Recall that the Czech Republican side drew with Arsenal 1-1 in the first leg of the tie at the Emirate Stadium which means that all Arsenal need to do is to beat Slavia Prague in tonight’s return leg which is scheduled to kick-off at 20:00.
The Europa League is the only tournament Arsenal still has the possibility of winning as they have lost out in all other competitions this season. It is also the main opportunity Arsenal has to qualify for European competition.
If Arsenal manage to win the tournament, the feat would automatically qualify the club for next season’s UEFA Champions League. Besides that, Arsenal might not qualify for next season’s Europa League because the club is currently sitting on the 9th spot on the league table with 45 points in 31 games.
The club has 7 league games to play before the end of the season and there is no guarantee that Mikel Arteta and his boys would be able to win most of the games to earn a Europa League spot.
Hence, Mikel Arteta and his boys are condemned to prevent Arsenal from repeating the history of the 1994-1995 season in which the team failed to qualify for any European competition.
To avoid a repetition of such a history, Mikel Arteta urged his big players to step up and create magic moments against Slavia Prague later tonight.
“We’ve shown that in big games, big players have to step in and create the magic moments and you need that, so let’s hope that we can have them,” Mikel Arteta said.
“The only tangible thing is results. Whether you’re doing a good job or not, to judge it externally is only going to be judged with results.
“Internally, you know what you are doing and you can have many different ways of judging that, but, at the end of the day, external results are the only important thing to give the perception that we are moving forward in the right direction.”
Some of such big players who are expected to step up against Slavia Prague include the club’s captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the club’s most expensive player, Nicolas Pepe, and Alexandre Lacazette. Players like Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka are expected to create magic moments for Arsenal.
Unfortunately for Mikel Arteta, Arsenal will go into the return leg without the club’s rave of the moment Kieran Tierney who is battling to regain match fitness.
“Obviously not having Kieran, it was a big hit because of what he produces and how important he is on the team,” Arteta said.
“Now we have to find different ways and the good thing with Granit is that he can play in two or three different positions.
“I can see him still playing as a center-back when it’s needed because of his discipline, his commitment, and his qualities and he did a good job in a different game, for the way Sheffield were set up.”