Hard as it may be to believe, Arsenal still have a shot at making the Champions League this season. To follow up on yesterday’s refresher post, I took a closer look at the table and did some napkin math to get a better idea of what the Gunners needed to do in their remaining 10 matches.
With my Arsenal-colored glasses on, the likely outcome seems to be finishing in a Europa League place. Right now, the 5th and 6th place finishers are guaranteed a spot in the EL. The FA Cup winner will likely already be qualified for European football next season, which means the 7th place finisher will head to the Europa League. For the purposes of this piece, I’m assuming that Manchester City’s European ban appeal is unsuccessful, which puts the 5th place finisher in the Champions League and the 8th place finisher in the Europa.
Of course, things don’t have to go that far wrong for Arsenal to miss out on Europe completely. 12th-place Everton are eight points off Manchester United in 5th. The mid-table is incredibly congested, and one bad result could be the difference.
For reference, FiveThirtyEight has Arsenal at 5% to make the Champions League and 43% to make the Europa League. Their model assumes that Manchester City’s ban appeal will not be successful. It also reduces the home-field advantage factor in simulating match outcomes by 10% because of the empty stadiums.
Below is what the table would look like if every team collected points from their remaining matches at the same rate as they have been all season. There would be two changes from the current table: Sheffield United would overtake Wolves for 6th, and more importantly, Arsenal would overtake Tottenham for 8th.