Arsenal could be six victories away from winning the top-four race and thus sealing a return to the Champions League next season. That’s if a predicted final 2021/22 Premier League becomes a reality.
Despite losing 2-0 at home to Liverpool on Wednesday night, the Gunners are still in control of their own destiny as maximum points from their final 11 games will come with a reward of qualification to Europe’s elite club competition for the 2022/23 campaign.
However, the good news for Arsenal is they may not need to remain perfect between now and May to triumph over Manchester United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves.
This is because the website FiveThirtyEight are backing the Gunners to come out on top of the five-horse race with a 62% probability of qualifying for the Champions League. That is an almost 40% greater chance than their north London rivals Spurs.
Furthermore, this predicted final table has Arsenal finishing fourth on 69 points followed by Tottenham (65 pts), Man United (63 pts), West Ham (60 pts) and then Wolves in eighth on 57 points. Of course, plenty of twists and turns are expected before the season reaches its climax, but if this simulated table becomes a reality then the Gunners’ route back into the Champions League becomes even more clearer.
Currently, on 51 points following the loss at the hands of Liverpool, Mikel Arteta’s side would need 18 more points in order to reach 69 and that, in a dream scenario, works out to be six victories from their final 11 fixtures. Alternatively, five wins and three draws mean Arsenal could afford to lose three more games this season, but four wins would leave them needing six draws which in turn leaves little margin for error as one defeat is all they would be able to afford.
With games against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Southampton, Chelsea, Man United, West Ham, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Everton as well as the still to be rearranged fixture against Spurs to come, Arsenal should feel confident about meeting what’s required for a return to the Champions League.
In addition, as Spurs are predicted to finish on 65 points, that would give the Gunners some extra leeway. For example, four wins and three draws amount to 15 points and that would be enough to pip their rivals to a top-four finish with 66 points and thus confirming the first St Totteringham’s Day since May 2016.
St Totteringham’s Day is the name given to the day when it becomes mathematically impossible for Tottenham to finish above Arsenal in the Premier League table, but it’s coming up to six years since Gunners fans were last able to celebrate this particular day. That could all change within the next couple of months and according to the aforementioned predicted table, normal order in north London will soon be restored.
Simulated 2021/22 top-eight Premier League table:
1. Man City (91 pts)
2. Liverpool (89 pts)
3. Chelsea (80 pts)
4. Arsenal (69 pts)
5. Tottenham (65 pts)
6. Man United (63 pts)
7. West Ham (60 pts)
8. Wolves (57 pts)