QPR vs Arsenal: Arsene Wenger sets Gunners a target of '72 points' as he seeks seven more wins to finish in top four

Wenger would also like to remain in the top three despite Manchester City just five points in front

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The Independent Online

Arsene Wenger has set his Arsenal side the target of winning seven of their remaining Premier League games to guarantee a top-four finish.

The Gunners go into Wednesday night's clash at struggling QPR in third place but with only a three-point gap separating them from Manchester United, Southampton and Liverpool below.

Wenger's side also face a tricky away tie against Monaco, who won 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg, knowing they need to provide an unlikely result to continue in this season's Champions League.

But having reached European's elite club competition for 15 successive years, Wenger is well-placed to know what is needed to ensure qualification for a 16th by finishing inside the Premier League's top four.

 

"Seventy-two," was his thoughtful response when asked how many points are required for a top-four finish. "People have finished in the top four with 67 points, but if you look at this year we have 51 points now. So it will be in the 70s. It is a tough run-in but it will be similar to last year.

"Look, have you seen the quality of the teams behind us? Southampton, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United. The best way is to look forward and go as fast as we can.

"It will be down to consistency because mathematically it is not impossible for the guys behind us to catch us, but also for us to catch the teams in front of us. You just have to focus on yourself and win the next game."

A season-ending tally of 72 points means Arsenal require another 21, or seven wins, to reach that target, but Wenger also conceded he would like to remain in the top three and thus avoid the need to play in a qualifying round early next season to reach the Champions League group stages.

"It has not been every year, but when you have to go through the qualifiers you are not in the Champions League," he said of Arsenal finishing fourth.

Wenger.jpg
Wenger would prefer to finish third and avoid a Champions League playoff

"It is better that you finish in the top three than the top four. Fourth is not a guarantee of Champions League football.

"The only thing you can say is that (this season) it is very tight. You look in front of you, Manchester City are four points ahead of us, and you look behind you, there's plenty of people chasing us.

"That will be very, very tight and it will be down to consistency in our results and mental strength. That will certainly be needed again on Wednesday night."

PA

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