Pundit View: Martin Keown says Arsenal will fail to qualify for Champions League

Martin Keown believes, via his Daily Mail column, that Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United will finish in the top four with Manchester City and Liverpool, with Arsenal set to miss out.

The Gunners moved into the Champions League qualification spots at the weekend, as they defeated Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men 2-0 at the Emirates.

What’s he said?

Arsenal and Tottenham both have a break from Premier League duty, with the former not in action again until April.

Chelsea, however, face Everton this weekend, while United are in action in the FA Cup against Wolves.

Spurs are currently third, with 61 points, after a run of terrible form that has seen them take one point from a possible 12, while the Gunners are fourth, a point further back. The Red Devils sit two points behind Arsenal, while Chelsea are three off the pace; they can, of course, make that up against the Toffees this weekend.

There will be something of a sprint for qualification for the Champions League between now and May, then, and Keown believes that United will overhaul Arsenal, such has been their form under Solskjaer.

The Norwegian, of course, tasted his first Premier League defeat at the Emirates.

Keown also believes that Liverpool will pip City to the title.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: “On August 6, a week before the start of this season, I predicted this top four (Liverpool first, City second, Spurs third and United fourth) and I’m standing by it.

“(Mauricio) Pochettino is too good a manager to let Spurs slip and United’s re-emergence under Solskjaer has been stunning to watch.”

Won’t go down well in north London

Keown’s words are unlikely to go down well at Arsenal.

The Gunners have battled their way into the top four, by virtue of beating one of the most in-form teams in the Premier League, and their former defender, who won three titles at the club, demeaning their achievement is only likely to infuriate the fanbase.

Arsenal have a soft run-in, with their toughest games coming against Wolves, Everton and Leicester City away from home. They do not face a single top-six side before May.

They are currently in the box seat to qualify for the Champions League and are right to be hopeful of even overhauling Spurs in third.

Keown is a pessimist at heart; fans may well just ignore him.