Arsenal hope to have fans at the Emirates Stadium for the match against Rapid Vienna next Thursday, but there are no guarantees yet.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal looks dejected after conceding their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Will Oliver - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal looks dejected after conceding their side’s first goal on October 25, 2020. (Photo by Will Oliver – Pool/Getty Images)

The Evening Standard report that after the latest announcements from Boris Johnson, Arsenal are hoping to have fans back at the Emirates Stadium next Thursday. Whether they can, and how many can attend, depends on the tier London is in.

In Tier 1 areas, 4,000 spectators can attend. In Tier 2, it’s 2,000. In Tier 3, no fans can attend at all. At this point, we believe London will be in Tier 2, but we should know the answer by roughly this Thursday.

The Europa League regulations already allow for fans in stadiums. We saw that in evidence with the supporters attending Arsenal’s recent away trip to Vienna. But until now, the restrictions in England have kept stadiums empty anyway.

If London is in Tier 2, Arsenal could allow 2,000 fans back in for the Vienna clash.

Their original plan was to hold a random ballot between all the supporters who made an “initial payment” before the season started. That may have changed given the current tighter restrictions, as the government may push clubs to avoid offering tickets to people who have to travel in from further afield.

But that’s just speculation at this stage. It’s very possible we still see Arsenal draw out names at random, in which case the lucky fans would have around a week’s notice to prepare to attend next Thursday’s game.