Arsenal has experienced a remarkable campaign so far, as they find themselves battling at the top of the table with Manchester City deep into the season. Mikel Arteta’s side failed to even secure a top-four position last season but they have made easy work of UCL qualification this time around and they could even secure their first title victory in 19 years. However, Arsenal has another competition to think about in the form of the UEFA Europa League. The Gunners are also one of the leading teams in Europe’s second-tier competition.
Arsenal’s Premier League chances
At the beginning of the campaign, Arsenal would have likely been satisfied with a finish in the league’s top four. But the inconsistencies of rivals teams, as well as the relentlessness of the North London side created a pathway to the peak of the Premier League standings. In the the outright Premier League betting markets, for the outcome of the title battle, Arsenal is offered at a price of 8/11 to finish the job and put a pause on City’s dominance in the league. Arteta’s side has stumbled in recent months, they were defeated at Goodison Park by Sean Dyche’s Everton.
However, the loss at home to Pep Guardiola’s side was perhaps most damaging as City were allowed to close down Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table. A number of comeback victories have showcased the mental fortitude of the Arsenal side as they seem determined to go to war in every remaining fixture and never concede defeat.
Noticed this today. A small thing, but in keeping with the changes and small details Mikel Arteta has added at Colney. The players have to walk over it just as they step out onto the training pitches every day. pic.twitter.com/xupvjgpRmz
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) March 8, 2023
City has the FA Cup still to focus on, however, these are often played on weekends and Premier League games will be rescheduled to lessen fixture congestion for Guardiola’s side. In terms of European football, the Spanish coach is bidding to finally deliver the UEFA Champions League to the Etihad Stadium. City will play their European ties on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, meanwhile Arsenal’s Europa League contests will take place on Thursday evenings. There is no doubt that in the title run Arsenal will be afforded a much reduced resting period in between fixtures compared to City and this could influence the title outcome.
Should Arsenal put the Europa League to one side?
Arsenal certainly has weaker depth in areas compared to City and the increased match load from playing on Thursday nights as well as at the weekend could lead to fatigue and potential injuries. The Gunners have never won the Europa League so a victory in the competition would be significant, however, a Premier League title triumph would be on a totally different stratosphere of sporting achievement.
Arteta has already experienced the effects of the absence of top stars such as Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus this season. Arsenal will need a majority of their squad fit and firing if they are to seal the deal in the Premier League title race. The Europa League should be pushed to one side, players on the fringes of the team could be given opportunities and the leading players could receive much-needed rest.
Ultimately Arsenal needs to put their full effort into their league exploits. They can make history this season by securing their first title in a long time and beating an incredible City team in the process. The Europa League is the lesser success and is certainly a worthy sacrifice in order for Arsenal to win the Premier League.
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