BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has predicted that Arsenal will get in to the top-four this season, despite doubts that Arsene Wenger’s side have what it takes to contend – but he suggested keeping Jack Wilshere fit could be the difference.
"I just think Arsenal are the best placed team to finish fourth. I still think they will finish fourth, regardless,” he stated.
"I just think they have got so much quality to win games and to offset their dodgy defence. Jack Wilshere has just come back and he joins a really good squad of players.”
The Gunners are currently placed 6th in the Premier League after an inconsistent start to the season. However, they will be buoyed by their 5-2 victory over North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates last Saturday in which all of their goals were scored by a different player.
Winger ad aspiring striker Theo Walcott has been in superb form for his team this season, despite staring a number of games on the bench. He’s netted 9 goals in all competitions.
New signings Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla each scored in last weekend’s clash – they’ve impressed, scoring 17 goals between them, despite their continuing adjustment to the English game.
Giroud has come on excitingly for the Emirates faithful, after a clear lack of confidence kept his goal-tally at bay initially. He has now scored 5 goals in his last 6 appearances and seems to be growing into his position as the Gunners’ frontman.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s former top scorer Gervinho is still sidelines through injury but is expected to return in the next fortnight, after an impressive start to the new season.
"You're just not convinced by Arsenal against the top teams in Europe and the big three here in England. But I think they are easily the best of the rest."
Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to Chelsea, and 2-1 away at Old Trafford against Manchester United but managed to clinch a point away at Manchester City and take all three points from Spurs last weekend and at Anfield against Liverpool back in September.
If they can keep their key players fit and take their new-found confidence into their upcoming fixtures against Aston Villa, Everton, and Swansea they might find themselves back in the top-four sooner than expected.