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Can Arsenal Fight for Champions league Glory After Six Years Out?

Arsenal face PSV in their first Champions League game since 2017 and as they have been out of the Europe’s premier competition for so long there has been a lot of change. 

English sides have dominated the final stages of the tournament in the period the Gunners have been absent after many years of German and Spanish success. Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have all won the competition in the last four years, whilst Tottenham have also made it all the way to the final. This has led to expectations increasing for fans of the Premier League’s best and with Arsenal fans being on the outside looking in for so long they will be hoping to taste some of the success that their peers have achieved in the past few years.

How does this Arsenal Side Compare to the Side that Last Played in the Champions League?

Arsenal’s last match in the Champions League was a 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the second leg of a last 16 tie in 2017. 

Their starting lineup that day was: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud.  

This is a side that disappointed on the league and continental front that year to leave Arsenal embarrassed 10-2 to the Bavarians as well as outside of Europe’s elite by finishing 5th in the league.

The North Londoners were perennial knockout stage qualifiers however, their expectations were barely ever beyond the last 16. The last time the Gunners achieved a quarter final appearance was in 2010. This lack of European pedigree is something that Mikel Arteta will surely want to rectify, and Arsenal boast many talents that stack up well against the continents best.

Arsenal’s last Champions League match against Bayern Munich in 2017.
Mikel Arteta’s Attack Can Compete with the Best Teams in Europe

The players that will be most feared when they step onto the pitch for their first Champions League appearances of their career will be Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. The electrifying wing duo will hope to propel Arsenal to new heights in Europe as they get their first campaign of Champions League football underway, and they will be the ones to look out for if the Gunners do well. 

Martin Odegaard will also be one to watch as one of the most sought-after young players in his teenage years many will be watching to see if he is filling his potential as captain of this Arsenal side. 

Should we Expect Big Things from Arsenal or Will their Inexperience See them Struggle?

Many of the boys lining up on the pitch in the red jersey on Wednesday evening will be experiencing the mesmeric musical stylings of that famous Champions League anthem for the first in their careers and some are wondering if a deep run in this competition is premature thinking for this side. However, under Arteta the North Londoners have come on tenfold in their tactical understanding of games, how to control matches, their physicality and technical ability and this puts them in good stead to come out firing in Europe this season. 

Arsenal players huddle vs Manchester City at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

After their title charge last year a lot of people sat up a took notice of what was developing on the red side of London, and they’ll be wary of the threat that this young team pose. When comparing the sheer quality of footballers on display for Arsenal against a lot of sides in Europe then not many do match up and one of the few that do, in Manchester City, beat them out for the title last year and became champions of Europe. 

Apart from the likes of City, Bayern Munich and the PSG’s of the world there are not many that Arteta’s side should fear and they will be hoping that come Spring time they will still be hearing that sweet orchestral music through the speakers of Emirates Stadium.