I will be bravely or perhaps foolishly predicting Arsenal’s 2020/21 Europa League triumph. Detailing Arsenal’s road through-out the tournament knockout stages, road to the final and eventual victory in the final held at the chosen venue, the Stadion Energa Gdańsk.
Here’s how Arsenal will win their first *modern* European trophy:
Ah, the Europa League group stage. In the last few years, the Europa League group stages have thrown Arsenal some unique names in the form of Vorskla Poltava, Qarabağ and BATE Borisov.
The Gunners will be drawn with Real Sociedad who have some familiar faces in Nacho Monreal and David Silva, Wolfsberger AC and Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk.
Expect the Gunners to top the group, and the youngsters at the club to pick up some valuable game time. Joe Willock and Saka will impress with good performances in the group stages.
Round of 32
In the round of 32 Arsenal will have a tricky tie, as they will be playing none other than Villarreal. Yes, that is correct Unai Emery’s Villarreal. Emery will be out for revenge against former side Arsenal assisted by former Gunner Francis Coquelin.
Despite an initial scare, going 1-0 down in the opening minutes of the away leg of the tie, Arsenal will bounce back and end up 3-1 winners in the first leg. New boy Willian will steal the headlines with a goal and two assists.
The second leg will be a drab, boring nil-nil affair, leaving Europa League expert Unai Emery to be foiled again by his former side.
Round of 16
In the round of 16 Arsenal will be drawn with FC BATE Borisov. It doesn’t get more Europa League than that. Unlike the last time they faced off in Europe this will be a very comfortable match.
Arsenal win 5-1 on aggregate, Mesut Özil grabbing a rare brace in a home thrashing.
The Quarterfinal draw will schedule a massive, all English tie in Europe. The North London Derby on the European football stage, in what would promise to be two fiery and dramatic games.
The first match the away leg, held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was a tight, nervy game. Arsenal coming out 2-1 winners in the away fixture, with both goals from an unexpected source. Granit Xhaka.
The home leg would prove to be a much different story. Three goals from Willian (he hates Tottenham), two goals for Aubameyang, an own goal and another unexpected goal from Granit Xhaka would put Arsenal 7-2 up at the end of first half. Arsenal thrashing Tottenham 9-3 on aggregate. This isn’t even a prediction anymore, this is straight-up prophesy.
José Mourinho to be sacked in the away dressing room at half-time, followed up by two more goals from Arsenal leaving the final score Arsenal 9-2 Tottenham as Harry Kane and Co leave the pitch in tears. Arsenal beat Tottenham in one-sided fashion 11-3 on aggregate.
In the Semi-finals outsiders Sparta Prague would be playing off against Arsenal for a place in the final. On paper it looks to be a simple affair, but will prove to be anything but that.
After a disastrous away performance Arsenal losing by two goals to nil, the Gunners had it all to do in North London.
An Aubameyang brace forcing the match to extra time before an eventual headed winner by super sub David Luiz would see Arsenal book a place in the Europa League final, by the skin of their teeth.
The Europa League Final
A Messi-less Barcelona, who dropped down from the Champions League will be Arsenal’s opponents in the 2021 UEFA Europa League final.
A summary of the match:
9 min: Aubameyang put through one on one against Marc-André ter Stegen, slots the ball past the goalkeeper. One nil to the Arsenal.
13 min: Griezmann booked for diving.
22 min: Barcelona win a corner. A dangerous low cross is put in, but deflects off a series of players. Arsenal clear the ball.
34 min: Griezmann picks up a second booking, for diving. The Frenchman has picked up two yellow cards, both for diving and has been sent off. Barcelona reduced to 10 men.
42 min: Oh no! Arsenal fail to deal with the cutback and Miralem Pjanic equalises for 10 men Barcelona. We all are square, 1-1 in the Europa League final.
HALFTIME – Arsenal 1-1 Barcelona
46 min: Arsenal get the ball rolling for the 2nd half.
53 min: Arsenal win a freekick, deep in the opposition half.
57 min: GOAL! Calum Chambers scores a bullet header. Arsenal go 2-1 up, they are back in front on the night.
72 min: GOAL! It’s Calum Chambers again! A fantastic long range strike puts Arsenal 3-1 up.
84 min: Granit Xhaka booked for a tactical foul.
90 min: Arsenal waste time in the corner.
Full time – Arsenal 3-1 Barcelona
Arsenal win their first UEFA Europa League and qualify for the Champions League for the first time in forever. Calum Chambers is awarded man of the match.
That’s all folks. That’s how Arsenal’s 2020/21 UEFA Europa League campaign will unfold.
A young writer who dreams of seeing Arsenal back in the Champions League. Particularly interested in the psyche, mentality and mental health of players – their motivation, the harmful effects of social media, and how the football world affects them.