Odds on Arsenal Making the Champions League Next Season
As we head towards the business end of the 2018-19 Premier League Season one of the many big questions on Arsenal fans’ lips is, ‘Will we be playing Champion’s League football next season?’ For a period before Christmas last year it felt like Emery might just lead us back there in his first season – that run of 22 games unbeaten, a glorious home win at Spurs, a hard-fought home draw with Liverpool, and a comfortable cruise through the group stages of the Europa League brought a positivity to the Emirates that was like a new feeling.
But oh, how things have changed! A run of indifferent league form, a home loss to a resurgent United in the FA Cup, an embarrassing defeat to BATE in the first leg of the round of 32 in the Europa League, the Ozil debacle and defensive injuries that have exposed a creaky squad mean things are far from rosy once again.
But it’s not all bad. The other contenders have their problems too – Chelsea are developing a nice habit of going missing in away games, and United’s unbeaten run came to an end as PSG brought them back down to earth with a comfortable 0-2 Champions League win at Old Trafford last week.
And yes, despite the gloom and doom merchants, we are still in the hunt and with just one point and one goal between us and 4th placed United, the race is most definitely on! And to liven things up, here we take a look at the betting options for Arsenal to climb back into the Champions League next season by one of the two available routes. The odds listed here are taken from our favourite online casinos and betting sites and were correct at the time of writing.
Arsenal to Win the Europa League – 7 to 1
Unai Emery’s Europa League credentials have had some of us thinking that Europa League triumph might be the best route back to Europe’s top table. But last Thursday’s early evening showdown with BATE of Belarus felt more like the last away-days of the Wenger era than a stepping stone towards the first trophy of the new reign. Nevertheless, with cool heads, over-turning a 0-1 deficit in the return leg at the Emirates shouldn’t be a problem and the bookies certainly think so. Odds on an Arsenal win this Thursday are 1 to 9 at Paddy Power. If you fancy a punt here, you’re probably better off nailing an exact score. You can get odds of 25 to 1 on Arsenal coming back off the ropes to send the Belarusians packing with a comfortable 5-1 win.
Beyond BATE lies the last 16, quarters, semis and final, and a few teams that we’d want to avoid. Chelsea are favourites at 9/2, with Ancelotti’s impressive Napoli second at 5 to 1, and Inter at 10 to 1. Arsenal are third favourites with best odds of 7 to 1 at Unibet. Will it happen? Emery certainly has the form to take us all the way, and there is little in that draw to be scared of. Starting on Thursday night, if Arsenal can build a head of steam then there is a real chance of making it to the semis and beyond.
Arsenal to finish in the Top 4 – 3 to 1
The race for the Top 4 looks as tight as it’s ever been. United’s run of form since Solskjaer took charge puts them in pole position by just one point right now, with Arsenal 5th and Chelsea 6th following their 6-0 thrashing by City. We still have to face United at the Emirates, as well as deal with an away fixture at Spurs. United’s run in includes home fixtures against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. Chelsea themselves have Spurs at home, Liverpool at Anfield, and that away trip to United to content with.
So, where does that leave us? Just like in a title race, it feels like taking 4th spot this season will be all about hitting form at the right time. That’s why United are favourites at around evens money. For some reason, despite their pathetic recent away form, Chelsea are rated above Arsenal at 5 to 4 to come in the top 4, with our odds at 3 to 1.
It’s arguable that our remaining fixtures give us an edge over our rivals here. I think we have it in the squad to beat United at home, whilst Spurs could be without Kane and Ali when we visit on 2nd March. These games and the rest are winnable, and if Arsenal can find consistency, then top 4 is achievable. But that’s a big if!
Where To Put Your Money
OK, so let’s face it, there’s no easy way back to the top. But for me, it’s the Europa League that represents the best odds here at 7 to 1. Assuming we can get past BATE, then over 2 legs I don’t fear many of those teams left in the competition, and once you’re into the semis, anything can happen! Meanwhile our indifferent league form makes the top 4 seem like a less safe bet.