For all the negatives of another away loss, this time to Everton, the good news is Arsenal’s fate is still very much in its hands. The Gunners are in the box seat to finish in the top four and claim a spot in next year’s Champions League, and all it takes is a turnaround in away form.
Gunners in Box Seat for Top Four Finish
Arsenal’s loss to Everton kept the Gunners in fourth spot in the English Premier League… for now. More importantly, from a Champions League perspective, it kept the Gunners in second place in a four-way battle for the two final Champions League spots. This was the state of play following the loss, with six matches to go Tottenham, 64 points and +26 goals, Arsenal, 63 and +25, Chelsea, 63 and +21, Man United 61 and +18.
Punters can pick up a free bet with no deposit in 2019 from the likes of Betfair and get 1.72 for Arsenal to make the top four. Tottenham are considered the likeliest team to make the top four, according to the latest odds, while Chelsea and United are the likeliest to miss out.
In other betting odds, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is 6.50 for to be the Premier League top goal scorer in 2018-19. He has 17 goals with six games left, two off the pace of Sergio Aguero, who has 19 goals and is paying 2.40.
Arsenal Have One Major Advantage in Top Four Battle
Arsenal have a major advantage over the other sides in the battle for Champions League places: their English Premier League fixture. The Gunners don’t have to play any of the other big six teams in the final stretch. They will have to deal with three matches of medium difficulty, against seventh-placed Leicester City, eight-placed Wolves, and 10th placed Watford.
The other three Champions League contenders all have dates with one of Manchester City or Liverpool. Spurs must travel to Man City on April 20. Chelsea will travel to Liverpool on April 14. Manchester United will host Man City on April 24 in a Manchester derby that will have a top-four spot on the line for one side and the title on the line for the other.
To make matters worse for Manchester United and Chelsea, they’ll meet at Old Trafford in the third-last match of the year on April 28 – meaning at least one of them will drop points. That’s good news for Arsenal and North London rivals Tottenham.
Arsenal Also Have One Major Disadvantage in Top Four Battle
Before betting on Arsenal for the top four, a word of warning: the Gunners have only two games remaining at Emirates Stadium, while Chelsea have three home games remaining and Man United and Tottenham have four each. This wouldn’t be such an issue if Arsenal were playing well away from home – but they’re not.
The Gunners have earned just 19 points from 15 away games this season, and have a goal differential of -2. They are ranked 10th for away points, behind Leicester, Watford, Wolves, and even Crystal Palace. Contrast that with their form at Emirates Stadium, which sees them ranked a clear third for home points.
If Arsenal are to make the top four, they must win at Burnley on the final day of the season, and claim at least a draw or win at each of Leicester, Wolves, and Watford. It goes without saying that Arsenal will need to win the club’s two remaining home games this season – against Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion.