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Premier League

Arsène Wenger: Nine points will be enough for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League


Arsène Wenger is 99 per cent certain that 73 points will be enough for Arsenal to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

If Wenger’s side win all their remaining games, starting at Queen’s Park Rangers this evening, they will reach 73 points but could still finish fifth, if other results go against them. If Tottenham win all of their last four, including at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea win their other three, including at Old Trafford tomorrow, both Chelsea and Spurs would finish on 74 points, a point ahead.

But the Arsenal manager said he is only thinking about his own team, describing a scenario whereby 73 points is not enough as only occurring “one chance out of 100”.

“Let’s just focus on our performance, our quality and how we want to play,” Wenger said yesterday. “What is important for us is that we finish well and then think that we have done the maximum that we could.”

Wenger is likely to persevere with Lukas Podolski as the lone striker, despite his underwhelming performance there against Manchester United last Sunday. “He was a little bit rusty because he had not played a lot,” Wenger explained. “I believe it is his best position because maybe on the flanks he needs to work so hard and he’s more a finisher than anyone else in the team – him and Theo [Walcott] are the two finishers.”

Wenger said yesterday he would be open to staying at Arsenal beyond the his current contract, which expires in 2014. “I want to stay if I do well and if I consider or the club considers that I do well, that is all.”


* Remaining games

CHELSEA Tomorrow Man United (a), Wed Tottenham (h), 11 May Aston Villa (a), 19 May Everton (h)

ARSENAL Today QPR (a), 14 May Wigan (h); 19 May Newcastle (a)

TOTTENHAM Today Southampton (h), Wed Chelsea (a), 12 May Stoke (a), 19 May Sunderland (h)

EVERTON Tomorrow Liverpool (a), 12 May W Ham (h), 19 May Chelsea (a)