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Arsenal’s Champions League aspirations boosted by a kind fixture list

Mar 18, 2013, 8:24 PM EDT

Swansea City v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

Don’t look now but with Saturday’s 2-0 win over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, 5th place Arsenal is just four points behind 4th place Tottenham (with a game in hand) and five points behind 3rd place Chelsea. So, do the Gunners have what it takes to qualify for the Champions League?

A quick look at the fixture list shows it’s there for the taking.

Having been knocked out of European and domestic cups, Arsenal is afforded the trophy-less luxury of being able to focus on their nine remaining Premier League matches. Of those matches, Arsene Wenger’s side faces one Top 5 club (Manchester United at the Emirates) and the three clubs currently facing relegation (Wigan, Reading and QPR). Sweetening the deal even more is that the Gunners’ remaining home matches are winnable fixtures against Everton and Norwich while away trips to West Brom, Fulham and Newcastle are anything but daunting.

Tottenham and Chelsea’s schedules, however, are not so kind. Following the international break both clubs face a ridiculous five games in 15 days. Spurs take on Swansea away, FC Basel at home, Everton at home and Basel away before returning home three days later to play Chelsea. The Blues face a tricky away fixture at Southampton before hosting Rubin Kazan and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. Rafa Benitez’ squad then travels to Russia for the second leg against Kazan and three days later returns to London for the clash with Tottenham.

If either side advances in Europe they’ll be burdened with a two legged semi-final matchup on April 25th and May 2nd, and a final on May 15th. These matches will slot into an already busy league schedule that pits the Lillywhites against Manchester City, Wigan, Southampton, Stoke and Sunderland and the Blues against Liverpool, Swansea, United, Aston Villa and Everton.

How it all plays out for Arsenal, remains to be seen. With Jack Wilshire’s fragility and the recent demotion of Wojciech Szczesny and Thomas Vermaelen to the bench, the Gunners are not a club without questions. But I’ll be darned if that fixture list doesn’t have Arsenal supporters frothing at the mouth.

  1. marleymanpdubs - Mar 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Don’t see the gunners making Champs League — Europa, sure, but don’t have the consistency to string it together for the end of the season…

    • jessedinner - Mar 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      Ill put money on them making Champs League. They are really only battling with Liverpool who are the most storied club in the history of football.

      • goonah4life - Mar 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        HA!! Liverpool?!? Is this 2006?

        While Arsenal have not been a model of consistency so far this season they seem to have found their form of late. The two clean sheets and road wins they pulled out last week against one of the top clubs in Europe and a strong Premier league side showed the solidarity they will need to finish in the top 4. Plus, as the moderator says, they have a FAR easier run-in than the two clubs they are chasing.

        Only foolish money would bet against them as Wenger has yet to miss out on the Champions League in his 17 year tenure as manager.

  2. pijou - Mar 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I think Adebayor’s goal to seal Europa league dominance for Spurs will in the end prove to be mechanism for their downfall later in the season. As a gunners fan this possible juxtaposition racks by body with giggles.

    Tottenham does not have the depth to make a concerted effort at both EPL and Europa dominance, and its too late in the game to throw in the rag for either competition, and in effect will push them to fail at both. Bale is made of glass, Defoe does not have the consistency to ride this pony to the end … after demonstrated inspired play last season neither Dempsey or Sigurddson have shown up to play this season … and Lennon is no Atlas … he cannot hold up this team on his own (part of me is laughingly yelling for the return of Gio!)

    I think after victory for the Gunners at Allianz, and away against Swansea on the weekend have them keyed and ready to take on the next round of contenders. Both victories were marked without Jackie boy! When he returns that midfield definitely gains confidence (and we do not have to watch Ramsey).

    Regardless, I fervently hope the Moderator is correct and Arsenal is frothing … I am not sure my poor little heart can handle an end of the season that mirrors the beginning of this year.

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