It is no secret that Arsene Wenger wants to win the Champions League, to fill the only gap on a CV that includes titles, cups and an unbeaten domestic season, yet every year he seems to find a new way of falling short in the Champions League.
Football’s premier club competition, the European Champion Clubs’ Cup was launched in Vienna in March 1955. The major turning point in the tournament’s evolution had come in the 1992/93 season when the UEFA Champions League, involving a group stage in addition to the traditional knockout elements, was officially inaugurated after a pilot round robin during the previous campaign.
Arsenal have previously won two European honours: the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970 and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994. They also reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 2000, and became the first London team to appear in a UEFA Champions League final in 2006 where they lost out to Spanish Champions Barcelona.
Arsenal are the most successful Champions League side never to actually win the competition. Having won 71 games out of their 153 games played, they have won more matches than any other side not to have won a Champions League trophy.
Arsenals’ recent record in the Champions League is mixed with the Gunners struggling to make it out of the first knockout round stage. In five of the last six years, Arsenal have finished second in their group which has meant playing a slightly more difficult opponent in the knockout stages. This year there are interesting odds to be had on Arsenals’ chances and if you want to know how to place a bet on Arsenals’ progression in this year’s competition then look no further.
Arsenal will not be unhappy about the draw for this year’s Champions League knockout stages. The Gunners, who have qualified for the Champions League for the last 19 seasons, will be confident of continuing their record of reaching the knockout rounds for 16 consecutive years after being paired with three clubs that, surprisingly, they have never faced before in the competition.
The short trip across the channel to face Paris Saint-Germain was a fair start with a 1-1 draw last night which would have been even tougher had Zlatan Ibrahimovic not been now plying his trade at Old Trafford. Arsene Wenger’s men should however have more than enough to see off Swiss champions Basle and Bulgarians Lugogorets.
Arsene Wenger believes his summer signings will give Arsenal a better chance of Champions League glory this season having splashed the cash in the transfer window bringing in the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Granit Xhaka. The new additions will feature in the forth coming Champions League campaign, however, it is still unclear how Arsenal will deal with the defensive problems that have had such an impact this season domestically already.