants Arsenal in February (Picture: Getty)

Östersunds FK — Europa League results

ZORYA 0–2 ÖSTERSUND

ÖSTERSUND 1–0 HERTHA

ÖSTERSUND 2–2 ATHLETIC

ATHLETIC 1–0 ÖSTERSUND

ÖSTERSUND 2–0 ZORYA

HERTHA 1–1 ÖSTERSUND

1 – This will be Arsenal's first meeting with a Swedish side in Europe since they met AIK in the 1999-00 Champions League group stages. Background.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 11, 2017

STAFF

Ostersunds are currently managed by Graham Potter, a former England U21 international who enjoyed spells at Birmingham City, West Brom, Stoke City and York as a player.

The 42-year-old, who was born in Sulihull, also played for Southampton in the Premier League and joined the Swedish club as manager ahead of the 2011 season.

‘I think it’s really cool to go home to England and meet one of the best teams in the Premier League,’ Potter said when asked about the draw. ‘Now we are really underdogs!’

3 – Graham Potter has won three of his six Europa League games as a manager (excl qualifiers); the only English managers to have won more in the competition are Roy Hodgson (10/21), Steve McClaren (6/18) and Alan Pardew (4/12). Unfamiliar. pic.twitter.com/KYZ4GlmeFq

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 11, 2017

Iran international Saman Ghoddos was the club’s star man during the Europa League group stage as he scored three goals to help Ostersunds set up an incredible clash with Premier League giants Arsenal.

More: Football

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Original Article

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