The primary focus for Arsenal this season will be to get back into the Champions League. One way that they can ensure this is by winning the Europa League.
The North London club will be playing their first knockout game in the competition against BATE Borisov from Belarus. Ahead of the Round of 32 fixture, they were given a huge fitness boost with three first-team players returning to full training.
As per Arsenal’s official website, the trio of Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis have returned to training after a spell on the sidelines. This is what the update read:
[Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] In full training.
[Mesut Ozil] In full training.
[Sokratis] In full training ahead of schedule.
Sokratis has been on the sidelines since suffering an ankle injury in the FA Cup game against Manchester United three weeks back. The defender wasn’t due to return until the end of the month however, the club have confirmed that he is back in full training ahead of schedule.
As for Ozil and Aubameyang, they were absent from the squad that played against Huddersfield due to an illness. Another boost is that midfielder Granit Xhaka is back in full training as well and given how important the Swiss midfielder has been to the fortunes of the team, this is good news.
The race to the final Champions League spot is heating up at the moment with both Chelsea and Manchester United giving the Gunners a tough fight. With the Premier League title almost out of reach for Arsenal, the Europa League represents the best chance for the team to end the season with a trophy.
Winning the European competition will also guarantee a Champions League spot and that should further motivate the team to give it their best shot.
After an incredible 22 game unbeaten winning streak, the Emirates club have faltered a little bit. It is at this crucial stage of the season where they cannot afford to slip up. The team has to try and give their all to get back into the Champions League. Not only is it a matter of pride, but it is also a matter of money.
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