Even though Arsenal have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League, that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to play for this Thursday.
The Gunners need a point from their final two fixtures to guarantee they win their group.
As we were not in Europe 12 months ago some Gooners may not be aware of the changes UEFA have made to their secondary competition.
Group winners essentially skip a round, going straight to the last 16.
If there was ever a season where you want to avoid a further two games in your calendar, it would be one where a World Cup is bang in the middle of it, meaning you’re already facing a hectic schedule.
Not just that, runners up in the Europa’s opponents in the round of 32 would be one of the sides who drop out of the Champions League.
Sometime to win things you need luck that’s out of your hands.
We are unlucky that there are some big names who could be joining us in the knockout rounds.
With a game to go in the CL, who’s in danger of dropping out.
Perfect incentive to get the draw we need.
Fun fact ….
Out of the 12 Founding Members of the Super League, 5 will not be in the Champions League after Xmas.
That number could grow….
Group A – Ajax or Rangers
Rangers got to last year’s Europa League Final.
Yet for there to be any Scottish representation in Europe after Xmas they would have to beat Ajax at Ibrox by a 5-goal margin.
That’s because teams on joint points are separated by their head-to-head records.
Ajax won 4-0 when they met in Holland.
Group B – Atletico Madrid or B Leverkusen
Madrid would still be in Champions League contention had they scored their stoppage time pen on Wednesday.
That kept their opponents in Europe.
Madrid have won this tournament three times since 2010. Will be in it again if they better or match B Leverkusen’s result.
It’s not in the German’s hands but they do have home advantage on Match Day Six
Group C – Barcelona
For second year running one of the biggest names in the world failed to advance to the CL. knockout stages.
Unlucky to have been in same group as Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, meaning one of Europe’s giants were going to have to settle for a place in UEFA’s secondary competition.
Will be under massive pressure in Spain to win this trophy as a minimum requirement.
Group D – Spurs, Sporting, Frankfurt, Marseille.
Spurs thought they were in the knockout stages until VAR ruled out Kane’s late winner last night.
That means they need a draw in France to be sure of progress.
All 4 can still qualify.
Group E – AC Milan, Salzburg, Zagreb
The San Siro will see a straight shoot out for who advances to the next stage, with the visitors needing to win.
AC Milan win means Zagreb could steal third if they win against Chelsea.
Group F – S Donetsk, RB Leipzig
Their 1-1 draw on Tuesday means Celtic are knocked out of all European Football.
Donetsk will currently be in the Europa League but if they beat Leipzig the two will swap positions.
Group G – Sevilla
That’s three Spanish sides dropping out of the Champions League with only Real Madrid now flying the flag for Spain in UEFA’s premiere competition.
The most successful team in the history of the Europa/UEFA Cup, lifting it 6 times since 2006.
Group H – Juventus, Maccabi Haifa
Incredible how uncompetitive Juventus have been, with just 3 points, the same as Haifa.
Juve have to match or better Haifa’s result on Matchday 6.
Juve host PSG, Maccabi are home to Benfica.
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