By Lloyd Webb
Arsene Wenger has stressed the importance of Sunday’s clash against Manchester City.
Arsenal can avoid a Champions League play-off next year if they secure third position in the Premier League with a victory at Ethiad Stadium, while also maintaining pressure on Tottenham Hotspur in second place.
"Our target now is to secure a position in the Champions League next year. If possible, to get second place or at least secure third place. On Sunday we can achieve that"
With the Copa America and Euro 2016 taking place this summer, Wenger is keen to avoid the prospect of added fixtures next term.
“Sunday’s game is still important, even if Leicester are champions today and we are second best,” he said. "It is still a very important game because part of the responsibility of being professional is to prepare the future. The future of Arsenal Football Club depends on this game.
"There’s a European Championship and there’s a Copa America [in the summer]. To get our players back, we made a schedule. It’s absolutely very difficult because the European Championship finishes on July 10. If you think that you have to give at least three to four weeks of holiday to the players who go to the end [of the tournament], that means they come back at the beginning of August.
“Our target now is to secure a position in the Champions League next year. If possible, to get second place or at least secure third place. On Sunday we can achieve that. We still have two games, and if we win those two games we will be alright.
Pep Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City at the end of the season, but Wenger took the time to praise the Chilean for his impact.
“He has shown great dignity and great human qualities during his time here,” he said. “He’s respected by everybody in the Premier League, and certainly by myself."
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