It is far from clear whether the Gunners will even qualify for the Champions League. With Leicester City and Spurs virtually guaranteed the first two spots, the third and fourth places are still up for grabs.
With five games remaining, we’re level with Man City on 60 points, although they sit above us on goal difference. Man United are behind us on 56 and vastly inferior goal difference and West Ham have 53 points. So will we qualify for Europe’s ultimate prize?
With things so close, it is likely that our fate will be decided after penultimate game of the season when we face City at the Etihad. Neither City nor we have any particularly tough fixtures up until that point (at least on paper), so it looks even more likely to be decided in Manchester on the 8th of May. With City’s form boosted by the return of Kevin de Bruyne, City look dangerous.
Fans of other teams have been making jibes about Arsenal being chokers. There is some truth in that since our title bid collapsed when we looked likely to go on and win it six or seven weeks ago. The 1-1 home draw against Crystal Palace at the weekend was also a bit of a hammer blow to our chances of Champions League qualification.
Arsenal have never finished outside of the top four under Arsene Wenger. While we did throw away our title chances, we currently sit in fourth and we’re definitely favourites to win against every team up until the City game.
Even our record against City away is pretty good. After all, our last match-up at the Etihad being a 2-0 win in our favour; so it would be silly to rule out a win. That said, for Sanchez and Giroud to join the likes of Ronaldo and Messi next season – two football greats who appear in William Hill’s tribute to the best European player – they really need to pull out some big performances on the 8th May.
As it stands, a top four finish is highly likely; after all, bookies have us at 1/12 for a top four finish. This makes sense since the only thing team that could ruin that for us would be United and they’ve been erratic at best all season.
So, can we do it? We say yes, we will qualify for the Champions League. With the points so close, it’s tough to say whether we’ll gain an automatic spot in the group stage, but it’s certainly within our means.