Chelsea old boy backs Arsenal for top four, says Blues will be left fighting it out with two clubs

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Shaun Wright-Phillips June 2022 Credit: PA Images
Shaun Wright-Phillips June 2022 Credit: PA Images

Shaun Wright-Phillips believes Mikel Arteta’s new-look Arsenal will finish in the top four this season, possibly at the expense of Chelsea.

The Gunners missed out last season after finishing fifth. They were pipped by neighbours Tottenham for a Champions League place. But this season Arteta’s men are setting the pace after five wins from their first six Premier League games.

They did come unstuck in defeat at Manchester United, but Wright-Phillips has been dazzled with the north Londoners. So much so that he believes they are nailed on for a place in the top four along with Manchester City and Liverpool.

That will leave the likes of Chelsea, who have lost twice already this season, struggling to make the top four. The Blues are currently five points off the pace after just six games.

Wright-Phillip says Man Utd and Tottenham are the other two sides that will be left fighting for one place at Europe’s top table.

Wright-Phillips told Metro: “I was impressed by Arsenal last year and this season they’re just topping it off with consistent performances.

“Last season when they were down in the bottom half. They had a lot of criticism come their way. But they stuck to their guns. And Arteta kept playing the football he knows and how he wants them to play.

“In the end Arsenal fans were gutted because they didn’t make the Champions League. But what they achieved last year to get into that position was fantastic.”

Former Chelsea star Wright-Phillips has also been mightily impressed with Arteta’s new signings.

“Now they’ve built on that with the signings they’ve made with the likes of [Gabriel] Jesus and [Oleksandr] Zinchenko coming in as well as [Fabio] Viera who’s coming back to fitness, they’re massive additions,” said the 40-year-old, who retired in 2019.

Strength in depth

“It’s given them depth in areas that they haven’t had before, especially across the front line. They’ll have a lot of games coming up which are back-to-back. The World Cup obviously and then straight back into it. So they have that depth to deal with any injuries.

“That’s going to be very important to them when it comes to the end of the season. And if they can keep that consistency up, that will be a spot in the top four gone.

“Then it comes down to Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur fighting for that last spot.

“I don’t see Liverpool dropping out of there in all honesty. Once they get up and running, have all their players fit then they’ll get back to the way we’re used to seeing.

“I still think they’ll be hard to stop. And of course Manchester City are playing the way they’re playing and with that added striker I can’t see any other spaces becoming available.”

READ MORE: Arsene Wenger praises Arsenal transfer strategy and makes prediction on Premier League finish

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