Arsenal to benefit massively from Juventus punishment ahead of Champions League

Arsenal will avoid a potential Champions League group of death following Juventus’ 10-point deduction in Serie A. The Gunners are now set to sneak into pot two upon their return to Europe’s elite club competition.

Arsenal are back in the Champions League for the first time since being dumped out 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich in 2017. Mikel Arteta’s side have comfortably finished inside the top four after leading the Premier League for most of the season.

Due to only featuring in the Europa League in recent years, as well as going one season without European football altogether, Arsenal have dropped down UEFA’s club coefficient list. That meant they were in with a strong chance of being in pot three for the group stage draw in August.

Arsenal would then have faced the possibility of a potential group of death. Pot one is made up of the defending Champions League and Europa League winners, as well as the title winners from Europe’s top six leagues.

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The rest of the pots are decided by UEFA’s club coefficient rankings. Arsenal are currently 23rd on the list, which would most likely see them in pot three.

However, the north Londoners have been hoping for at least seven of the teams ranked above them not to qualify for next year’s tournament. Up until the weekend, it appeared as if Arsenal would just miss out on pot two and be the highest-ranked team in pot three.

But the news that Juve have had a points deduction is a massive bonus. The Old Lady had their 15-point deduction for false accounting in transfer dealings, imposed in January, lifted in April.

However, a new ruling by the Italian football federation has seen them slapped with a 10-point punishment. That moved Juve outside of the top four in the Serie A and Monday’s 4-1 defeat at Empoli means they are now rank outsiders to get back into the Champions League qualification spots.

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The importance for Arsenal is that Juve are ranked higher than them in the club coefficient list. Juve will likely be replaced by AC Milan, who are below Arsenal.

Arteta’s side will move up one spot in the seedings and sneak into pot two. This year’s semi-finalists Milan will go straight into pot three if they confirm qualification.

If Arsenal were in pot three, they could have been given a horror draw. For example, there was a realistic chance they could have faced Paris Saint-Germain as well as one of Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

Now they are set to be in pot two, Arsenal cannot face Bayern or Real in the group stage. They will also avoid Atletico Madrid, although PSG or Barcelona could still be on the horizon as they are both in pot one.

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