3 reasons why Arsenal would win the Europa League this season
With matchday 4 of the Europa League having been completed, the die has been cast for teams in the second tier of European club football. While some clubs still on course in their quest for glory, and others are in danger of dropping by the wayside.
The difference in size and structure of all 64 clubs contesting the Europa League means that they all have differing objectives, with anything other than victory come May representing a massive failure for some, while others would be happy to make it out of the group stage.
One such club with aspirations of going all the way is Arsenal and the English side would have genuine ambitions of lifting the Europa League trophy in Gdansk, Poland.
Given Arsenal's poor run of form of late, many might dismiss their chances of triumphing in the Europa League this season, but it would be foolhardy to suggest they cannot go all the way.
In this piece, we shall highlight three reasons why Arsenal could win the Europa League this season.
#3 Unai Emery has an excellent track record in the competition
While his stock might have taken a nosedive in recent years, in the not too distant past, Unai Emery was a man on the rise and his reputation was boosted massively with his track record in the Europa League.
Having made steady progress in the Valencia dugout, Emery was appointed as Sevilla manager in January 2013 and he earned rave reviews for his performance with the Andalusians.
He guided Sevilla to consecutive fifth-place league finishes in his first two seasons and a seventh-place finish in his third, but it was his work on the continent that won him many admirers.
His first season saw him dispatch Benfica on penalties in the 2014 Europa League final in Turin and the trick was repeated the next year, with Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk the victims on this occasion.
The second triumph earned him automatic qualification to the Champions League, but a third-place finish in the group stage saw Sevilla drop back into the Europa League and they triumphed over Liverpool 3-1 in a comeback victory in the final at St Jakob Park, Switzerland.
Following his spell with Sevilla, a high profile job with PSG was secured, but the Spaniard failed to step up to the plate and oversaw the embarrassing elimination of the Parisians to Barcelona having posted a 4-0 first-leg advantage.
His dismissal from PSG saw him hired by Arsenal and in his first season with the club, it was back to business for Emery, as he led Arsenal to the final of the Europa League where they were defeated by London rivals Chelsea.
Unai Emery might struggle elsewhere, but he feels right at home in the Europa League and his excellent track record in the competition could see him guide Arsenal to victory in the final.