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'Arsenal guaranteed a top-four finish' - Pires makes bold Premier League prediction

16:17 GMT+3 16/10/2018
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The former Gunners star has been impressed by the progress made under Unai Emery and expects a return to Champions League competition to be secured

Robert Pires claims to have “100 per cent” confidence in Arsenal’s ability to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

The Gunners have failed to hit that mark in their last two campaigns, with Arsene Wenger unable to maintain a lofty standing as his iconic reign came to a close.

Unai Emery has been charged with the task of returning Arsenal to that level, and the Spaniard has made a positive start to that quest.

After opening with back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners have embarked on a nine-game winning run across all competitions.

They have moved into fourth spot in the table as a result of that run, with Pires convinced that they can maintain those high standards.

A member of the club’s ‘Invincibles’ side which tasted title glory in 2003-04 told the Express: “For the moment I am very happy, of course, for the club because I am an ambassador for Arsenal but especially for Unai Emery because he’s a great manager.

“He did well with Sevilla, he has won some titles, especially with Paris Saint-Germain last season.

“And, of course, you know you need to improve every day but Arsenal actually are on a very good run, especially in the Premier League.

“Nine games, nine victories, so I think they will finish in the top four, sure, 100 per cent.”

Arsenal are set to return to domestic action on October 22 with a home date against Leicester.

They then have Europa League, Premier League and Carabao Cup meetings with Sporting, Crystal Palace and Blackpool to come before the end of the month.