Arsenal’s Europa League round of last-32 tie with Portuguese champions Benfica could be played over one-leg, according to Evening Standard.
The publication claim that because Portugal are on UK’s red list for travel, anyone who returns from the country has to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Britain.
It’s a move which means Arsenal could miss the clashes with Manchester City and Leicester City if they travel to the European nation for their cup tie.
According to UEFA rules, the organisation have the authority to change the venue of the clashes or make it a one-legged affair.
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A change to the nature of the clash could well boost the north London giant’s chances of finishing in the top four. Playing one game as opposed two really does help Mikel Arteta in resting players for what is set to be an arduous battle for Champions League football.
Liverpool in third all the way down to Arsenal in 10th is split by just nine points, and given how topsy-turvy the season has been thus far, any one of the teams above the Gunners can finish in those places.
Giving yourself one less game to play would really boost the club’s chances of snatching a spot especially given the club’s recent injury history. The likes of Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli have all come back from long-term injuries and sustaining more in the second half of the campaign would be disastrous.
The current predicament could be a blessing in disguise for Arteta and his squad. Fewer games in what is proving to be a hectic footballing year would boost the side’s chances of making a shock late sprint for Europe’s premier competition.