Arsenal not assured of Champions League football next term just yet

Sharethematch.com takes a look at Arsenal's pursuit of a top-four finish and Aston Villa's descent down the league table

By Share The Match
arsene wenger
Arsène Wenger's side are currently in third position in the Premier League PA Photos

arsene wenger

Arsenal not assured of top four finish yet

It is easy for Arsenal supporters to get carried away and be talking openly about next season’s Champions League, but when you look at the remaining fixtures fourth spot is not guaranteed quite yet.

This weekend’s away-day fixture against Queens Park Rangers represents another must-win Premier League game for Arsenal with a host of troublesome remaining fixtures to come.

Arsène Wenger won’t want to rely on getting something out of tricky games against Chelsea and Manchester City at The Emirates, while away trips to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City and West Bromich Albion are far from easy.

There are 24 points left to play for this season and Arsenal have a winnable six against Wigan Athletic and Norwich City at home – but to finish third the Gunners will likely need 19 in total and so where the other 10 are coming from is not certain.

The room for dropping points is considerably smaller than in previous years because Arsenal lost so many at the start of the season and then again at the turn of the year.

So to keep the pressure on Tottenham and Chelsea, three points against QPR this weekend is an absolute must, followed by avoiding defeat against Manchester City.

If Arsenal can do that and pick up 13 points from their next five games, Champions League football will be all but be confirmed for next season.

There’s a belief and a hunger about this Arsenal side at present and long may that continue.

But the Gunners shouldn’t be thinking about taking their foot off the gas anytime soon as Tottenham in particular have a favourable run of fixtures to conclude the season.

Could Villa become embroiled in a relegation scrap?

With just one league win since January, could it be that Aston Villa are the Premier League side who sink like a stone this season and find themselves in a relegation battle?

Alex McLeish has already shown his relegation credentials with cross-city rivals Birmingham City, dragging the Blues down to the Championship twice in his four-year tenure and Villa couldn’t win a point at the moment if it was staring them in the face.

At the Emirates on Saturday they were limp and with injuries mounting up – Charles N’Zogbia is now out for a month – Villa could be the ones to go into free-fall and possibly terminal decline.

Last year it was Blackpool – albeit the writing was already on the wall at this stage – while Hull City just narrowly avoided relegation in their first year up with a similarly dismal run.

Villa appear safe upon looking at the table – their 15th with 33 points and eight ahead of the bottom three with a game in hand but they still need a couple of wins from their remaining nine matches that include trips to Anfield and Old Trafford.

Had it not been for their gritty victory over Wolves at the weekend, it could well have been Norwich who plummeted but it now looks most likely to be Villa are in for an uncomfortable end to the season.

share the match

For more reaction and comment, visit Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Davis Cup final 2017
The Sport Review
Davis Cup 2017: Can Goffin and Darcis lead giant-killer Belgium past France to victory at last?
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Michael Owen sends warning to Chelsea ahead of Liverpool FC clash
The Sport Review
Sir Alex Ferguson privately raves about 20-year-old Man United star – report
The Sport Review
Antoine Griezmann talks up potential Man United transfer next year