The chances of Arsenal finishing outside the top four of the Premier League this season, and losing a place in the Champions League into the bargain, were given a big lift on Sunday as the chasing Manchester United were beaten by West Brom. And after the game their manager Louis van Gaal suggested that they might need all 27 points from their final nine games in order to finish in the top four.
Arsenal fans are hoping for a lot more than another UCL place for next season, though, but our recent run of form and results has left us eight points behind the current leaders Leicester City and you would have to say that to have a realistic chance of catching the Foxes then we might just need to win all nine games ourselves.
But there is some good news about our chances in a Sky Sports report which shows that now the north London derby is out of the way our run to the finish is the easiest of the current top four teams, on paper at least. The average league position of the clubs yet to face is as follows.
Arsenal – 12.7
Leicester – 12.1
Tottenham – 11.5
Man City – 11.4
While this does seem to give us a clear advantage over Man City and the spuds, it is not so much against Leicester and it is them that we need to catch. And this average league position thing is by no means definitive as there is the well documented push by the relegation threatened teams which can often cause upsets.
Hopefully this can hit Leicester hardest as they face Newcastle and Crystal Palace in their next two games and they also have Sunderland and Swansea to come. They also have away games at Man United and Chelsea in their final three matches when hopefully the pressure on them will be at it’s greatest.
All Arsenal can do now is to keep applying that pressure by winning our games but have we already left it too late?