Can Arsenal Qualify for UCL?

Roy Keane believes Arsenal are now fourth favourites, but there is a chance, albeit a long one, that it may not be enough to secure a place in the Champions League next season. A top-four finish is now entirely in Arsenal’s hands. Still, there is an extremely unlikely scenario where Arsenal can’t make it into the Champions League next season even if we finish fourth. If he does, the fourth-placed club in the Champions League this season, meaning Arsenal in its current form, will be relegated to the Europa League. Creating a potential nightmare scenario for Arsenal as if Manchester United won the Champions League and West Ham United won the Champions League – and neither of them finished in the top four – then only the top three in the Premier League could qualify for the Champions League. Now that Atletico Madrid has knocked out United, there is no chance of Arsenal not getting qualified for the Champions League unless they don’t finish fourth in the Premier League table.

In 19 consecutive seasons, Arsenal has only reached one final, which ended in a 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in 2005/06. However, despite home wins against Liverpool and Chelsea, West Ham suffered a minor setback, losing back-to-back defeats to Wolves and Manchester City in November, defeating Arsenal and Southampton in December. A loss to Manchester United on 22 January saw West Ham succumb to fourth place over the weekend as Arsenal dropped points and Tottenham lost to Chelsea.

By the 1969/70 season, the clubs had finished only 12th in the league, possibly distracted by the European campaign, and did not look like contenders for a place. The 1991-92 season went from bad to worse as the humble Wrexham knocked clubs out of the FA Cup, though Arsenal recovered to finish fourth in the league. Arsenal finished fourth in the first season under Millwall manager George Graham (leading the company for most of the winter). Arsenal won the League Cup in a comeback that marked the campaign.

Arsenal has not finished the season in the top four in the Premier League since 2016, which is a surprising sign of their declining strength in English football. With Manchester City and Liverpool battling for the title and Chelsea looking to finish third, Manchester United, West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham look poised to fight for a top-four spot. With 51 points in 27 games, Arsenal looks favourites to finish at the fourth spot, but constant pressure from the other teams fighting for the same place increases towards the end of the season. From the 11 games remaining, Arsenal will play Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham United; positive results from these matches will see them book their spot.