Arsenal’s 2022/23 Europa League campaign has ideally started after a 2-1 win over FC Zurich on matchday one of the group stage.
Back in European competition after a full season without, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta outlined his intention to make up for lost time by naming the strongest possible squad for the trip to Switzerland and handing starts to the likes of Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli.
In addition, the Spaniard was able to get 90 minutes in the legs of Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu, as well as the first hand to Matt Turner and Fabio Vieira. But it was another summer signing for Marquinhos and Eddie Nketiah who stood out for Arsenal against FC Zurich with a goal and an assist.
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That win combined with PSV Eindhoven – considered the North London team’s biggest challengers to progress from Group A as winners – was somewhat surprisingly tied at home against Bodo/Glimt, with Cody Gakpo saving a point for the hosts. just after the hour.
This should set up next Thursday’s game at the Emirates Stadium – if it goes as expected – very nice, as there is a chance for Arsenal to take full control of Group A if they can take six points from their first two matches going into next month’s double-header against the Norwegian outfit.
And thanks to a major rule change in the Europa League since the Gunners last entered the league during the 2020/21 season, there is incentive for Arteta to cite a strong starting line-up against PSV and his chances. squad to get to the top. group coming November.
As previously announced by UEFA: “The eight group winners will automatically advance to the round of 16. There will be additional knockout round play-offs prior to the round of 16; these will be between eight runner-up teams in the UEFA Europa League group and eight third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League groups.’
Now, this rule change actually gives the Europa League something of a Champions League feel, but only for those who surpass their group, as two extra matches – formerly the round of 32 stage – will be avoided. Previously, Arsenal hadn’t had too much trouble outdoing their group, so can see the benefits of the league’s new changes if they repeat the trick this season.
The dream scenario for the Gunners is to beat PSV, take the maximum number of points in back-to-back matches against Bodo/Glimt and then achieve the results needed in their last two matches to qualify as group winner for the round of the 16th stage and thus avoid the two. round of 32 matches in February 2023.
As there are no Premier League games this weekend as a show of respect following Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday, avoiding two extra games at the start of the new year will come in handy when you consider that the confrontation with Everton could happen again. to be organized at sometime in 2023.
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