There is still room for positivity at the Emirates Stadium
The football at the Emirates Stadium has almost taken a backseat this season, with the Arsenal supporters divided on the future of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman has added fuel to the fire throughout the campaign, by refusing to confirm if he will remain the club’s boss next season or step down.
Arsenal are currently sixth in the Premier League table, and potentially face finishing outside the top four for the first time since Wenger arrived in North London. However, last night’s late victory over Leicester City kept the Gunners well in the hunt for a place in next season’s Champions League.
Robert Huth’s 86th-minute own-goal handed Wenger’s side a 1-0 victory over the Premier League champions, applying pressure on both Manchester City and Manchester United, who sit fourth and fifth respectively.
The Gunners are now just four points behind Man City, and with six fixtures of the season remaining, Wenger’s side still stand a good chance of continuing to defy doubters and finish inside the Champions League places, with the best price on a top-four finish 11/2. Punters looking to place a bet may want to check out the best offers from new betting sites, which are available on betting comparison sites.
Arsenal’s next two fixtures could be crucial in the race for Champions League qualification, with the Gunners facing North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, before welcoming Man United to the Emirates Stadium a week later. Victory over Spurs, who are challenging Chelsea for the title, would not improve Arsenal’s chances of finishing above Mauricio Pochettino’s men, but would give them some much-needed confidence ahead of the must-win clash against United.
After nine silverware-less years for Arsenal between 2005 and 2014, Wenger’s side also have an opportunity to add to their trophy cabinet between now and the end of the season, after the Gunners recorded a fine victory over Pep Guardiola’s Man City in the FA Cup semi-final last weekend.
Goals from Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s opening goal to hand Arsenal a 2-1 victory after extra-time. Wenger’s men will now meet Premier League leaders Chelsea in the Wembley showpiece on May 27th, for their third FA Cup final in the past four seasons.
After their trophy drought, Wenger led the Gunners to back-to-back FA Cup triumphs in 2014 and 2015, silencing many of his doubters. Should the Frenchman lead the 3/1 underdogs to another cup triumph, he will become the most successful manager in the competition, having lifted the trophy on six occasions previously.
Despite many looking at the Premier League table and jumping to the conclusion that Arsenal’s season is set for failure, there is plenty of room for positivity at the Emirates Stadium, despite their below average league position. Should Wenger defy the odds and lead the Gunners to a top-four finish it may paper over some of the existing cracks, but an FA Cup triumph over Chelsea should be celebrated. Victory over Man City’s multi-million-pound squad in the semi-final was impressive, as would be a triumph over Antonio Conte’s Chelsea – showing that Wenger can still cut it with the best.