Much of the momentum gained in the league over the last few weeks seems to have disappeared after the defeat to Spurs at Wembley. Without getting into too many recriminations about the result, it does leave Arsenal in a kind of limbo status in the League. Six points behind Liverpool (who have yet to play their game in hand against Southampton as this is being written) means that the unlikely chances of making the Top 4 feels even more remote. As it stands, Arsenal have floated out to 17/2 to finish in the Champions League spots.
Europa League is now considered a priority by fans
Many fans have been vocal for a while now that Arsenal should be concentrating on the Europa League. That seems all the more pressing. However, while the two-legged tie against Ostersunds looks manageable, there are many excellent teams left in the competition. It will certainly be tougher than Manchester United’s run to the Final last year. Below are the Europa League outright odds from Betfair:
|Zenit St Petersburg||20/1|
The table above shows the main contenders for the Europa League. If you fancy the Gunners, you can get a free shot to bet on Arsenal at Freebets.co.uk. The tournament does seem really stacked this year however, with anyone on the list above capable of going all the way. Most of the spotlight has gone on teams like Atletico and Dortmund, but would Arsenal fans really be supremely confident up against a side like Leipzig or Villareal?
It seems a pity that the Premier League campaign has fizzled out so early, because Chelsea’s problems really did seem to open the door for Arsenal. The question for Wenger then is to what extent does he go all in on the Europa League? It feels like the only option left to consider the season a success. The lack of FA Cup Football will help Arsenal balance the demands upon the squad. However, there still remains the quality of the opposition in the competition.
Arsenal cannot bank on doing it the ‘United’ way
As a comparison, United faced St Etienne, Rostov, Anderlecht and Celta Vigo on the way to the Final against Ajax last year. Despite getting a decent draw in Ostersunds, it looks unlikely for Arsenal to be blessed with such a welcoming route. The flip side of the coin is that there are a couple of brilliant potential matchups possible for the neutral. A tie against Napoli, Atletico, Dortmund or a hugely underrated Lazio side would be most welcome to most Arsenal fans.