The penultimate round of the European competitions group stage takes place in the middle of the week and Arsenal are keen to see how events unfold in the Champions League.
After securing a place in the Europa League knockout stages thanks to a 1-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in last Thursday’s re-arranged game, the Gunners’ next challenge is to claim first place in Group A, as the reward is avoid the play-off round of 16 against a team that transferred from Europe’s elite competition after Christmas.
As is the case with the Champions League, the eight teams that finish third in their respective groups will drop out of the Europa League and face the eight group runners-up in a knockout game, with the winners advancing to the round of 16. .
Heading into Tuesday’s games, the North London side know they will avoid clashes with Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Club Brugge and Napoli in the Europa League after qualifying for the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday. round. Meanwhile, reigning champions Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica are about to join the aforementioned quartet.
It’s also worth noting that of the other 28 teams competing in the Champions League group stage, none have been knocked out of European competition yet, so it’s still a waiting game for the Gunners – as well as Manchester United – to see who goes. join them in the Europa League.
Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan, as things currently stand, are the three teams guaranteed at least one place in the play-offs of the round of 16 of the Europa League. However, they will continue their Champions League journey into the new year if the results are positive in the fifth round.
Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are well positioned to avoid a move to the Europa League. In fact, the Blues can qualify for the round of 16 by beating Red Bull Salzburg and if AC Milan beat Dinamo Zagreb. Spurs will also progress with a win over Sporting CP, but anything less will create a nervous final run for Antonio Conte’s team.
Of course, the picture will become even clearer once Tuesday and Wednesday’s games conclude, as there is a high chance that some of the European football heavyweights who are struggling in this year’s competition, such as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Juventus, will find out. your champions. The league dream is over and he faces the prospect of moving to the Europa League.