“1-0 to the Arsenal” chant the crowd at the Emirates Stadium, and it’s been their seven results this season with that famous score line that have helped seal their place in the Champions League qualifying stages.
Incredibly for the Gunners, this sees Arsene Wenger’s side qualify for the premier club competition in European football for a 16th successive season, just pipping fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a place in the Champions League for a second season running. Despite having to qualify for the group stages, they are priced at 4/11 to progress through the preliminary stages of the competition and Arsenal fans can take heart from the last time they entered the competition at the stage.
The season in question was 2011/12, and the Gunners faced Udinese for a place in the group stages. This was a task that they breezed through, recording a 3-1 aggregate victory, coming from a goal down in Italy to complete a 2-1 win and seal their place in competition proper. They ultimately went on to reach the quarter final stages, before succumbing to PSV Eindhoven.
The lure of Champions League football should surely make player recruitment easier for Wenger, commenting yesterday that “It [qualification] means that we are able to play with the top teams in Europe, it means it’s easier to bring in players, let’s not forget that we are not in yet, we have to qualify and that is always a tricky round, but at least we have a chance.
“We want to make additions to the squad but keep the structure and spirit of the team we have now, there are many clubs out there with a lot of money and the competition is very hard. There is not as much talent as money today in football.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing