The Next Two League Games Will Determine Arsenal’s Top 4 Hopes

By on February 6, 2018

The next two Premier League games will determine whether Arsenal have any hope of finishing in the top four this season.

It’s been anther frustrating campaign at the Emirates as Arsenal’s 2017/18 title challenge was over by October and they’ve been dumped out of the FA Cup in the 3rd round for the first time in over 20 years.

In the league, Arsenal’s away form has been the big concern as they’ve picked up just three wins on the road – which have come against Everton, Crystal Palace and Burnley.

Recent defeats away to Bournemouth and Swansea City saw Arsenal fall to sixth and well off the pace in the race for Champions League qualification for next season.

It looked like winning the Europa League was going to be Arsene Wenger’s best option to get the club back in to Europe’s elite competition and they have a very winnable last-32 tie against Swedish minnows Ostersunds coming up this month.

However, the Gunners have been handed a lifeline in the race for the top four as rivals Liverpool and Spurs played out a 2-2 draw on Sunday while Chelsea are in crisis having suffered a second consecutive heavy defeat – this time a 4-1 loss at Watford last night.

Arsenal took full advantage after thrashing Everton 5-1 on Saturday and they now sit four points adrift of Tottenham, five off fourth-placed Chelsea and six behind Liverpool.

According to many online football betting sites, Arsenal are sixth favourites to finish in the top four at best odds of 5/1. Chelsea are fifth at 8/11 while Tottenham are priced at 3/5 and Liverpool at 2/9, so the odds are certainly staked against them.

However, despite there being 12 Premier League games remaining this season, it’s safe to say Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top four rest on their next two league games as they are against Tottenham and Manchester City.

This weekend Arsenal face a pivotal trip to Wembley to take on Spurs and defeat would leave them with a mountain to climb to finish above their north London rivals this season.

Wenger’s men then face a Europa League double-header against Ostersunds before taking on Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup at the end of the month.

That means Arsenal have to wait until the 1st March to play their next league game when they welcome City to the Emirates for what will be their second meeting in just four days.

If the Gunners lose to Tottenham and City they can forget about the top four and concentrate on trying to win the Europa League to get themselves back in the Champions League.

pierre-emerick-aubameyang

However, if they could take at least four points from their next two games against Spurs and City then they would be right in the mix and having the benefit of a very favourable run-in.

After the next two league games are out the way, Arsenal only have to play one game against the rest of the ‘big 6’ – a trip to Old Trafford to face Man Utd at the end of April.

Otherwise, they have an excellent run of winnable games against Brighton [A], Watford [H], Leicester [A], Stoke [H], Southampton [H], Newcastle [A], West Ham [H], Burnley [H] and Huddersfield [A].

The north Londoners have been revitalised with the arrivals of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January and they look to have their spark back again.

So if Wenger can somehow come through the next two league games unbeaten and still in touch of their rivals, then I wouldn’t bet against Arsenal from snatching a place in the top four come what May.

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