Analysis of Arsenal’s Europa League Group Stage opponents

Arsenal are one of the favourites to lift the Europa League, and for some Gooners it remains our most realistic route of qualifying for the Champions League.

Sometimes to win any trophy you need luck that you can’t control.

There was zero draw possible where the Gunners wouldn’t be strongly expected to finish top 2 in their group.

PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich are fixtures where Arteta will be able to rely on his squad players to have enough to advance to the knockout stages.

I predict now certain gooners will be calling Eddie Nketiah world class because he scores a brace against sides not even top of the Switzerland and Norwegian divisions.

Our manager will be happy that none of the away trips are too far away

With UEFA rushing through the group stages to be completed in time before the World Cup, if ever there was a year we didn’t want to travel to a Turkey or Russia, it was this one.

What could be a factor is who falls out of the Champions League.

Rangers got to a final last campaign without having to face any true heavyweights, West Ham did the same on route to the semi-Finals.

It is realistic to win this tournament without having to square off with anyone that daunting.

Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich are in the same CL group so one of them is likely to join us in the Europa post Xmas.

Here’s more about our upcoming opponents…

PSV (Holland)

One of the Dutch ‘big three’ having never been relegated since the inception of the Eredivisie.

Will be strongly disappointed to be playing Thursday nights instead of Tuesdays and Wednesdays, having only needed to beat Rangers over two legs to be in the Champions League.

Like Ajax they have a proud record of developing future world class players.

One of them being Ruud Van Nistelroy who now manages them (first senior job), a striker with a bitter history with the Gunners.

His penalty that hit the bar was the closest to the Invincibles never happening, his spot kick a year later ended our unbeaten record at 49.

Last won the title 5 years ago and have had more competitive periods in their history.

As a second seeded team, there were tougher opponents.

FC Zurich

The Champions and most successful club in the history of Switzerland, their most recent title ending a 13 year wait.

The manager who ended their drought has left and the new coach is yet to win any game domestically meaning they are bottom of table after 5 games.

They also got knocked out of the Champions League in the qualifying rounds by Qarabag.

the win over Hearts to avoid the UEFA Conference is their only highlight, but it is more like a sense of relief…


Champions of Norway enjoying the greatest period in their history.

Only two titles in the previous three seasons. That’s despite often having to sell their best talent.

Unlike others in Group A, Bodo will be delighted to be playing at this level.

They are at this stage due to failure to get over the last hurdle in Champions League qualifying.

Got to the last 8 of the UEFA Conference last season with famous wins over Celtic and Roma.

Could be dangerous at home against PSV and FC Zurich as the pressure is not on them.

Dan Smith


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  1. Let’s try to win the Europa league if we can..
    Our club is a joke when it comes to European trophies.
    I just hope Arteta and Edu bring in more bodies in Midfield because I feel our squad is still very light in depth. We have many different competitions that we are going to be involved in this season (EPL, Europa, Fa cup, Carabao cup) and also the World Cup fir some of these players..

    We need to bolster our squad a bit more or we will wimp to a very underwhelming end to our season..

    1. I’d also prefer EL trophy than finishing fourth. It’s going to be a big achievement for the current Arsenal owners, staffs and players, since we’ve never won a major trophy since 2004

  2. Dan, no teams will be travelling to Russia as they are banned from European competitions 😊.
    I do get your point though as I think our total travel distance will be about 3000 miles while Man U will travel more than twice as far.

  3. “I predict now certain gooners will be calling Eddie Nketiah world class because he scores a brace against sides not even top of the Switzerland and Norwegian divisions.”

    I stopped reading soon as I got to that point.

      1. Yes exactly.
        As I didn’t read rest of whatever it is you wrote down there, there’s no point commenting on a subject I didn’t read.
        Just because I made a comment at the bottom don’t mean I’m making a comment contributing to whatever it is you wrote up there is it?
        Man, enjoy whatever it is you do please

        1. No but your point of i stopped reading is to imply you dont care ?
          By then giving your time and energy to comment on an article shows you care

          You know the aim of any article is to get as many clicks and comments as possible so thank you mate lol
          Enjoy whatever you do as well

          1. Again, wrong. I didn’t stop reading because I don’t care, I stopped becay after reading that, I lost any interest in reading whatever it is that was left there because it seems no matter what you write about, you can never stop taking a swipe at either, the manager, a player, or the fanbase for the strong enthusiastic support for the team. You always have a jibe to make.
            So if Nketiah were to perform in those games incredibly and the fans sing his praises, what’s bad in that? More of a disgrace that you mentioned those teams not being top of their league. What? He’s supposed to score only score against the likes of Chelsea and possibly City? Yeah, genius, you must have an issue with something. Like I said, enjoy whatever it is you do. I’m done responding to any comment under this

            1. It would be bad to call him world class based on that , that’s all i said
              Point is we have a habit of over hyping our players before they have consistently done anything
              Like saying Maitland Niles was better then Kante lol

  4. I’d prefer we emphasize on winning the europa league to finishing fourth
    Finishing fourth does not necessarily mean we would go far in the ucl after qualification

  5. One club whose manager got bitter history with the Gunners while another two clubs from the countries that Xhaka and Odegaard captains. It’s like cheap buffets from your ex-wife.

  6. The team dropping from the CL Group C. along with ManU, Roma and Lazio would constitute our biggest contenders in the EL this season
    I watched Lazio against Inter in the Serie A yesterday; they were good!
    The first objective must be to top Group A and avoid the Round of 32 games. That’s a two-match break which could come in really useful

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