Arsenal's 2020/21 hangs in the balance
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal’s most realistic shot at qualifying for Europe’s showpiece competition comes in the form of winning the Europa League. The tournament has become a lot more appealing to teams of the Gunners’ stature after the winner was granted a spot in the Champions League group stage in the last decade, Slavia Prague is a kind draw with the prize of reaching the last four. The North Londoners have not competed in the CL since Arsene Wenger left the club, the supporters will be desperate for that streak to end having almost unanimously wanted rid of him. Arsenal are very short to win outright, the bookies maybe not showing enough respect to the Czech side.
It was a humbling 3-0 defeat at the hands of Premier League champions Liverpool last time out, form is temporary but class is permanent. Martin Odegaard has made a great impact since arriving on loan from Real Madrid, the young Norwegian is crucial to their chance creation and can turn the screw in the tie with the right supporting cast. Seven points behind sixth placed Tottenham Hotspur with eight games remaining sees a mid table finish almost inevitable, this competition is all Arteta has this season and in his place at the helm may hinge on it.
With fans in the ground, the pressure would be intolerable but the absence of them and distant owner Stan Kroenke mean for the time being his position is safe. Slavia come into this fixture confident from seeing off Rangers and Leicester City in the knockout stages, the league title is more or less wrapped up so sole focus like their opponents will be on this tie, it should be entertaining viewing.
I think the occasion could get to Arteta and make him more pragmatic, looking to play out a risk free first leg.
- Arsenal have scored in seven of 10.
- Arsenal have conceded in 10 of 10 and 13 of 13.
- Arsenal have seen both teams score in seven of 10.
- Arsenal have seen over 2.5 goals in five of 10.
- Slavia have scored in nine of 10.
- Slavia have conceded in five of 10.
- Slavia have seen both teams score in five of 10.
- Slavia have seen over 2.5 goals in five of 10.
Slavia have proven they are dangerous in this competition and will rise to the test, having put out the Foxes who sit seven places and 14 points ahead of the Gunners they will not be lacking belief.