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…
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.
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.
CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link…
Watch Arteta’s full pre-match press conference ahead of Fulham
Please enjoy, share, and subscribe to Just Arsenal Vids