Arsenal’s clash with Benfica uncertain as UEFA seek a solution

Arsenal were set to take on Benfica twice this month as they look to seal a place in the last-16 of the Europa League, but travel restrictions are threatening the fixture.

Portugal have supposedly been placed on the UK’s ‘red list’, which would mean a 10-day period of quarantine for Arsenal’s players on their return to England, which would interfere with an already chocablock schedule.

Arsenal are claimed to be working with the UK government and UEFA to try and find a work-around for the two-legged tie, and two potential solutions are believed to be possible.

Football.London claims that UEFA have the power to change both legs of the tie to a neutral venue, or possibly combine the two legs into just a single leg decider at a neutral venue.

Another alternative could be that Benfica attempt to find a neutral ground for their home leg which would have less effect on the tie, with UEFA likely to play a part in that decision.

I wouldn’t be wholly shocked if the government didn’t waive their rules for the Premier League side however, considering the mass-testing which is undergone for players on a regular basis, but should the powers that be decide on a one-leg decider, this could be huge news.

Would Arsenal be more at risk of defeat over one leg?

Patrick

Tags Benfica coronavirus Europa League

2 Comments

  1. Khadii says:

    It would be unfair kinda for us to play a one off match while other teams get the chance to play a second leg incase of a negative outcome in the 1st leg.

    A neutral ground but with two legs should suffice.
    Based on the initial arrangement during the draws on who should play at home first.

    The 1st leg can be taken to be away for us while at home for Benfica and vice versa. Afterall there are no fans allowed in the first place, so the effect of home advantage has drastically reduced.

  2. Declan says:

    I think UEFA will opt for a one match knock out subject to the agreement of both teams. It will certainly ease the fixture congestion alert from solving the quarantine and travel problems.

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