Arsenal has a busy three weeks ahead to close out the season - but that’s what we would have wanted back in August. Playing every three or four days through the end of the Premier League season, Arsenal remain alive for a top four finish, as well as a Europa League trophy. With the Brighton & Hove Albion EPL match officially rescheduled due to the Gunners progression in Europa, here is a look at the updated schedule.
Three Premier League games, including two difficult road tests to close out the last full month of action. Arsenal need to secure six or seven points in this stretch.
- 4/21 - Sunday - Home vs. Crystal Palace. Three days rest. With their safety nearly confirmed, Arsenal fans will be hoping that Palace players are already look towards the summer break.
- 4/24 - Wednesday - Away at Wolverhampton. Three days rest. Wolves haven’t lost at home since January 2nd and are fighting to finish as high as seventh.
- 4/28 - Sunday - Away at Leicester City. Four days rest. This will be Arsenal’s fourth match in 11 days and be a test for Emery’s rotation. Leicester have five loses in their last eight home matches.
Another trip to the Europa League semis. Once again coming up against a La Liga side, with the extra twist of Emery’s history at Valencia added in. Arsenal open the series at home looking for another sound defensive performance that we saw against Napoli.
- 5/2 - Thursday - Home vs. Valencia in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals. Four days rest.
- 5/5 - Sunday - Home vs. Brighton & Hove Albion. This match was moved back a day after Arsenal advance in Europe and marks the final home game of the year.
- 5/9 - Thursday - Away at Valencia. The depth of the team will be tested during this final full week of the campaign. Arsenal will be hoping for distance over top four contenders by this point in order to keep the first eleven focused on the Europa League.
- 5/12 - Sunday - Away at Burnley. By then Burnley should have secured their Premier League safety, hopefully giving the Gunners an edge if three points are still needed to secure a Champions League place.
Europa League Final
If Arsenal get past Valencia, the final will be on May 29th, which gives them a two week break between the end of the season and the final.
By my math, that’s seven matches over the next 22 days. Expect to see Konstantinos Mavropanos and Mohamed Elneny a few more times before the season concludes. But if everything goes Arsenal’s way between now and then, the club will have secured third place, finishing ahead of Tottenham, and recovering for the upcoming Europa League final.
If Arsenal advance past Valencia they will have 17 days to recover and plan before the final in Baku, set for Wednesday May 29th.
Arsenal will be tested - on the road, against a tough European opponent, on how fit the squad is, on how their depth can step up when called upon with ever increasing pressure. But this is exactly where we hoped Unai Emery could have Arsenal when he took over last summer: still challenging for a Champions League spot and in the running for the club’s first Europa league trophy.