Premier League betting preview: Can Arsenal make the top four?
Arsenal are hoping to find their way into the Champions League spots on Sunday night as they come up against an Everton side struggling for form. Arsene Wenger had derided teams for “being on holiday” at the end of the season, an accusation clearly targeted at the teams Liverpool and Manchester City were facing in their final run ups.
However, the Gunners face an Everton team that can be accused of the same thing. Since being ruled out of the Champions League places Everton have only won one of their last four games. This is in contrast to Arsenal, whose annual good run at the end of the season has kept them challenging for the top four. Wenger ‘s change to a 3-4-2-1 formation has helped the team keep the pressure on their rivals, with six wins in their last seven games.
Despite their good run, Arsenal are likely to end this season without Champions League football for the first time in Wenger’s tenure. In order to finish above Manchester City they would require City to lose against Watford and then would need a comfortable win against Everton, with nothing less then a five goal swing being good enough for the gunners.
Many bookmakers have stopped taking bets on this scenario completely, with Betfred offering a mere £1 return on a £500 bet.
Liverpool are a more likely target for Arsenal, since anything less than a Liverpool win would give the gunners a chance of finishing above them. However, Liverpool come up against a Middleborough team that are second bottom and have only won one of their last twenty-two games.
Many bookmakers have made Jurgen Klopp’s men favourites to finish in the top four. Sky Bet are offering odds of 1/8 while Bet365are giving odds of 1/10.
With many of the top six teams looking to recruit similar players in the summer transfer window, the lure of Champions League football could prove vital in attracting top players. In Arsenal’s case, being able to offer Champions League football would also help them in their negotiations with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. 888sport and Betway are giving the gunners odds of 11/2 to sneak into the top four.