With the news last week that a lot of our Premier League games have been moved to accommodate our first foray into the Europa League, it looks like we are going to have a struggle on our hands this season to cope. With the EFL playoff rounds getting underway this week, we look at what this could all mean when the first rounds start in September.
The full play-off round draw is here so you can see the teams still in the competition – AC Milan, Ajax, Everton, Atletico Madrid and Marseille all teams we could face should they progress.
Despite winning the competition last season, Manchester United struggled in the league and if you look at the games after our Europa League fixtures, you can see we are going to find it tough going as well.
The six games which follow our Europa League Thursday night exploits are as follows:
- 16th September, Chelsea Away.
- 30th September, Brighton Home.
- 21st October, Everton Away.
- 4th November, Man City Away.
- 25th November, Burnley Away.
- 9th December, Southampton Away.
With three of those games against what you would call ‘big clubs’, Arsene Wenger is going to be far from happy.
As previously mentioned, this also gives fans a headache, travelling up North for these games on a Sunday, as a Saturday means, for most travelling Gooners, one day, there and back. On a late 4pm Sunday fixture, this gives most fans a headache, and a requirement to take a day off of work.
How we cope remains to be seen, especially later in the year when we have to manage with our inevitable, annual injury layoffs and suspensions. Let’s hope our squad can stay fit, and who knows, Arsene Wenger may still have a surprise or two up his sleeve to help us cope.