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Ostersunds’ coach Potter relishes duel with Arsenal


Arsenal’s Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez (R) celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Huddersfield Town at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL

Ostersunds coach Graham Potter has no fears over meeting Premier League heavyweights Arsenal in the Europa League round of 32.

The unheralded Swedish side were handed a dream tie for their maiden appearance in the knockout stages of a European competition, having progressed through a tricky Group J.

Founded in 1996 – shortly after Arsene Wenger had taken charge at Arsenal – Ostersunds have enjoyed a stunning rise under Potter.

The former Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion defender guided the club from the fourth division to the top flight with three promotions in five seasons and will now get the chance to lead his team at the Emirates Stadium.

“Fantastic draw! I wanted to get a really big team,” Potter told

“I think it is really cool to be going home to England and meeting one of the best teams in the Premier League.

“Now we are really underdogs.”

Ostersunds forward Saman Ghoddos, who scored twice during the group stage, was taken aback by the high-profile draw.

“It is insane. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined facing Arsenal in the knockout stages of the Europa League when I signed for Ostersunds,” Ghoddos said.

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Graham Potter
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