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Arsenal learn a route to avoid nightmare Champions League draw – but Liverpool can change it

Arsenal learn a route to avoid nightmare Champions League draw – but Liverpool can change it

Arsenal might face consequences from the results of the current Premier League top-four race, as well as the finals of the Champions League and Europa League, despite not being directly involved in any of these competitions. 

This is due to their underwhelming performances in European tournaments in recent years, which are expected to have an impact on their upcoming return to the Champions League next season, marking their first participation since 2017.

In simpler terms, Arsenal’s failure to qualify for any European competition this season and their elimination from the Europa League in the round of 16 by Sporting CP will likely have negative consequences for them. Currently, they are ranked 23rd in the UEFA coefficient table, and this could come back to haunt Mikel Arteta’s team.


Considering the current situation of Arsenal and their ranking in the UEFA coefficient table, their challenge of advancing to the knockout phase of the Champions League by February 2024 is expected to be extremely difficult.

 This difficulty is amplified by the fact that they are unlikely to dethrone Manchester City as the winners of the Premier League. The Champions League draw, according to UEFA.com, involves dividing the teams into four seeding pots.

 Pot 1 includes the title holders, the winners of the UEFA Europa League, and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations who did not qualify through continental titles in the previous season. Pots 2 to 4 are determined based on the club coefficient rankings.

Indeed, it would require a remarkable series of outcomes for Arsenal to emerge as champions in the Premier League. If they finish in second place, they won’t be placed in Pot 1 for the Champions League draw. 

Furthermore, there are no guarantees that they will be in Pot 2 either due to their coefficient ranking, as they currently rank below several prominent teams such as Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Juventus, Barcelona, AS Roma, Internazionale, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Benfica, Villarreal, Napoli, Porto, Tottenham Hotspur, and Eintracht Frankfurt. This makes their task of securing a favorable draw and higher seeding in the Champions League even more challenging.

Considering that Chelsea and Tottenham are unlikely to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, and Frankfurt’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League are also slim, it reduces the number of teams ahead of Arsenal in the coefficient table. 

If Ajax fails to qualify as well, the number further decreases to 18 teams ranked higher than Arsenal in the coefficients table before the group stage draw. Teams such as Napoli, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Benfica, and Feyenoord are expected to be placed in either Pot 1 or Pot 2. This scenario increases Arsenal’s chances of being placed in Pot 2 for the draw.

In fact, thanks to @adamvoge on Twitter, below is how the Champions League pots currently stand.

The current prediction assumes that AS Roma will win the Europa League, which would grant them a place in Pot 1 for the Champions League draw. However, Roma is unlikely to secure a top-four finish in Serie A. For Arsenal, it would be advantageous if Juventus emerged as the winners of the competition instead of Sevilla or Bayer Leverkusen.

If Juventus wins the Europa League, they would replace Roma in Pot 1, creating an opportunity for Arsenal to take that vacant spot. However, this can only happen if Roma (ranked 10th in coefficients), Ajax (12th), Sevilla (13th), and Villarreal (18th) fail to qualify for the Champions League through either their domestic league finish or by winning the Europa League.

 If these conditions are met, Arsenal would have a chance to secure a place in Pot 1 or Pot 2 during the Champions League draw.

Yet, this is the point at which Liverpool might create a terrifying situation for Arsenal. After a convincing 3-0 victory over Leicester City on Monday night, the Reds remain highly competitive in the race for a top-four position in the Premier League. They currently occupy fifth place, trailing just one point behind both Newcastle United and Manchester United.

Jurgen Klopp’s team faces a small disadvantage as they have played one more game than their competitors. However, if they capitalize on any mistakes and secure a finish no lower than fourth, they will be ranked in Pot 2 for the Champions League draw, benefiting from their coefficient.

Consequently, it is highly likely that Arsenal will find themselves placed in Pot 3 for the Champions League draw, even if Juventus wins the Europa League. This assumes that Newcastle United secures a top-four finish ahead of Manchester United, as Eddie Howe’s team is poised to occupy Pot 4 if they qualify.

Of course, all of these complications would have been avoided if Arsenal had managed to win the Premier League title on May 28. As champions of England, which is among the top six ranked nations, they would have automatically been placed in Pot 1 upon their return to Europe’s elite competition after a six-year absence.

Arsenal learn a route to avoid nightmare Champions League draw – but Liverpool can change it


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