By Tony Attwood
These are exciting moments for Arsenal’s Women’s team as just one win in two games is needed to secure a place in Europe next season. Here’s the league table – with the top three qualifying
|6||Brighton and Hove Albion||20||7||3||10||16||37||-21||24|
Arsenal play Everton away on 2 May (1pm) and Villa at home on 9 May (2.30pm). They also play Palace on 16 May in the 5th round of the FA Cup (3pm). All games are on TV as part of the new TV deal.
Will we get through?
Well, if we go back to the time Arsenal beat Aston Villa away on 28 February by 4-0, since then we have beaten, in the League, Birmingham 0-4, Manchester United (2-0), Tottenham Hotspur (0-3), Bristol City (0-4), Brighton (2-0), and West Ham United (2-0).
We also beat Gillingham in the Cup, to make it eight successive victories with a goal scoring ratio of 31 goals scored and non conceded. If we take the FA Cup game out that is still averaging three goals a game and none against.
However assuming we do win one of the two remaining games we will qualify for next season’s Champions League by coming third, and this will make for a fiendishly difficult route to be followed (although I am sure all will become clear over time).
The rules say that that the third placed teams from France, Germany, Spain, England, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, and the runners-up of the next ten highest-ranked associations ( Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Kazakhstan, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Scotland, Russia, Belarus) will enter in Round 1 of the league path.
This, we are unreliably informed will be as a set of four-team knockout mini tournaments with the winners going on to Round 2.
Round 2, you will be excited to hear, will be played as two-legged knockout ties and the winners go into the Champions League. Ultimately we have the group stage draw on 13 September ahead of what I suppose we might call the Champions League proper.
But of course all this is as of nought if we don’t win one of the two remaining games. Although to be fair to Manchester United they could try and catch us on goal difference by winning two games 14-0, but I think that might be a little bit unlikely.
The champions league final is on 22 May at the Juventus stadium next year.
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