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Writers Make Their ‘Expert’ Arsenal Predictions for 2020/21 Season

Here we are: The 2020/21 Arsenal season.

A mere 48 days on from their most recent top-flight encounter, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal kick off the beginning of the new campaign with a trip across London to take on newly-promoted Fulham.

Amid a sea of expectancy and the obligatory accompanying nerves, however prepared or otherwise us fans or the club themselves may be, it’s upon us now. Go time.

Making predictions in football can be the pedestal for pride and equally the setup for scorn. But we here at Pain in the Arsenal don’t shy away from making bold claims. Sticking our neck out is what we’re here for. Offering our opinions, in whatever format, is the aim of the game.

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Hence why we’re doing it again, in a broader sense.

Just as you all at home have your verdict on how the season will play out, so do we. Thus, without further ado, here are the 2020/21 Arsenal season predictions from yours truly. Feel free to express your own utter disbelief at the following in whichever way you see fit.

Ross Kennerley – Site Expert (@SwedishRoss)

Howdy gang!

Tempering expectations (being a grumpy realist) is the modus operandi here. Having bubbled with anticipation on far too many occasions before with my beloved Arsenal, I’m not getting too far ahead of myself this time around.

In the Premier League, we won’t finish in the top four. The team has the right guidance, but is worryingly incomplete at present. That may (will! (See I’m not totally negative)) change before October 6th, but it will all be too late to match the spending prowess of those we’re hoping to catch.

Cup wise, the Carabao is furthest down on our priority list this season. I’d rather it wasn’t there at all, especially with Leicester being our first game up. Such sentiments will be echoed in the team camp, I’m sure. As for the FA Cup, it’s become our competition, but it too has little bearing on the season. Unless we’re fighting for Europa again. Sigh.

It is, however, the Europa League where our proverbial eggs will be placed. Top four is unlikely. Yet while this avenue back into the Champions League is by no means a walk in the park, it’s a stroll the Arsenal team can afford to spend some time on. Just a shame I feel it’s set up for further heartbreak. Again.

I really hope I’m wrong here:

Premier League: 5th
FA Cup: Quarter-Finals
Carabao Cup: Third Round
Europa League: Beaten Finalists

Mac Johnson – Contributor (@MacJohnson22152)

This season is going to be a madness, and I could not be more excited. Arsenal are finally looking like a complete team, for the first time in quite a while, and I think we’re keyed for success. But how will we succeed this season?

It’s debbie-downer time, but we won’t be getting into the UCL through the league this season. I think fifth is certainly within our grasp, but considering the top-four will likely be filled out by Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United, it’s going to be a Europa League place on paper.

Now of course, the reason I say on paper is because we’re going to win the Europa League this season. This Arsenal team has shown a cutting edge and a knack for trophies, and I think we have the depth and versatility to make a good run of it. Furthermore, it’s our route back into the Champions League, a journey we’ll finally make after a half-decade of waiting.

The FA Cup, as a result, might go by the wayside. And finally, the Moose Cup. Call it Carabao, EFL, or League Cup, it makes no difference to me, because it doesn’t really matter. Winning it will guarantee us a spot in the incumbent Europa Conference League, the future third-tier of European football, and the chance to qualify for the Europa League in 2022. It will also earn us a meteoric £100k, which means we don’t have to worry about Sead Kolasinac’s wages for a week. We’ll play the kids and go out in the round of 32.

Premier League: 5th
FA Cup: Semi-Finals
Carabao Cup: Third Round
Europa League: Winners

Henry Payne – Contributor (@henry_vines)

Provided that signings are made to address his team’s lack of midfield creativity and goals, Mikel Arteta can guide Arsenal to a top-four finish this season. While Chelsea and Manchester United have much better playing squads now compared to 12 months ago, I believe that Arsenal have the best coach of the three clubs. Arteta certainly has the required tactical nous, however, I think Arsenal will fall just short of their Premier League ambitions.

The FA Cup is held in high-regard and Arteta will want to defend his trophy. In recent years, Arsenal have been very good at progressing through the early rounds. They have not slipped on many banana skins and even with weakened lineups, have managed to earn victories against tough opposition. Nonetheless, should they face a team of Liverpoo’sl or Manchester City’s calibre, I think they could falter.

Under Arsène Wenger, the Carabao Cup was a competition reserved for deputies and academy prospects. Arteta would be wise to adhere to this tradition. However, it is not a priority.

Along with the Premier League, the Europa League is an avenue which Arsenal can pursue to re-establish themselves as a Champions League club. It is undoubtedly a huge priority and the Gunners are one of the favourites. They should waltz through the group stage and should make a rather comfortable run deep into the competition. Despite the debacle that was the loss to Olympiacos, Arteta masterminded a system in last season’s FA Cup which could prove vital in returning his team to the top table of European football.

Premier League: 5th
FA Cup: Semi-Finals
Carabao Cup: Quarter-Finals
Europa League: Winners

Nikesh Teckwani – Contributor (@nteckwani24)

It’s about that time again! The start of a new season, a chance to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. This will be Arsenal’s first full season under Mikel Arteta, and I am predicting that we will secure a return to the Champions League.

With the transfer window still open for another few weeks, I am making a few key assumptions. Most importantly, I do believe we will use any cash accumulated to bring in at least one new midfielder. I’m confident that Arteta and Edu will be able to acquire one of their top targets, provided we complete the necessary player sales.

While we perhaps don’t have the means to realistically challenge Manchester City and Liverpool just yet, I do believe Arsenal can pip either Manchester United or Chelsea to fourth place. With our strong squad depth, we should also be able to compete on multiple fronts, and I fancy a European run, culminating in our first continental title since 1994.

There will be more fixture congestion than usual this year, so we’ll have to pick and choose our battles. Given that the Premier League and Europa League offer the greatest potential rewards, I expect these to be prioritized over the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, where we will fall short purely due to necessary rotation and squad management.

With a couple more personnel changes on top of the signings we have already made, as well as my unwavering belief in Arteta, I’m confident that my predictions for the 2020/21 season can come true. Come On You Gunners!

Premier League: 4th
FA Cup: Quarter-Finals
Carabao Cup: Quarter-Finals
Europa League: Winners

Rob Worthington – Contributor (@arsenalfc_rob)

Based on what our squad currently looks like, I just can’t see us breaking into the top four. Our midfield is currently just too weak and with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United strengthening, there’s danger of us being left behind if we don’t act fast. Nonetheless, if we add Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey to our midfield, I’d say we could definitely finish in the top four.

I honestly wouldn’t be all that surprised to see us pick up another FA Cup this season. Similarly to Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta seems like he wants to become a serial winner. He wants to be a manager who can see his team win every single game. No game will be taken lightly this coming season and with our group of upcoming promising youngsters acting as a backup brigade in cup competitions I can certainly see us go far once again.

After a few seasons of mediocrity in the Carabao Cup that have seen us go out in the early stages, I can see us approaching the competition with a bit more vigour this year. Arteta has already shown that he’s more than capable, so adding a bit more silverware to the cabinet through victory in this competition is far from improbable.

Really tough to predict how we’ll fare in the Europa League. Almost inevitably, we’ll make it through the group stage. Finishing in the top four, however, should certainly be prioritised over the UEL. Of course, there’s still a major European trophy up for grabs, so we shouldn’t disregard it entirely.

Premier League: 5th
FA Cup: Quarter-Finals
Carabao Cup: Fourth Round
Europa League: Quarter-Finals

Jabari LeGendre – Contributor (@Jabylon17)

Much of Arsenal’s success will depend on the business done in the final weeks of the transfer window and with that in mind I will make my predictions with the belief that Arsenal will strengthen the squad specifically in midfield.

Mikel Arteta will be aiming for top four this season, however, Arsenal have been behind their rivals in terms of transfer business for years now. With Chelsea, United and City all strengthening this window, Arsenal may be a little too late to the party to crack the top four – I predict Arsenal will finish fifth.

Don’t be too disappointed, though! Arteta has a keen mind and a serious competitive streak, thus I believe he will want to push for more silverware in his second season and will see the Europa League as a competition that will look very good on his CV. Bringing in a European trophy while claiming Champions League football will be a very attractive proposition. I reckon Arteta will guide Arsenal to a Europa League final against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham and win the final 3-1. Very specific.

The Carabao Cup will be a very good test for the youngsters, but I think we’ll drop out in the quarter-finals of the competition. Nevertheless, it will be an exciting run for a few players looking for minutes and hoping to impress the manager. I expect another quarter-final finish in the FA Cup as well, with Arteta instead focusing on the Europa League and Premier League towards the business end of the season.

Premier League: 5th
FA Cup: Quarter-Finals
Carabao Cup: Quarter-Finals
Europa League: Winners

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