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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Englishman working wonders at little-known Swedish club relishes dream tie with Arsenal

After three promotions in five years, Graham Potter will get the chance to test himself against Arsene Wenger in the Europa League.

Potter has been in charge since December 2010.
Potter has been in charge since December 2010.
Image: PETTER ARVIDSON/Imago/PA Images

OSTERSUNDS HEAD 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 as recently as 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, who is the only English manager left European competitions, told Uefa.com.

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.

“We drew the best team straight away. Now we will look forward to this match. There will be no chance to just relax during the [winter break], we will be training hard.”

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