With the season quickly drawing to the close, the race for the title and the battle for survival are quickly hotting up. Here, we take a look at the race for fourth place, the final spot for Champions League qualification, which has boiled down to a battle between dark horses Everton and Champions League regulars Arsenal.
Firstly, history is most definitely on Arsenal's side. Under the guidance of Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have made it to the knockout stages for 14 seasons in a row. I wouldn't bet against them to do it again next season, and this means that they will first have to pip Everton to the top spot. With the team's wealth of experience in competing for the fourth spot, having done it for the past few seasons, it seems more likely for the Gunners to emerge winners in this tight battle.
Secondly, the points are also in favour of the London club. After Everton's shock 2-0 loss to Southampton, Arsenal now sit in fourth place, one point ahead of Everton with a game in hand. With only two games to go for Everton and 3 for Arsenal, four points seems like a pretty big gap to bridge for the Merseyside club.
Lastly, Arsenal also have an easier run-in for the final few matches of the campaign. After the game against out-of-form Newcastle, the Londoners then face West Bromwich Albion, followed by Norwich on the last day of the season.
Norwich will be especially demoralised, having just played Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea in succession. On the other hand, Everton have a considerably tough game against title contenders Manchester City at home, followed by a potentially tricky away tie to Hull City at the KC stadium. Thus, Everton are the more likely of the two to drop points, giving Arsenal an even more advantageous position.
Once it comes to the qualification stage, Arsenal will surely win the two-legged match against an inferior foreign club, something which they have succeeded in doing for the past few seasons.
So there it is. Although it may seem obvious by now, here is our rationale for why Wenger's boys will be plying their trade in Europe's premier competition once again come next season.
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