Arsenal once again find themselves in a familiar position. Placed fifth, the Gunners require a near-perfect finish to finish in the top-four this season.
They have done it on more than one occasion in the past, but can they do it again?
Chelsea and Tottenham are fighting for the title at the top of the table and are certain to finish in top four. At the time of writing, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United occupy the next four spots, and these four clubs will be competing for the remaining two places in the top four.
The Gunners have games in hand on all their competitors, but they have some tricky fixtures left this season. In comparison, Liverpool don’t have to face a top-seven competitor in their remaining six fixtures. However, one can make a case of the Reds having a less-than-impressive record against weaker oppositions this season.
Regardless, the Gunners still have to play Tottenham(a), Manchester United(h), Everton(h) and Stoke City(a) and that is why are they are available at 13/5 odds at Netbet to finish in the top four.
These odds put the Gunners far behind City and Liverpool, who are available at 2/13 and 1/3 odds respectively.
Along with Arsenal, United are also favourites to finish outside top four and are available at 11/2 odds. There is a growing feeling that United manager Jose Mourinho has shifted his focus towards Europa League and would attempt to sneak into Champions League next season by winning the less sought-after tournament.
Arsene Wenger’s side were back to their best against West Ham in midweek, but they still find themselves in a peculiar position. However, history suggests that they are more than capable of making one last dash towards the end of the season.
On more than occasion in the past, they have defied the odds in similar circumstances, and the club fans are hopeful that when push comes to shove, they will be able to lift up to the occasion.
If the North London club beat Crystal Palace on Monday, they will find themselves within touching distance of City and Liverpool.
Following the game against Palace, Arsenal face Middlesbrough. If Wenger’s side manages to pick up maximum points from these two games, that will stand them in a decent position ahead of the crucial run of games against Leicester, United and Tottenham.
Would Arsenal finally finish outside the top four under Arsene Wenger? It’s surely looking likely more than ever.