Charlie Nicholas: Arsenal will finish third in Premier League but Tottenham can make top four too

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shakes hands with Tottenham's head coach Mauricio Pochettino
Image: Charlie Nicholas expects Wenger and Pochettino to make the top four

Charlie Nicholas expects Arsenal to finish above Tottenham come the end of the season - but says both teams could make the top four.

Spurs leapfrogged their arch-rivals into fifth with a 2-1 win in Saturday's north London derby but the Sky Sports pundit reckons a favourable fixture list for Arsenal, coupled with Tottenham's Europa League commitments, will favour the Gunners. 

"I still think Arsenal should finish third," he said. 

"As much as it’s painful for Arsenal fans, including myself, you’ve got to put your hands up and admit the best team won on Saturday.

I haven’t been impressed by Manchester United. I’d actually expect Spurs and Arsenal both to finish in the top four.
Charlie Nicholas

"It’s certainly exciting with Arsenal still favourites [to finish in the top four] and Spurs showing the form to prove they’re capable but Arsenal have the personality to bounce back and have a pretty decent run of games. This is usually the time of the season when they go on a run."

Mauricio Pochettino's men remain outsiders to land a Champions League qualification spot, with Sky Bet listing them as 100/30 for a top-four finish, while Arsenal and fourth-placed Manchester United are odds-on to achieve that feat. 

Like the bookies, Nicholas expects Southampton, who are currently third, to slip away but thinks United could miss out, too, handing Spurs the opportunity to return to the top four for the first time since 2011/12. 

More from Tottenham V Arsenal

However, Spurs will face a stiff test away to Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side on Tuesday night, said the Soccer Saturday pundit. 

Nicholas added: "I haven’t been impressed by Manchester United and think that Tottenham and Liverpool are bigger threats, although European football will be a hindrance to both of them.

"Spurs are capable of winning at Liverpool but it’s a big challenge for them. If they can win at Anfield and maintain this form then I’d actually expect Spurs and Arsenal both to finish in the top four."

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