Arsenal’s disappointing 1-0 loss to rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby leaves the Gunners seven points off the top four ahead of Chelsea’s Monday night game with West Bromwich Albion.
With 11 Premier League games to go it could be that the Europa League is Arsenal’s best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Arsene Wenger’s side have been handed a favourable second round tie by drawing Swedish minnows Ostersunds.
Betting Top 10, who have an excellent success with football betting in Ireland, also give tips on the Premier League and Europa League, and they too believe Arsenal won’t finish in the top four this season but have a real chance of winning the Europa League.
Other teams considered favourites are Italian league leaders Napoli. However, with their focus on winning Serie A, the Europa League will be be second matter to them. So the longer they keep winning domestically, and either maintaining or extending their one point lead over Juventus, the more they will rotate their team on Thursday night’s which increases the risk of elimination.
Borussia Dortmund aren’t competitive in Germany this season, so whilst the Europa League may be their best hope of a trophy this season, on paper, Arsenal should be able to beat the Bundesliga team if they meet head-to-head.
However, Arsenal have been handed a big blow in Europe. Not only have they lost Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United in January, but their big acquisitions – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are ineligible for the Europa League this season. This is because they have played in the Champions League for Dortmund and Manchester United respectively this season.
From that point of view it has been a bad transfer window for Arsene Wenger, who also sold Olivier Giroud to Premier League rivals Chelsea, and Theo Walcott to Everton. So Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck are the only proven strikers on the book who are eligible for Arsenal in the kncokout rounds of Europe this season.
Aubameyang has been an excellent striker for Borussia Dortmund over the past four-and-a-half years and has the credentials to make it in the Premier League. However, the Gabon international failed to produce a single shot on target in the North London derby defeat this past weekend.
Likewise, Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a quiet game before being substituted in the second half. This after Arsenal fans were hugely excited by the Armenian after producing a hat-trick assists on his debut against a woeful Everton defence. Mkhitaryan previously failed at Manchester United but we certainly shouldn’t write him off just yet.
It was also a surprise to see Arsenal not replacing Francis Coquelin after selling him to Valencia last month. The Gunners don’t have an out-and-out holding midfielder as Jack Wilshere, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey prefer being on the ball and venturing forward than getting stuck in off the ball.
Wenger could also do with strengthening in defence as Laurent Koscielny has lost a step and with Per Mertesacker set to retire, the French manager has no depth here.
The past two transfer windows have been very interesting from Arsene Wenger and have left Arsenal fans frustrated. Most fans are praying that he is dismissed before the start of next season, or at least a very successful summer transfer window…