Emery eyes Champions League spot

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery hopes to see his side go all the way in the Europa League this season and in doing so secure a return to the Champions League.

The Gunners have been absent from the premier European club competition in both of the last two seasons and Emery is eager to end that run sooner rather than later.

A top-four finish in the Premier League would ensure the same reward, with Arsenal currently in fifth place, but just one point behind a resurgent Manchester United.

Ahead of a last-32 first leg away to BATE Borisov on Thursday evening, Emery – a three-time winner of the competition whilst with Sevilla – told reporters: "Our target is clear: to play next year in the Champions League, but we know it's not easy.

"We have two ways now, one is the Europa League and to win it is very difficult. In the Premier League we also have the possibility.

"The big challenge is thinking only about the next match, improving individually and collectively, creating a big mentality for us."

The Gunners met BATE in the group stages of the Europa League last season, when the game in Belarus ended in a 4-2 victory for the visitors, who then claimed a 6-0 win in the return fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal can be backed at 4/11 to win on Thursday evening and are 11/2 to claim a 2-0 victory, with the Gunners 6/1 to go all the way and win the Europa League this season.

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