Premier League top four: Arsenal legend Martin Keown explains why the Gunners will miss out on Champions League qualifying spot
Martin Keown believes Arsenal’s dreadful form away from home will prevent them finishing in the Premier League’s top four.
Unai Emery’s men are currently fifth, but they can move above Tottenham and Chelsea into third by winning their game in hand.
However, four of the club’s remaining six games will be played away from home – and the Gunners have only won one of their last seven league matches outside the Emirates.
“I don’t think they will [finish in the top four],” former Arsenal defender Keown told talkSPORT. “I think Manchester United will squeeze into that.
“It’s the away form that’s going to cost Arsenal this year, unless Emery can find a way to improve away from home.
“They’ve got to go to Leicester, Watford and Wolves. If Emery can sort out a system that makes Arsenal as effective away from home as they are at home, they end up in the top four and they may well win the Europa League.
“It’s there for him, but he’s got to sort that out.”
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If the Gunners were to miss out on the top four, the Europa League could provide a lifetime.
The winners automatically qualify for next season’s Champions League, and the Gunners took a huge step towards the semi-finals by beating Napoli 2-0 at home in the first leg of their quarter-final on Thursday night.
Aaron Ramsey, who has agreed a free transfer to Juventus this summer, opened the scoring and Keown suggests the Welshman will be desperately missed in north London.
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“It’s hugely disappointing to lose a player like Ramsey after his development, coming from Cardiff at 18 and developing into the leader of the pack,” Keown added.
“He’s the most valuable player and the most important player because he’s making the extra numbers breaking from midfield. He’s got such great energy and his technique now is way better.
“The fact he won’t be there next season is hard to take.”
Source: SportsLatest TS