How Arsenal Could Seal Champions League Football on Thursday at Tottenham

Ismail Ansar

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How Arsenal Could Seal Champions League Football on Thursday at Tottenham

Arsenal play fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday evening in a game that could potentially see the Gunners clinch Champions League qualification at the expense of the Lilywhites.

Arsenal currently occupies the last Champions League spot in the Premier League, with Tottenham just one place behind them in fifth. Just four points currently separates the two sides with three games of the season left to play.

Both sides need a win here in the pursuit of Champions League football - a Tottenham win takes them to within a point of the Gunners and heaps pressure onto Arsenal, but a win for Mikel Arteta’s side will take them back to Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 2017 and resign Antonio Conte’s side to spending next season in the Europa League.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal Tips

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BUKAYO SAKA 1+ SHOT ON TARGET @ 1/1

How Each Sides’ Form Guide Looks

Arsenal come into this clash on a fantastic run of form, with four wins in their last five matches, picking up wins against Chelsea, West Ham, Leeds and Manchester United in the process.

Mikel Arteta’s side looked to be in a secure position at the end of March, but three consecutive defeats at the start of April against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton seemingly ended their chances of making the top 4. However, they surprisingly went on to score seven goals in their next two games against Chelsea and Manchester United in respective 4-2 and 3-1 wins, before beating West Ham and Leeds by the same 2-1 scoreline.

This stunning turnaround in form after three defeats has left Arsenal in a promising position with the season almost over.

Tottenham have been in inconsistent form recently, picking up two wins, two draws and a loss in their previous five matches. Spurs won three of their four Premier League games in March, but a narrow 3-2 defeat to Manchester United and a shock 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup was indicative of a side that were lacking in quality and prone to shock defeats.

Spurs did thrash both Newcastle and Aston Villa at the start of March, but then subsequently lost to Brighton and drew to Brentford, having no shots on target in both of those games. A 3-1 win at home to Leicester was followed by an encouraging 1-1 draw against 2nd-place Liverpool last Saturday, with Spurs putting in a spirited showing to hold Jurgen Klopp’s side to a draw. Conte will be hoping for more of the same on Thursday.

Premier League Top 4 Finish 22/23

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ARSENAL @ 13/8

North London Derby History

However, keep in mind that this is a North London derby. Form goes out of the window here - anything can happen. In previous years, we have seen shock defeats and amazing wins, stunning comebacks and more. And this one is difficult to tell, with both sides so close to each other in the table and the stakes so high.

In the last five North London derbies it has been honours even, with two wins each for both sides alongside a draw. In the reverse fixture this season it was the Gunners who came out on top, with Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith-Rowe all scoring in a 3-1 win.

But with this match being played at Tottenham’s place, could that work in their favour? The last time Arsenal won away at Spurs was via 2-1 scoreline in the League Cup back in 2015. You have to go back a bit more for Arsenal’s last Premier League win away at Tottenham, which came in March of 2014. So, can Arsenal break that record on Thursday, or will Spurs preserve it with a win?

Premier League Winner Without Man City & Liverpool 21/22

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ARSENAL @ 11/2

So, what could happen?

If Arsenal were to win, it ensures their qualification for next season’s Champions League.

If the hosts were to win, they would cut the gap between them and Arsenal to just one point, and it turns up the pressure on Arsenal. However, to ensure qualification, Spurs would need Arsenal to drop points in their final two games.

If the match were to end in a draw, then the gap between the two sides would remain at four points. However, the onus would be on Tottenham to win their last two games and hope Arsenal slip-up.

After Thursday’s game, the Gunners will travel to Newcastle next Monday to face the Magpies, before playing relegation-threatened Everton on the final day.

Tottenham host a Burnley side who are fighting for their lives this Sunday, before facing already-relegated Norwich on the final day. There is the potential for both sides to slip up here, with Everton and Burnley both desperate for points to ensure their survival. Newcastle will not be an easy prospect for the Gunners, and Norwich have nothing to play for, so could spring an unlikely surprise on Spurs.

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