As usual, the North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on Saturday was supposed to be a game with bragging rights at stake. Typical derby, right?
But this derby was supposed to be different. Before kickoff, Arsenal was just four points away from Tottenham. A win would have put them just one point behind Tottenham and probably increased their chances of finishing in the top four.
But after their defeat against Tottenham (a defeat that saw them register just one shot on target), the Gunners are now a good 27 points away from the top of the table and a good 7 points outside the top four.
Last season, Arsenal finished just one point outside the top four. This time around, there are two questions involved:
- Will Arsenal finish outside the top four?
- By how many points?
Although the EFL Cup final set to be played later this month presents the Gunners an opportunity to win an early trophy this season, their position on the log table will be bothersome.
Tottenham seem to not want to leave their position. A win over Arsenal and Manchester United and then drawing Liverpool, all in their last three Premier League games, has solidified their top 4 spot – to an extent.
Both Manchester cubs have built somewhat of a healthy distance and Liverpool, with Salah, in recent times, can’t stop scoring and getting necessary points. Then there’s a certain Chelsea in the mix too.
For Arsenal to finish in a top four position this season, they will have to knock one of these clubs out of their current positions on the table.
The question is: which of these clubs can Arsenal replace?
Arsenal’s away form has also contributed to them being outside the top four at the moment. Arsene Wenger’s men have not won away from home in the Premier League since their 2-3 win over Crystal Palace in December.
Since then, they’ve played four away games in the league. They drew one and lost the rest. For a team competing for a top four place, that’s not good enough. They’ve only lost once at home this season in the Premier League this season.
But their good home run is being destroyed by their poor away form. And it may be the reason why they’re still outside the top four. The obvious is this: Arsenal is facing yet another year playing a lot of UEFA Europa League football.
In the words of Pep Guardiola, “it’s still a very long season.” A lot can still happen. But do you think Arsenal will be able to finish the 2017/2018 Premier League season in the top four? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.