Arsenal expected to give way in race for Premier League top four

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Arsenal may have finished in the top four in the last 15 Premier League seasons, but this run is expected to come to an end at the conclusion of the upcoming campaign.

The end of the 1996 Premier League season was the last time Arsenal finished outside of the top four, when under Bruce Rioch they narrowly finished fifth behind Aston Villa on goal difference.

However, it is 5/4 in the Premier League odds that they finish outside of the Champions League qualification spots this season, which is a shorter price than any position higher up the table.

Arsene Wenger is potentially facing his toughest ever season at Arsenal, as he battles to keep hold of some of his star players.

Cesc Fabregas seems increasingly likely to join Barcelona, Gael Clichy has already agreed terms with Manchester City and Samir Nasri may leave the Emirates as he only has one year remaining on his present contract.

And with Manchester United and Chelsea sure to be strong again, Manchester City likely to continue their heavy spending and Liverpool expected to be bigger challengers, one of these five will have to miss out on Champions League qualification.

Arsenal do have some transfer targets of their own, including Gervinho, Ricardo Alvarez, Gary Cahill and Kevin Doyle, but they are unlikely to have the same impact as the players leaving the club.

Punters positive about Arsenal’s chances for the upcoming season can take advantage of Premier League odds of 8/1 that they win the title, which would represent their first piece of silverware since 2005.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s odds are 6/1 to finish second, 9/2 to take third and 5/2 to repeat their result of last season when they finished fourth.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.