Will Arsenal be able to make the push for Champions League?
NYON, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 14: Special guest Maniche draws out the card of Arsenal FC during the UEFA Europa League 2020/21 Round of 32 draw at the UEFA Headquarters, the House of European Football, on December 14, 2020, in Nyon, Switzerland (Photo by Harold Cunningham - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Arsenal have not been able to qualify for the Champions League since the disgraceful 10-2 battering against Bayern Munich in the 2016/17 season.

The fans have been crying out for years now for the club to return to Europe's most elite competition, but will this be the year that the North London club is successful?

Qualification through the Premier League

Arsenal are in 11th place, which shows the severity of the climb that is upon them. However, top four is only six points away, where local rivals Tottenham Hotspur lies.

Recently Arsenal have seen a resurgence of form, winning all three of their last Premier League matches.

The return of Gabriel Martinelli to the squad and the inclusion Emile Smith-Rowe have joined Bukayo Saka in being key to the Gunners' success.

These young players will be crucial to the side if Arsenal are to mount any serious attempt. Their desire and hunger to win the ball back is unmatched by any at Arsenal.

It will be an extreme challenge for Arsenal to qualify through the Premier League, one that is considered unlikely. The drop off in form from Chelsea and Liverpool is one that is welcomed though and may just offer fans a glimmer of hope.

Winning the Europa League

The other possible route will be to win the Europa League. The Gunners have come close before, losing in the final to Chelsea and the semi-final to Atletico Madrid

The club have been flawless in the competition so far, winning all six of their group stage matches. It has been an opportunity for Hale End graduates to shine, with Joe Willock being an instrumental part in the side. 

Arsenal face Benfica in the next round of the European competition. This is one that most fans will feel comfortable about - although after that shock exit against Olympiacos last year, no one can be too sure. 

The London club will need to overcome some tough opposition if they are to progress fully in this competition. The batch of teams in this year's Europa League is strong.

Three other English teams have found themselves amongst the bunch; Leicester City, Manchester United and Spurs.

Overall it seems that the Europa League will be the more likely route for Arsenal. Their poor start to the Premier League season have set themselves apart from the rest of the leading pack and the challenge may be one that is just a little bit too hard for Mikel Arteta's men. The Europa League offers a lifeline though, it is just up to Arsenal to take it.