BT Sport's John Hartson has claimed that Arsenal are more than capable of finishing in the top four this season and that Manchester United will fail to make the cut.
The Gunners, who are incidentally Hartson's former club, have started the season impressively under the new management of Unai Emery. The Spaniard's tenure started tentatively, as his side lost their first two fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea, but have since recovered and sit fifth in the Premier League table.
Arsenal are now on a run of nine games unbeaten in the league, after Alexandre Lacazette salvaged the impressive record with a late equaliser against Liverpool last weekend. Hartson believes his former side could take Manchester United's place in the top four this season, as reported by Express Sport.
Hartson believes that Arsenal were unfortunate not to achieve Champions League football last season via the Europa League route. He said: "You could say that for last season because Arsenal flew through the group stages last year."
"It was unfortunate they came up against Atlético Madrid. They went for it last year.
However, the BT Sport pundit believes that Arsenal no longer need to bank on Europa League success as they have the capability to finish in the top four. He explained: "I think a lot of people are now saying, without jumping the gun, that Arsenal now are in the running for a top four place.
"If they can keep it going, if Lacazette can bang in 25 goals, like [Thierry] Henry, [Robin] van Persie, [Ian] Wright. To become an Arsenal mainstay striker, you have to get these goals.
"Arsenal have missed that. They’ve missed that player to go and get them goals. You need goals to win games, that’s simply what wins you football matches.
"They would try to push as far as they can in the Europa League because that’s a great opportunity if they finish out of the top four."
Should Arsenal validate Hartson's prediction and finish in the top four, one of Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Manchester City would have to miss out. On this dilemma, the Welshman believes that it will be José Mourinho's side that miss out.
He said: "If they are going to finish in the top four, that means a Man United, maybe, miss out.
"Liverpool and Man City are fighting to win the league, I think most people would agree.
"Then you’ve got Chelsea who are going very strong. Spurs and Arsenal are looking good and then you’ve got United.
"For Arsenal to finish in the top four, two huge clubs will miss out. They would have to go some [to finish in the top four].
"At the start of the season, many, including myself, wrote them off. But I’m looking at their form and Emery and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility for Arsenal to finish in the top four."
Arsenal's quest for a top-four finish continues with a home fixture against Wolves on Sunday afternoon, as the Gunners look to make it ten league games unbeaten. Spurs' 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday means that Emery's side are currently four points behind their north London rivals and will thus need a victory to keep the pressure on.