June 30, 2020 / 1:55 PM / 14 days ago

Arsenal's Arteta counts on home form to qualify for Europe

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup - Quarter Final - Sheffield United v Arsenal - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - June 28, 2020 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Oli Scarff/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) - Arsenal have little room for error if they are to qualify for European competition next season and will count on their home form to climb up the table, manager Mikel Arteta said on Tuesday.

Arsenal, 10th in the standings, have played three consecutive away games since the Premier League’s restart this month, while their FA Cup quarter-final win over Sheffield United on Sunday was also away.

Wednesday’s match against bottom side Norwich City will be their first at the Emirates Stadium since the restart. The north London side picked up 13 points in their last five home games before the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Every game is going to be a must-win game from now because we have a few teams ahead of us so the margin for error is minimal. At home we have to be very strong if we have any chance of finishing in European places,” Arteta told reporters.

“We really want to play at home, that’s where we enjoy (playing) more. But obviously, not having the fans is a tremendous disadvantage.”

Arteta confirmed 19-year-old centre back William Saliba, who was signed last year but loaned back to St Etienne, will complete the season with the Ligue 1 club so he can play in the French Cup final against Paris St Germain on July 24.

“He’s been over there all year, he’s earned his right to play that final if the manager wants to do that. We have to give him the opportunity to do that, to enjoy that and we’ll have him after,” Arteta said.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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