Former Arsenal striker Tony Woodcock believes the Gunners will pip Tottenham Hotspur for fourth spot and qualify for next season's Champions League. Arsene Wenger's side are currently four points behind their north London rivals, with a game in hand, and five behind third-placed Chelsea.
Arsenal have crashed out of all cup competitions this season; the Capital One Cup, the FA Cup and the Champions League. The Gunners are also out of reckoning for the Premier League title race, as they are currently 24 points behind league leaders Manchester United. However, Woodcock believes Arsenal's lack of involvement in any other competition will help them focus on their goal and eventually lead them to their 17th consecutive qualification to Europe's most elite competition.
"The strange thing with Arsenal is when they are in all competitions they sell themselves short, but now I think they've got only fourth place to go for they've got a really good chance of taking it. They've got one competition to concentrate on and I expect them to go for it and probably pull it off and get into the Champions League," Woodcock told talkSPORT.
Tottenham have qualified for the last eight in this season's Europa League. Manager Andres Villas-Boas' insists the north Londoners would not be affected by the barrage of fixtures but Spurs have lost three matches on the trot, giving Arsenal a realistic chance of staging a comeback into the mix for a top four place.
Moreover, Woodcock believes the Gunners are not far away from ending their trophy drought and expects them to come good in the near future.
"If you look at any team, you look for a spine through the middle - a top goalkeeper, centre-half, midfielder and striker and you build the rest of the team around that. I'm not sure they've got that. But over the last two or three years they've been there or thereabouts. Although everyone wants the team to win something they're not too far away from doing that. It's a question of whether they can find that extra ingredient to do that," he added.