Arsenal news: Unai Emery makes worrying claim about Champions League hopes


Emery’s Gunners have slipped to sixth in the Premier League table and are now behind Manchester United and Chelsea in the race for the top four.

They remain 10 points behind north London rivals Tottenham in third and Emery has moved to manage fans’ expectations after an underwhelming January transfer window.

Midfielder Denis Suarez – who joined on loan from Barcelona for the rest of the season – was the only new acquisition.

And Emery concedes they are now playing catch up on the other sides vying for Champions League football next term.

“There are teams now better than us,” the Spaniard said.

“They have an advantage to us. Are we the outsiders now? Yes we are sixth.

“It’s practical but it is like that. We need to continue thinking in our capacity to be in the top four but knowing it’s difficult.

“Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham also – they are doing a big difference between us.

“Chelsea and Manchester United, they are closer than us. The top three – it is so far.”

Emery takes his side to face bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield today and, while they will be big favourites, the Gunners boss is having to nurse his side through an injury crisis.

Defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos is set for a month on the sidelines, while Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding have been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Danny Welbeck is another long-term casualty, although Laurent Koscielny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should recover from illnesses to feature against the Terriers.

Emery is also hoping to welcome back Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who’s has been absent with a knee problem, while Henrik Mkhitaryan, who has not played since December last year, could be in contention for a place on the bench.

“Ainsley is training with us as normal. Mkhitaryan also played 45 minutes on Monday with the under-23s,” he said.

“We thought last week that with two training sessions after six weeks being injured, it was not enough to play against Manchester City.

“But after this week, playing with the under-23s and working with us, I think it is the first time I can think about him being with us.

“Aubameyang is sick but I think he’s okay for Saturday. Also yesterday, Laurent Koscielny was sick but today he is training well. I think the other players are well and will be OK for Saturday.”

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Source:: Daily times

      

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