With just six games to go in the Premier League season, Arsenal find themselves in the unusual position of having nothing to play for in the league. Even last season the race with Liverpool to grab a Champions League sport went down to the final day of the season. Now, in early April, the best Arsenal can realistically hope for is to squeeze past Chelsea into 5th position.
Of course, the season is not finished for Arsenal. They are 13/5 second-favourites for the Europa League behind Atlético Madrid (11/10), with this being written on the eve of the quarter-final second-leg matches. You can understand why the Premier League will be a secondary consideration for Arsène Wenger, but how will Arsenal’s remaining fixtures impact the teams they play? Will the Gunners push anyone towards the Championship? Affect the Champions League spots? Below is a game by game look at the six remaining league fixtures:
West Ham (H) 22nd April
West Ham looked doomed just a few weeks ago when suffering a 3-0 defeat to Burnley in a match that was marred by a pitch invasion. However, they beat rivals Southampton and drew with Chelsea in recent weeks to give themselves a good chance of staying up. The Hammers’ fixture list is daunting though, so the odds of around 18/1 that they get relegated are quite tempting, especially if you get a Free Bet offer from Sportingbet to use on football. They could really be back in trouble if they leave the Emirates empty-handed.
Manchester United (A) 29th April
United look a shoe in for the Top 4 now, holding a 14-point cushion over Chelsea with just six games remaining. They will, of course, be hoping to clinch second spot behind Manchester City and are as short as 2/7 in the odds to do so. For Arsenal, this should be all about revenge as United came away from the Emirates with all three points in one of the most bizarre games of the season.
Burnley (H) 5th May
Hats off to Burnley this season, as they quickly changed from relegation fodder to a top team. Currently, they are just four points behind Arsenal and can be backed at 22/1 to finish in the top 6 at the Gunners’ expense. If Arsenal take their eye off the ball, Burnley could capitalise.
Leicester (A) 9th May
A slow start for Leicester this season, but they have looked much better under Claude Puel. They are still very inconsistent however, so it is very hard to say what sort of position they will be in. For neutral fans, let’s all hope for something similar to the thrilling 4-3 win for Arsenal on the first day of the season.
Huddersfield (A) 13th May
This could well be the most meaningful game left involving Arsenal this season. Huddersfield are mired deep in the relegation battle and look a solid bet at 5/4 to go down. They could be fighting for their lives’ here. Interestingly, the Europa League Final will be held just three days later. Will Arsenal be in it? If so, will Wenger rest players and gift Huddersfield a win?