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Rome likely to host first leg of Arsenal’s Europa League Round of 32 clash with Benfica

Arsenal are likely to play the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 clash with Benfica in Rome, according to Portuguese media outlet O Jogo.

The United Kingdom’s travel restrictions due to the pandemic force all those travelling to Portugal to isolate for ten days after returning and this is not feasible for the Gunners due to their busy schedule and fixture commitments.

Due to the UK’s travel restrictions with Portugal, the North London club and Benfica have been looking for alternate venues for them to play the first leg of their tie. It is understood that an agreement has been reached with all parties to play the game at AS Roma’s Stadio Olimpico.

The venue for the second leg of this Round of 32 clash is yet to be confirmed. Roma will take on Braga in their Europa League Round of 32 tie on the same day as the second leg between Arsenal and Benfica. As a result, it is unlikely that Rome will be a viable venue for the second leg of this tie.

It is unclear if the away goals rule will be scrapped for this tie. If both Benfica and Arsenal are able to find ‘home’ venues for both legs of the game, it is not inconceivable that the away goals rule will be applied. 

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