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Comeback kings Arsenal can cement Champions League spot

| 13.03.2012

After becoming the first team to come from behind and win in four consecutive Premier League matches, Arsenal are now odds-on at 1/3 to achieve a top four finish this season.

What appeared an immensely far-fetched task as recently as a few weeks ago, Champions League qualification now appears far more manageable, as the character that Arsenal are so often accused of lacking has been evident in their comebacks and performances of recent weeks.

Their last-gasp 2-1 triumph over Newcastle at the Emirates last night was their fourth consecutive victory in all competitions, and the third of those victories that has come against a rival for a top four spot.

A 5-2 success over Tottenham was the second win of their record-breaking Premier League run, and now just a point behind Spurs and in far better form, it looks a real possibility that Arsenal can overtake their bitter local rivals and claim third place.

Of their remaining fixtures, a home tie against Manchester City will be tricky, whilst Arsene Wenger will hope to establish a significant gap between them and Chelsea by the time they meet at the Emirates in late April.

However, the visits of such giants will hold no fears for the Gunners, who know that Champions League qualification is essential to their hopes of keeping talismanic captain Robin Van Persie.

In addition to this, participation in the elite European competition will be essential to Wenger attracting new talent to the Emirates, which could also play a part in Van Persie’s decision regarding whether to stay or go.

Chelsea would appear to be their main challengers for a top four spot, but could struggle to adapt to the methods of caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo as quickly as they need to, whilst Liverpool’s home form will cost them, and fatigue looks to have put paid to Newcastle’s chances.

The shortcomings of other clubs therefore look like they can further contribute to Arsenal’s bid to justify a 1/3 price for a top four finish.



John Klee