Arsenal force Spurs to give up home advantage in the Europa League last 16

Arsenal cost Spurs home advantage

A very interesting occurrence has emerged where Arsenal have seemingly ousted the home advantage of Tottenham Hotspur in their last 16 tie against Dinamo Zagreb.

Arsenal came back to win 3-2 against Benfica and qualify for the last 16 with the 4-3 aggregate victory.

Due to Arsenal progressing through into the final 16 teams, it meant that when they were drawn to play against Olympiacos at home in the second leg, this fell on the same night that Spurs would be playing their home leg against the Croatian team.

Arsenal force Spurs to give up home advantage in the Europa League last 16

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: A UEFA Europa League logo is pictured on the match ball during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Arsenal are considered to be ranked higher in the competition thanks to their qualification for the Europa League through their FA Cup win. Spurs qualified for the competition by finishing 6th in the Premier League table, considered a lower weighting than Arsenal’s victory.

UEFA have a law which prevents two teams within 50km of each other from playing on the same night and because Arsenal and Spurs both play in North London, the governing body has forced the two legs between Spurs and Zagreb to switch. This means that Jose Mourinho’s team have given up the suppose advantage of playing the second leg at home.

Arsenal will face Olympiacos at home in their second leg, however, were knocked out by the Greek side in last year’s competition at the previous stage again at the Emirates. Therefore, whether or not an advantage truly exists is purely theory.

Sokratis targets Arsenal weaknesses

Arsenal vs Olympiacos in the last 16 of the Europa League they will come up against their former defender Sokratis. The Greek international and former Borussia Dortmund centre-half left Arsenal in January after a termination of his contract having failed to earn a spot in Mikel Arteta’s squad during the season.

Speaking ahead of the clash between the familiar foes, Sokratis said that he and his side will be looking to exploit the weaknesses which were exposed in the Greek team’s win last season.

“It is something special because until a month ago I was with them. I think it will be a difficult game. Arsenal are a very big team,’ said Sokratis. ‘We have to be focused during both games to repeat last year,” he said.

Arsenal force Spurs to give up home advantage in the Europa League last 16

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 11: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal FC during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal FC at Selhurst Park on January 11, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

“There are no big differences because he is the same coach. More or less it is the same team with two or three additions. It is a team with great quality, but there are also areas we can hit to harm them.”

Arsenal’s season hugely hinges on their success in the Europa League and could be there only route into qualifying for a European competition considering their poor league form.

Arteta and Arsenal want to avoid a repeat of last season and take a comfortable victory in their away trip to Greece in a week’s time.

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Arsenal cost Spurs home advantageA very interesting occurrence has emerged where Arsenal have seemingly ousted the home advantage of Tottenham Hotspur in their last 16 tie against Dinamo Zagreb.Arsenal came back to win 3-2 against Benfica and qualify for the last 16 with the 4-3 aggregate victory.Due to Arsenal progressing through into the final 16Football (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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