Arsenal have secured progression to the Champions League play-offs for the seventeenth consecutive season after winning the “Fourth Place Trophy”. It’s certainly eased some much needed pressure ahead of the final two games of the Premier League season but, mathematically, there is still third place to play for.
The Gunners host West Bromwich Albion today before a final day visit to Carrow Road with a Norwich side looking to retain their place in England’s elite league. With the FA Cup final on the horizon there has been talk of some heavy rotation, but what is the point with sufficient rest between games? Certainly there is a risk of injury, but momentum is also important, and coherence within the squad.
Arsene Wenger confirmed that he will be fielding a strong XI against Norwich despite the trip to Wembley coming six days later and with it the risk of injuries ahead of their biggest game of the season.
He told Arsenal’s official website:
Our target is to make maximum points until the rest of the season no matter what.
I will absolutely try to achieve that. As Arsenal Football Club we have a responsibility to be fair.
The Frenchman has the luxury to rotate his midfield quite easily, but with Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla and Arteta bang in form at present they need to keep the juices flowing especially with the potential for a Chelsea collapse.
The Blues were knocked out of Europe last week and have been dealt a number of blows in their title bid in recent weeks. But they still remain well in the race (despite Mou denying such a preposterous hypothesis) and recently beat Liverpool with their mind-numbingly horrible negative-football. They face a fighting Norwich hours after our final home game of the season against WBA, then they face a trip to the Wales capital – Cardiff. Unfortunately that will be a given for Chelsea.
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It seems pretty farfetched to hope for third place, but it’s quite possible should the Canaries cause an upset today (and we win of course) and it will all go down to the final day..
Do you think there’s any possibility of third and with it automatic qualification into the UCL? Share your thoughts/hopes and dreams below