Race for the Europa League hotting up

The race for the final Europa League place is hotting up, and The Arsenal are in the mix.

With Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals, 7th in the Premier League will be enough to make the Europa League this season.

The only way 7th will not be good enough is if Arsenal win the FA Cup and finish 8th, making this blog redundant.

Either way, through winning the FA Cup or finishing top 7, Arsenal are in with a shout.

With everyone now having played 32 games, Arsenal sit in 8th position – just 1 point behind Sheffield United in 7th.

Prior to last night, Sheffield United had struggled since the resumption of football – 3 league games played, 0 wins, 0 goals scored.

Their 3-1 win over Tottenham saw them leap Arsenal into 7th, leaving Tottenham down in 9th.

Odd that yesterday Sky began their advertising campaign for next season, mentioning Spurs as a title contender when, at the time, they were not even in the top 7. A few hours later they were not even in the top 8.

Some people might point to Spurs improvement in form under Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese manager took over, but they have now won just 1 of their last 6, and lost 5 of their last 12. Not exactly title winning form is it!

Just 3 points separate Sheffield United in 7th with Everton in 11th.

Some might say (great song) that they would not mind seeing Arsenal with no Europa League football next season so that the club can concentrate on the rebuild. But Europa League will be very important for that rebuild.

Whilst the Europa League might not have the riches of the Champions League, Arsenal still earn around £40million from it. Key funds that next year the club can not afford to miss out on.

With games set to be played behind closed doors, or at best in 30% capacity stadiums, clubs across England are going to take huge hits to gate receipts.

If games are played behind closed doors for the entire season, this will cost Arsenal £100million. We could not afford to also lose the Europa League money.

The Europa League has also given Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery a fantastic chance to give youngsters more game time than just the League Cup. Bukayo Saka made his Arsenal debut in the competition.

Arsenal’s next 4 games are against Wolves (A), Leicester (H), Spurs (A) and Liverpool (H). We finish the season with a trip to Aston Villa before a home tie against Watford.

It is a tough run, but all games are winnable.

The 5 teams in the battle for 7th place all play each other at least a couple of times, and also have a couple of fixtures against those sitting in the top 6. 3 wins and a draw might be enough for Arsenal to clinch 7th place.

Have a good weekend

Keenos

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