We are almost at the finishing line for the 2021/22 Premier League season. For the Arsenal squad, five fixtures remain before players can jet off for their summer holidays.
With that said, there’s still plenty to settle ahead of May 22 at both ends of the table. Liverpool and Manchester City’s battle for the title looks certain to go all the way to the wire, whilst Norwich City’s relegation has been confirmed following their 2-0 loss against Norwich City.
That means two from Watford, Everton, Burnley and Leeds United will be joining the Canaries in the Championship next season. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Arsenal are firmly in the race to seal a return to the Champions League, but they have been given a massive help in hand by Brighton in regards to the Europa League.
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The Seagulls’ impressive 3-0 win over Wolves at Molineux Stadium on Saturday afternoon means Bruno Lage’s side can now only achieve a maximum points total of 61 were they to win their remaining four games of the season against Chelsea, Norwich City, Manchester City and Liverpool.
This is significant for the Gunners because heading into this weekend’s fixtures only Wolves could deny them a top-seven Premier League finish this season. So following the outcome at Molineux, Mikel Arteta’s side just need two points from their final five games to make it mathematically impossible to finish below Wolves.
Furthermore, with this season’s FA Cup final to be contested between Chelsea and Carabao Cup holders Liverpool, a place in next season’s UEFA Conference League [ECL] will be awarded to the side that finishes seventh in the Premier League in just over three weeks’ time.
Of course, Arsenal have ambitions of playing in the Champions League next season and they have a very good chance of doing so, but thanks to Brighton’s win over Wolves they can guarantee a Europa League spot at the minimum by beating West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon and moving on to 64 points.
This is because the Hammers’ maximum points total would also be 61. And as the reward for a top-six finish being entry into European football’s second-tier club competition at the group phase, Arteta is on the brink of avoiding another ‘painful’ season as he just needs to oversee a win in east London..
“It hurts a lot in the last few days to put TV on and see those teams there, and not see Arsenal there,” the Spaniard admitted during his press conference ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Burnley back in September. “It was painful. One hundred per cent. I don’t want to be sitting there with Arsenal out of those competitions.”
Source by Football London