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Arsenal look to beat Tottenham & Newcastle to third place & guarantee a Champions League spot

Arsenal look to beat Tottenham & Newcastle to third place & guarantee a Champions League spot

Can Arsene Wenger's team clinch a top-three finish, or will they slip up against West Brom and be gazumped by either Harry Redknapp's Spurs or Alan Pardew's Toon?

ARSENAL
FINAL FIXTURE: West Brom (A)
CURRENT POSITION: 3rd
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO: Match Tottenham and Newcastle's result
LAST FIVE MATCHES

 

May 5 Arsenal 3-3 Norwich EPL
Apr 28 Stoke City 1-1 Arsenal EPL
Apr 21 Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea EPL
Apr 16 Arsenal 1-2 Wigan EPL
Apr 11 Wolves 0-3 Arsenal EPL
PLAYER TO WATCH

ROBIN VAN PERSIE

If Arsenal are to be successful in their quest for third place and Champions League qualification, they will need their talismanic striker to be on form in this game. And If the Dutchman scores one more goal, he will break Thierry Henry’s club record of 30 Premier League goals in the season.

Arsenal will seal their place in the Champions League for the 15th consecutive season if they match both Newcastle's & Tottenham’s results when they take on West Brom at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

The Gunners' second-half of the season surge saw them overhaul their north London rivals into third spot, yet their recent form has been patchy with just one win in their past five game, and Saturday’s 3-3 draw against Norwich City was a sign that all is still not well at the Emirates – even if neither of their top-four rivals were able to take advantage.

In his 600th Premier League game in the Arsenal hotseat, Arsene Wenger will be aware that a third-place finish could prove to be amongst the most important of his 16-year stay at the club, but the Baggies will be no pushover, and boss Roy Hodgson will be keen to enjoy his Albion swansong before taking over the England managerial reins.

TOTTENHAM
FINAL FIXTURE: Fulham (H)
CURRENT POSITION: 4th
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO: Better Arsenal's result
LAST FIVE MATCHES

 

6 May   Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham EPL
2 May Bolton 1-4 Tottenham EPL
29 Apr Tottenham 2-0 Blackburn EPL
21 Apr QPR 1-0 Tottenham EPL
9 Apr Norwich City 2-1 Tottenham EPL
PLAYER TO WATCH

AARON LENNON

Lennon has played well since returning to Harry Redknapp's first team plans, providing the side with a balance that has been an issue for large parts of the season. He will have the beating of an ageing John Arne Riise down the right flank and should look to exploit that with a relentless attacking display.

Tottenham will seal qualification to the Champions League if they beat Fulham at White Hart Lane and Arsenal fail to beat West Brom at the Hawthorns. Harry Redknapp's side's severe lack of form in the second half of the year has seen them go from bona fide title contenders to Champions League also rans.

The poor run happened to coincide with Redknapp being touted for the vacant England manager's job, with speculation seemingly unsettling the Spurs camp. If they had taken more than two wins from their last five games, they could have been out of sight by now and secured a place in Europe's top club competition already.

Spurs will also be wary that even a fourth-placed finish may not be enough to see them into the Champions League, as a win for Chelsea in this year's final against Bayern Munich will see the Blues automatically take the fourth qualifying spot.

NEWCASTLE
FINAL FIXTURE: Everton (A)
CURRENT POSITION: 5th
WHAT THEY NEED TO DO: Better Arsenal and Tottenham's result
LAST FIVE MATCHES

 

6 May   Newcastle 0-2 Man City EPL
2 May Chelsea 0-2 Newcastle EPL
28 Apr Wigan 4-0 Newcastle EPL
21 Apr Newcastle 3-0 Stoke EPL
9 Apr Newcastle 2-0 Bolton EPL
PLAYER TO WATCH

HATEM BEN ARFA

The Frenchman's first goal for his club came in this fixture last year. While providing a constant attacking threat with his pace and dribbling skills, his presence on Newcastle's right flank should also occupy Leighton Baines and reduce the threat of the Everton left-back hurting Newcastle down that side.

Newcastle will seal their qualification for the Champions League if they can capitalise on any slip-ups from Arsenal or Tottenham on Sunday. Alan Pardew’s men have been in superb form throughout this season, yet last weekend’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City struck a blow to their hopes of a top-four finish.

If the Magpies manage to defeat Everton at Goodison Park, they will be left to hope that West Brom, who take on the Gunners, or Fulham, who face Spurs, prevent either north London side from securing all three points on the final day of the campaign.

While Newcastle’s season will be widely praised regardless of the result, the north-east outfit will rue their 4-0 loss away to Wigan two weeks ago, even in spite of the 2-0 victory over Chelsea that followed, if they are unable to overcome David Moyes’ men.

HAVE YOUR SAY!

So will Arsenal get the job done by securing three points against West Brom or will Tottenham and Newcastle have the chance to pounce? Goal.com wants to know what you think - have your say in the comments box below!

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