Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal can still qualify for the Champions League next season through finishing in the top four of the Premier League. The Gunners sit 10 points off fourth-placed Chelsea following the Blues’ 2-1 win over Tottenham on Saturday but have one game in hand on their rivals.
A poor start to the season under Unai Emery has hampered Arsenal’s pursuit of Champions League football while Mikel Arteta’s reign has so far been blighted by draws.
But, despite their 10-point distance from Chelsea, Wenger believes his former side can still finish in the top four spots in the league.
Speaking about the hunting pack, Wenger said on beIN SPORTS: “They’ve all got a chance because it looks like the top three [Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester] is away from the rest of the league.
“And the rest of the league… The bottom teams have moved and the top teams – the top six – have dropped their level.
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“After tomorrow’s game we have 11 games to go, 33 points to go for, if you win [against Everton] you have 37 points with 11 games to go.
“If you make 22-25 points you have a chance.”
Andy Gray, sitting beside Wenger in the studio, reckons Sunday’s home match against Everton represents a “massive” game in their season.
“I think it’s a big game for Arsenal tomorrow, against Everton,” Gray said.
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“I think it’s a massive game. At the moment they’re 10 points behind Chelsea – 10!
“If they win tomorrow it’s much more manageable, if they beat Everton tomorrow, which I think is a huge game.
“I think if they don’t, they need to make a point up a game and that’s a big ask to close that gap.”
Arteta’s first saw his Arsenal team as the club’s head coach when he watched them play out a drab 0-0 draw against Everton in the Goodison Park stands.
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The recently-appointed Carlo Ancelotti also watched from the directors’ box that day and, currently sitting two points above Arsenal, also considers his side in the hunt for top four.
“We want to think about Europe next season,” the Italian said this week. It is obvious to say that these next four games (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool) are vital for us.
“They are really important. The more points we can get the more possibility of qualifying for the Europa League.
“The players know these games are more important than others – in these four games you can test how good we are. I think we are good but after that it is results that judge you.”
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