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Arsenal FC

Top Four, Europa League, & Away Days

The 2018/19 season has been a whirlwind of emotions for Arsenal fans and players alike. With impressive wins against Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspurs, and Chelsea, alongside draws against Man U, Spurs, and Liverpool, there's been a lot to celebrate. Unai Emery's arrival saw Arsenal playing free-flowing football week in and week out, and a more motivated squad than that of which we saw during the latter end of the Wenger period. However, the poor away form has put a dampener on things all season, causing fury among Arsenal fans and disappointment among the players and manager as well.

In recent weeks, we've seen that poor away form transfer to the home games, with the Gunners losing 1-0 to Everton, and 3-2 to Crystal Palace. These results left Arsenal fans scratching their heads in frustration as at the Emirates is where the Gunners looked at their best. With the Europa League final still a long way away (and no certainty that they will lift the trophy), getting into the "Top Four" could be the best hope for Unai Emery's men to get Champions League football next season. Therefore, every point counts for Arsenal in these coming weeks.

Shkodran Mustafi is arguably the main cause of Arsenal's defensive woes this season. Constantly making mistakes with misplacing passes and mistiming tackles, he seems to always find a way to place his teammates under pressure. Most notably in the Crystal Palace game (AFC 2-3 CPFC), when Wilfried Zaha was running through on goal, Mustafi seemed to just give up halfway through. He then appeared to have a go at Leno for some reason, despite being almost entirely at fault for the goal. Obviously, he isn't the entire reason Arsenal has lost games, but he is, in my opinion, the weak link in that backline.

Moving onto a more positive note, Arsenal does have the semi-finals of the Europa League to look forward to where they will be facing former Gunners Gabriel Paulista and Francis Coquelin for Valencia. With Unai Emery appearing a master of the Europa League, having won it three times previously, he could be the first manager in Arsenal history to bring a European Trophy to the red side of North London. After a pretty comfortable home game and a defensive masterclass of an away game versus Napoli, the odds are very much in Arsenal's favour to win this. My personal prediction is an Arsenal vs. Chelsea final with the Gunners coming out on top. However, I myself am an Arsenal fan so I may be a little biased. Come on you Gunners!!!

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Arsenal FC
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