Arsène Wenger insists that it is "vital" for Arsenal to qualify for next season's Champions League.

The Gunners are in a battle with Everton for the final top-four spot and they trail the Toffees by two points with five games remaining.

Both sides are in action in midweek with Arsenal hosting West Ham United and Everton welcoming Crystal Palace to Goodison Park.

What will be an advantage is our desire to play in this competition

Wenger has guided his team to the FA Cup final this season but the Premier League is his priority for now.

"It’s vital to me to do it [qualify for the Champions League]," he said. "I want this club to play in the top level competition. For that you want to be in the Champions League.

"What will be an advantage is our desire to play in this competition because we love the Champions League and just to imagine how much we love it will help us to achieve it.

"I would like them rather to concentrate on the pleasure to be in it [than worry about not qualifying].

"We had a difficult schedule and today the rate of the negative results and negative aspects of the results in the big games is massive," added Wenger.

"To deal with that is very difficult. When you have a succession of big games one after the other, if you lose the first one you are always in trouble."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Chris Harris 14 Apr 2014