Arsenal's Run-In: Predicting the Outcome of All the Gunners' Remaining Matches

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2013

Arsenal's Run-In: Predicting the Outcome of All the Gunners' Remaining Matches

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    Four games stand between Arsenal and Champions League qualification.

    As the Premier League run-in reaches its climax, a season's worth of work is condensed into four finals. Arsenal are desperate to retain their spot at European football's top table, and missing out to two London rivals would be too much to bear.

    With Arsenal currently in third, and Chelsea and Tottenham's game-in-hand being against each other, the Gunners know that four wins will guarantee them a spot in the top four.

    Is it possible that Arsene Wenger's team could keep their fantastic run going all the way to the end of the season?

    Continue on to the next slide to see predicted outcomes for all of Arsenal's remaining games.  

Arsenal vs. Manchester United

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    The date of this fixture initially left Arsenal fans fearing they might have to face the sight of Robin van Persie clinching the Premier League title for Manchester United at their own stadium.

    Fortunately for fans of the Gunners, Manchester City's defeat at Tottenham means that United can now win the title if they beat Aston Villa tonight at Old Trafford.

    Arsenal fans will want to see that happen for two reasons: firstly to avoid the potential humiliation of a presentation at the Emirates, and secondly in the hope that it will mean United take their eye off the ball for this crucial clash.

    Whatever happens, this won't be an easy game. United have lost just four games this season, and Sir Alex Ferguson is not the type of manager to allow his team to take the foot off the gas. Van Persie will be desperate to make an impact at his former stomping ground, and it seems inevitable he will score.

    However, Arsenal will probably be playing with more motivation. The crowd will be worked into a furore over Van Persie's mere presence, and the team should respond with a performance to match.

    A win might be beyond Arsenal, but I can see the Gunners doing enough to avoid defeat.


    Predicted result

    Arsenal 2-2 Manchester United

QPR vs. Arsenal

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    By the time this fixture is played, QPR could well be relegated.

    It's no less than they deserve. Rangers have had a dreadful campaign, and even the arrival of Harry Redknapp and a fleet of well-paid stars has failed to inject a spark into their season.

    Arsenal ought to have too much for a side on a funeral march into the Championship. The likes of Clint Hill will surely be unable to keep pace with an Arsenal attack that could feature Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Gervinho.


    Predicted result

    QPR 1-3 Arsenal

Arsenal vs. Wigan

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    Arsenal faced Wigan at the Emirates at a similar stage in last season's Premier League campaign. It should have been a chance for the Gunners to help secure their Champions League spot. Instead, they found themselves two goals down inside eight minutes and went on to lose the match.

    I can't see Arsene Wenger's side making the same mistake twice.

    Wigan are famous for their end-of-season revivals, but they haven't won a Premier League match away from home since February. They will also have played a draining FA Cup Final just a few days before this game.

    Arsenal should emerge victorious.


    Predicted result

    Arsenal 2-0 Wigan 

Newcastle vs. Arsenal

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    In these end-of-season games, the result often comes down to simply who needs it more.

    By the time this game is played, Newcastle should be safely clear of the relegation zone and steering towards a relatively comfortable mid-table finish.

    Arsenal will probably still need a victory to confirm their Champions League place. That motivation should be enough to steer the Gunners to victory.


    Predicted result

    Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal


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    A draw and three victories would allow Arsenal to finish the Premier League season with a relatively impressive total of 73 points.

    With Tottenham and Chelsea both facing gruelling fixture lists, that should be enough to guarantee a top-four finish.

    Goal difference could also be crucial, and currently Arsenal are well ahead of Tottenham on that count.

    A lot will depend on Arsenal's next game. If Arsenal can beat Manchester United next weekend, that boost should provide enough momentum to see them safely through to the end of the season.

    Should they lose their unbeaten record to Robin van Persie's United, Arsenal's season might begin to unravel.