Arsenal will finish top-four in Premier League, reckons QPR manager Harry Redknapp

Redknapp takes the Hoops to the Emirates on Boxing Day

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The Independent Football

QPR boss Harry Redknapp is backing Boxing Day opponents Arsenal to finish the Barclays Premier League season in the top four.

The Gunners have endured an erratic start to the 2014-15 campaign and occupy sixth place with an injury crisis only partly explaining their absence from the title race as early as Christmas.

Arsene Wenger has been condemned by disgruntled fans and pundits, but Redknapp is mystified by the criticism.

"I can't believe why Arsene Wenger would get any stick really," said Redknapp, who confirmed left-back Yun Suk-young will be out for several weeks with an ankle problem.

"Arsenal are a good side. I still think they will finish in the top four. They do it every year and I don't see why they won't finish in top four this season.

"They have some excellent players, although they have had lots of injuries. The pace that they play with, the movement, the passing - they are a good team to watch."

QPR's main threat at the Emirates Stadium will be supplied by Charlie Austin, who fired a hat-trick against West Brom last weekend to increase his goalscoring record for the season to 11 in 15 Premier League appearances.

Redknapp insists the 25-year-old, who was signed from Burnley for £4million in August last year, will definitely complete the season at Loftus Road and will hopefully stay beyond that.

"Charlie has got 18 months left on his contract so he is going nowhere in January," Redknapp said.

"Once he gets into the last year of his contract it is a different proposition. We will have to wait and see what happens then.

"We want to keep him here long term but we have to stay in the division this year, which I am confident we will do.

"If we do that I am sure that we can tie him down longer and secure his future at QPR.

"Charlie has proved he's a Premier League player and he wants to play in this division, but he has to keep scoring goals. He will keep his feet on ground as he's a very level-headed lad."

PA

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