|ARSENAL A MASSIVE PRICE FOR TOP FOUR
Ladbrokes: 4 March 2013
Reproduced with permission from Ladbrokes.com
By his own admission, Arsene Wenger faces a massive task in steering Arsenal to a top-four Premier League finish this season at 6/4.
But after consideration of all factors, that looks a massive price regarding the Gunners qualifying for next term's Champions League for a 16th consecutive season.
A 2-1 defeat to bitter rivals Tottenham now sees Arsenal five points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea, who are 1/5 to make the top four.
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But considering the immense negativity engulfing the Stamford Bridge club, and mass resentment towards interim manager Rafa Benitez, the Blues are not ideally set to achieve positive results.
With Europa League and FA Cup commitments still prominent too, Chelsea could be forced to field weakened sides on occasions in league competition.
1/4 chances Spurs meanwhile, who tend to opt for their best 11 in Europe, are also expected to make a serious tilt at the Europa League.
They face an extremely difficult domestic run-in too, with games against four of the league's top seven sides still to come.
In contrast, Arsenal are widely expected to be eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich, and as such will have Premier League matches as their sole focus.
Also, the Gunners' favourable remaining fixtures should encourage punters to seriously consider their 6/4 odds for a top-four finish.
Of the 10 teams Wenger's side have yet to play in the league, they have beaten six across all competitions at some point this season, and avoided defeat opposing eight.
Half of the 10 sides are currently in the lower half of the Premier League meanwhile, and Arsenal's stellar record this term against bottom-half clubs is also encouraging.
Just one bottom-10 outfit have emerged victorious over Arsenal so far this season, whilst the Gunners have won 10 of 15 encounters taking on lower-half sides.
With three of the league's bottom four teams among those yet to play too, the Gunners will be extremely confident of taking a number of maximum-point hauls from their remaining ties.
Should they maintain their superiority over lower-standard opposition in the coming weeks, the 6/4 about a Gunners top-four finish is sure to shorten massively.
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