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Arsenal players chasing new territory with little Champions League experience as Tottenham have FOUR times as many games


The North London derby is always a heated affair and will have the added spice of a Champions League place on the line.

Arsenal can confirm their place in Europe’s top club competition next season with victory at White Hart Lane, but a win for Spurs will open things up wide.

Smith Rowe and Saka are leading the youth revolution at Arsenal
Reuters
Arsenal players chasing new territory with little Champions League experience as Tottenham have FOUR times as many games
Arsenal players want to play in the Champions League rather than sit at home watching it
Getty

The return to the Champions League will be a big moment for the Gunners and manager Mikel Arteta.

The club haven’t finished in the top four since the 2015/16 season under Arsene Wenger, when they came second.

It’s been a story of patience for Arteta and Arsenal after consecutive eighth places and things are starting to fall into place.

There is a backbone of young talent in the squad, many of whom have yet to experience Champions League football in their careers.

Five of the likely starting XI against Tottenham will never have played in the Champions League before, with Rob Holding (1) and Martin Odegaard (2) still inexperienced.

Ben White, who is injured, and Gabriel Martinelli, who often tours with Emile Smith Rowe, can also be added to this list who have yet to make their competitive debut.


Arsenal players chasing new territory with little Champions League experience as Tottenham have FOUR times as many games
Arsenal’s side have far less Champions League experience than rivals Tottenham

The experience of Arsenal players in the Champions League

Many players in the regular starting XI have yet to play top-flight European football

Granit Xhaka – 22 games

Mohamed Elneny – 17 years old

Kieran Tierney – 9

Gabriel- 6

Martin Odegaard – 2

Rob Holding – 1

Aaron Ramsdale – 0

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 0

Emile Smith Rowe – 0

Bukayo Saka – 0

Eddie Nketiah – 0

They will also likely lose a lot of Champions League experience over the summer with Alexandre Lacazette (18) and Bernd Leno (37) likely to leave, while Mohamed Elneny (17) has only recently been offered a new contract.

Martin Odegaard wants to go from spectator to Champions League player.

“We watch every game,” he said before the game.

“When you watch these games you want to be there and fight for the best games, so that’s where we want to be.

“[Qualifying for the Champions League] was our big goal this season, so if we achieve that, we will be very happy.

“Of course doing it there will be special, but the most important thing is to get there and not how we do it.”

Their rivals, Tottenham, have a lot more Champions League experience in their squad, four times as much in fact.

Arsenal players chasing new territory with little Champions League experience as Tottenham have FOUR times as many games
Lloris has played 56 Champions League games during his career
Getty
Arsenal players chasing new territory with little Champions League experience as Tottenham have FOUR times as many games
Tottenham’s possible squad to face Arsenal has over 200 Champions League appearances

While the Gunners languished outside of Europe’s top competition, Spurs made it all the way to the final and consistently finished in the Premier League’s top four.

They have a total of 222 Champions League appearances in their likely starting line-up, with Hugo Lloris leading the way with 56 – one less than the entire Arsenal squad combined.

But they are unlikely to add to that anytime soon as all indications are that the Gunners will take fourth place and return to the Champions League.

Tottenham’s Champions League experience

Goalkeeper Lloris has played almost as many Champions League games as Arsenal’s entire starting XI

Hugo Lloris – 56 matches

Son of Heung-min – 45

Rodrigue Bentancur – 31 years old

Harry Kane – 24 years old

Eric Dier – 23 years old

David Davies – 19

Dejan Kulusevsky – 11

Christian Romero – 7

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 3

Ryan Sessegnon – 3

Emerson Royal – 0


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