A lot has been said about where Arsenal are going to finish this season, with hopes of a Top Four finish all but over.
Arsenal are currently in 6th, five points clear of Sean Dyche’s Burnley, but they should be looking up rather than over their shoulders. Defending Premier League champions Chelsea are only three points ahead of The Gunners as things stand and if Arsenal can carry on their great League form, they could overtake them.
That’s why you could say that their next two games, against Newcastle and West Ham respectively, are the most important of the season so far. Arsenal are currently on a three-game winning streak in the Premier League after beating Watford, Stoke and Southampton, and while Newcastle and West Ham will be tough games, Arsene Wenger’s side certainly has the quality to pick up maximum points.
Following these two fixtures, Arsenal will then face a tricky fixture away at Manchester United before taking on Burnley at home. So, the importance of winning against Newcastle and West Ham couldn’t be more evident. United are going all out to secure a second-place finish and Arsenal won’t want to be in a situation where Burnley could leapfrog them by collecting all thee points at The Emirates.
Arsenal also can’t afford to let Chelsea pull away from them in fifth either, and with the outgoing champions next fixtures against Southampton and Swansea, they too will feel they can take maximum points. They do however still have Liverpool to play, and this could be Arsenal’s big chance of overtaking them in fifth.
You can certainly see Arsenal fairing well over the remainder of the campaign, especially with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in great goalscoring form. The Gabon international who arrived at the club in the January transfer window has hit five goals in his last five games, and if he can continue in the same fashion, Arsenal will have a very strong end to the 2017/18 season.
Their great league form will also be integral in the Europa League too. Arsenal are still in with a great shout of winning the competition, and this would see them qualify for next season’s Champions League, regardless of where they finish domestically. As it stands, the Gunners as 9/4 second favourite, with Atletico Madrid 11/10 favourite to win the competition. Arsenal may be seen to prioritise Europa League success over finishing fifth in the Premier League, but Arsene Wenger will know that good form in all competitions is vital right now.
If Arsenal were to finish fifth in the Premier League, above Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, and win the Europa League, it could go down as a pretty good season for the Gunners. They won’t like the fact that they will have been way off the pace for a Top Four finish, but qualification for the Champions League through Europe’s second-best club competition would certainly be seen as a success. It will all come down to whether they can sustain this current good run of form.