It looks like a four-way battle for the two remaining Champions League qualification places – although I actually think the two current occupants will be the victors.
Arsenal sit in third place, above Spurs on goal difference alone, with the two North London rivals five points ahead of Chelsea and Newcastle. So here is why I think Arsene Wenger will guide his team into the Champions League again – with one of the finest managerial seasons of his career.
At the beginning of the season, Arsenal were being written off, with some ‘experts’ predicting that they would struggle to finish in the top 8!
Although I thought that was ridiculous, it was difficult to see them in the top 4, especially after the start they had and after failing to properly replace Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.
Fast-forward to April, and the Gunners sit in third, with seven wins in their last eight, and look like they might be in Europe’s premier competition next season after all.
Defeat against QPR precedes a massive game against Manchester City, and an away trip to Wolves, in what will really show what this Arsenal team are made of.
I expect them to avoid defeat against City. As a United fan, I hope they win, but I don’t think they will lose. City have been erratic away from home this season and if they’re not at their best at the Emirates, they will find it very difficult.
The game away at Wolves could be an even bigger test. Wolves are fighting for their lives, and away games at lower-half teams are where Arsenal specialise in slip-ups. A win at Wolves will renew their confidence – regardless of the City result.
The Gunners then face Chelsea on 21st April. A Chelsea team who are struggling at the moment, and one which will be chasing the ball for 90 minutes against Barcelona either side of the Arsenal game. I fancy Arsenal to win this, especially if they beat Wolves, Wigan and avoid defeat to City in the preceding matches.
It’s all ifs and buts, but should Arsenal win the games I have just mentioned, I full expect them to win their remaining three fixtures, the toughest being Stoke away. The Potters have very little to play for and I would expect Wenger’s men to find a ruthless streak as they look to wrap up Champions League qualification.
Of course, Arsenal may lose to City and Wolves, deflating the team. However, even if this is the case, I would expect them to beat Wigan, Norwich and even Chelsea at home. Wins or draws at Stoke and West Brom, would still see them finish on around 70 points, which should be enough for fourth place.
Wolves 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal 4-0 Wigan
Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea
Stoke 1-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 3-1 Norwich
West Brom 0-0 Arsenal
Final Position: 4th – 72 points.
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