Arsenal’s hopes of securing a place in either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League have taken a nosedive in recent weeks.
After getting the better of north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in mid-March, winning 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners have failed to win either of their last two league outings, conceding six goals in the process.
First, the Gunners had to fight back from 3-0 down against West Ham United at the London Stadium prior to the international break to earn a point before being swept aside by Liverpool last weekend, going down 3-0 to Jurgen Klopp’s side.
That means that, at the time of writing, the Gunners find themselves lying in tenth place in the Premier League table with 42 points to their name. They are currently ten points shy of West Ham, who currently occupy the final Champions League place in fourth, and nine points behind Chelsea in fifth.
As well as a fairly sizeable gap currently open between the Gunners and those two, Arsenal are currently behind both Tottenham and Liverpool by seven points, respectively.
However, either side of their Europa League quarter-final second-leg with Slavia Prague on Thursday, Mikel Arteta’s side have an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways and get six points on the board. That is because they face two of the current bottom three in their next two Premier League outings.
Firstly, Arsenal travel to South Yorkshire to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday evening before welcoming Fulham to the Emirates Stadium next weekend. It is a prime opportunity to get six points added to their current tally and give themselves a fighting chance of securing a route into European club football next season, should they, of course, fail to win this season’s Europa League.
But with the race for both the Europa League and the Champions League hotting up, football.london has taken a close look at how the Gunners’ remaining Premier League fixtures compare with those of Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham, who, at this moment in time, are likely to be the Gunners’ main rivals in the race for a Europa League finish.
Apr 11: Sheffield United (A)
Apr 18: Fulham (H)
Apr 23: Everton (H)
May 1: Newcastle United (A)
May 8: West Bromwich Albion (H)
May 12: Chelsea (A)
May 15: Crystal Palace (A)
May 23: Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
Apr 10: Crystal Palace (A)
Apr 20: Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
Apr 24: West Ham (A)
May 1: Fulham (H)
May 8: Manchester City (A)
May 12: Arsenal (H)
May 15: Leicester City (H)
May 23: Aston Villa (A)
Apr 12: Brighton & Hove Albion (A)
Apr 16: Tottenham Hotspur (H)
Apr 23: Arsenal (A)
May 1: Aston Villa (H)
May 8: West Ham United (A)
May 11: Sheffield United (H)
May 15: Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)
May 23: Manchester City (A)
Apr 10: Aston Villa (H)
Apr 19: Leeds United (A)
Apr 24: Newcastle United (H)
May 1: Manchester United (A)
May 8: Southampton (A)
May 11: West Bromwich Albion (H)
May 15: Burnley (A)
May 23: Crystal Palace (H)
Apr 11: Manchester United (H)
Apr 16: Everton (A)
Apr 21: Southampton (H)
May 1: Sheffield United (H)
May 8: Leeds United (A)
May 12: Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)
May 15: Aston Villa (H)
May 23: Leicester City (A)
When analysing the remaining fixtures of Arsenal and their direct rivals in the race to secure a Europa League finish this season, each club has a real mixed bag of remaining challenges to overcome between now and the end of May. As things currently stand, Arsenal only have to face two of the current top 12, meaning they have a real opportunity to get their heads down and make a final push between now and the end of the campaign.
However, the clashes with Chelsea and Everton could be defining in their season and quest for European football for next season. But if they can get something from those two games and make the most of their games against the likes of Fulham, Newcastle United and Sheffield United then you could argue that their destiny is in their own hands.
On the face of it, as well as Arsenal having a favourable run-in, Liverpool also have a favourable-looking remaining set of fixtures. Aside from travelling to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on May 1, the Reds’ run-in is a favourable one. But as we have seen with their home form in recent weeks, nothing can be taken for granted in this league.
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As for Chelsea, Everton and Spurs, they all have difficult challenges to come. The Blues, who have, aside from last weekend’s defeat to West Brom, been superb under Thomas Tuchel, must face three of the four teams currently above them in the table, as well as a clash with the Gunners. Thus, it would be fair to argue that they have the hardest-looking run-in.
Everton and Spurs must face each other in just under a week’s time at Goodison Park and that could be huge in the battle for a Europa League spot.
As for Spurs, as well as facing the Toffees, they must also lock horns with Manchester United and Leicester City as well, meaning Jose Mourinho’s men will have to be at their very best to remain in the chase.
*Fixture dates are subject to change.