Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour says the Gunners need a result against Chelsea in order to maintain their push towards an all-important top-three spot, The Sun report.
Arsene Wenger’s men currently occupy second place in the Premier League table, one point ahead of Manchester United in third and a further point clear of Manchester City in fourth.
While the top four spots look to have been nailed down heading in to the final few matches of the campaign, the final positions are still uncertain and will play some significance next season.
Second and third place directly qualify for the Champions League, and while the side finishing in fourth will be fancied to qualify via a two-legged playoff, Parlour feels it can disrupt key pre-season preparations.
“He’s [Wenger] a very proud man, there’s no doubting that, but he’ll be worrying about the team itself and how Arsenal are going to finish the season,” Parlour was quoted as saying by The Sun.
“If you can come second or third in the Premier League, you don’t have to go through the qualifying heats for the Champions League.”
“The qualifiers can really mess up your pre-season, so it’s important they get the result on Sunday.”
The race to finish second:
For Arsenal, United and City, attentions may have turned from acquiring a top-four spot to now pushing on for that runners-up berth.
The Gunners still have to face the Red Devils at Old Trafford, though aside from that their remaining fixtures look favourable and they have a game in hand on their rivals.
In their current form, the North Londoners must be favourites and any positive result against Jose Mourinho’s men will no doubt boost their ever-growing confidence further.