Raymond Doyle takes a look at five reasons why he believes Arsenal will qualify for next season’s Champions League with a top four finish.
1. Right form at the right time
Following Arsenal’s defeat to Tottenham on the 3rd March, many pundits were writing off the Gunner’s chances of Champions League qualification. However, following Manchester United’s defeat to Manchester City let Monday, the Gunners now have the best run of results than any other team in the league. Six wins from their last seven games leaves Arsene Wenger’s men just two points behind rivals Tottenham with a game in hand. Compare that form to Spurs – who have claimed just four points from their last four games – and it’s no surprise to see the bookmakers making Arsenal favourites for the top four.
2. Run-in for the rest of the season
Having a look at Arsenal’s final seven games, there is no reason why the Gunners can’t win at least five of these matches. They face four teams – Norwich, QPR, Wigan and Newcastle – who are all still struggling at the wrong end of the table as well as a home clash with Manchester United who may well be champions at the time the match is played. Their only tough game on paper seems to be the crucial game in hand against Everton where they have home advantage.
3. Squad players showing real form
With the injuries to Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby, many believed the Gunners hope for Champions League football next season had gone. However, players such as Gervinho and Tomas Rosicky – who have been either in awful form or injured all season – have stepped up to produce some fantastic displays. Gervinho claimed a crucial goal at home to Reading while Rosicky was the match winner for Arsenal with a brace against West Brom last weekend.
4. Returning stars
As mentioned above both Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott are expected to return to the Gunners squad in a number of days given Wenger a nice selection headache ahead of the final seven matches. Per Mertesacker will serve a suspension following his red card against the Baggie but Belgian international and captain Thomas Vermaelen is on standby to come into the back four.
5. Been there – done it all before!
Arsenal are looking to qualify for the Champions League for an incredible 16th straight season. While there has been massive disappointment with many of the Gunners fans in terms of lack of silverware, Arsene Wenger has installed a culture of qualification for Europe’s elite competition. Following comments on Saturday after their latest victory, it seems the club are very confident of repeating their top four finish. “The most important thing is for us to win our games,” he said. “Then you don’t need to calculate too much. We can look at their games and think that we have done our job today. Let’s do it again next week and then we see where we stand. We want to do it and if we keep these qualities, we will do it.”
Written by Raymond Doyle from www.FootballTips.com