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Are Manchester United one of three teams to challenge Arsenal’s annual top four status?

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Are Manchester United one of three teams to challenge Arsenal’s annual top four status?

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As Arsene Wenger proudly tells anyone who will listen, Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for an English record 19 consecutive seasons.

Despite the fact they have never actually lifted the trophy, it is clearly something that Wenger views as an achievement. Arsenal have secured their Champions League qualification by finishing in the top four year on year, but often by scraping through rather than putting together an emphatic finish.

The Gunners ended last season second in the league, which even Per Mertesacker rightly said was lucky, and it is doubtful that they will better that this term.

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In fact, with the race for a spot in the top four becoming more and more competitive, Arsenal are in serious danger of missing out on their annual top four finish and therefore Champions League qualification this season.

Arsenal, and Wenger, have had 20 consecutive top-four finishes in the Premier League. Over the next few pages, here are three teams that have the potential to knock Arsenal out of the top four for the first time since 1996.

 

Leicester City

Leicester City won the Premier League last season, but being defending champions will present its own challenges – just look at Chelsea for a perfect example.

Leicester are probably not going to retain the Premier League title, but don’t expect them to just fade into obscurity.

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Regardless of the fact that Kante has joined Conte at Chelsea, Steve Walsh has left for Everton, and Riyad Mahrez is rumoured to be moving to Arsenal, the Foxes will still be ever-present in the upcoming season.

Last term, Claudio Ranieri had a well-drilled side and he used players to the best of their abilities. If he can instil the same work ethic in his new signings, there is no reason why his team cannot challenge for the top four.

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