Arsenal face some heavy trekking thanks to their Europa League trip to Azerbaijan, but how is it all going to play out?
Arsenal, as you probably know, are already in Baku ahead of Thursday night’s game and they trained at the Olympic Stadium in a change from the way Arsene Wenger used to prepare them for European away games.
After the match they then face a six-hour flight back to London, arriving in the early hours of Friday morning with their plane expected to land at London Luton at around 4am UK time.
Arsenal then play Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday with a 12pm kick-off.
This, of course, is the price Arsenal pay for landing themselves in the Europa League again while the Premier League refuse to lift a finger to help English sides in Europe. This isn’t me moaning about Arsenal having a quick turnaround, more a general moan about the flexibility seen in other leagues when it comes to moving fixtures to help their sides compete in Europe while in England they are beholden to the wishes of the TV companies.
Arsenal only have one home game after a Europa League away game in this year’s group stages. That is against Tottenham three days after a trip to Ukraine.
Of Arsenal’s six group games this season, they play at home in the following match twice.
To contrast, Spurs have an even 50:50 split after their European games, including one that has been moved to a Monday following a Wednesday Champions League game.
Before our game against them in November – the one we travel to Ukraine just before – Spurs play Inter Milan at ‘home’ a full four days before. Two of their three away games in Europe are followed by home games.