Robbie Savage states his prediction for Ostersund v Arsenal

Robbie Savage explains the importance of Arsenal beating Ostersund in the Europa League this week

arsene wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Robbie Savage has backed Arsenal to beat Ostersund in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 clash on Thursday night, and has warned that winning the competitions is the Gunners’ only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

The Gunners suffered a potentially devastating blow to their hopes of finishing in the top four on Saturday when they were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

That defeat left Arsenal seven points behind the Lilywhites in the race for Champions League qualification and it looks increasingly unlikely that the Gunners will finish in the top four.

Arsenal ended up fifth last season as they missed the chance to qualify for the Champions League and had to settle for a spot in the Europa League this term.

And Savage believes that winning the Europa League is the only hope for Arsenal if they want to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Speaking to BT Sport on Saturday, Savage said: “I think Ostersund on Thursday is a huge game for Arsenal. It’s a game they should win.

“But I think that’s the only way they can qualify for the Champions League – by taking the Manchester United route and winning it [the Europa League].”

Arsenal have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign.

The Gunners have won the FA Cup in three of the last four seasons but they were dumped out of the competition in the third round this term.

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