- Arsenal are currently strong favourites to seal the final Champions League spot at the end of the season
- The Gunners are placed fourth with 48 points after their victory over Watford and still have three matches in hand
- However, even with a top four finish, they can still miss out on Champions League football owing to a UEFA rule change back in 2013
Arsenal can still miss out on Champions League football next season even if they seal a top four place finish in the EPL this term.
The Gunners are undoubtedly the team to beat in the top four race, with Mikel Arteta's charges having an edge over their rivals in the battle to seal the final Champions League spot.
The north Londoners are currently placed fourth on the standings with 48 points, a point ahead of fifth-placed Man United who suffered a 4-1 humiliating defeat against rivals, Man City.
How Arsenal can still miss out on UCL football
However, it has emerged Arsenal can still fail to make an appearance in the European elite football competition even with a top four finish.
If the Red Devils win the Champions League and West Ham lift the Europa League - and both teams fail to finish in the top four - then only the top three clubs in the EPL would qualify for the top-tier European club competition.
This is down to a change in UEFA rules reviewed in 2013 which dictates that no more than five teams from the same division can compete in the Champions League.
Be that as it may, Arsenal will still be desperate to finish in the top four, with the hope that this fate does not befall them.
Mikel Arteta speaks on Arsenal's top four chances
On his part, Mikel Arteta is not looking too far ahead with his side facing a tricky run of fixtures including Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham in the remaining 13 matches.
EPL legend makes top four prediction after Man United dropped to fifth following derby humiliation
"I cannot control results and I cannot predict which matches we are going to win, draw or lose, it’s impossible," the Mirror UK quoted the Arsenal boss saying.
"If I start to do that I think we’re going to lose focus in what we want to do," he added.
Arsenal stars to receive cash prizes with top four finish
Earlier, Sports Brief reported Arsenal stars have been handed extra motivation in their push to finish in the top four at the end of the campaign.
Mikel Arteta's charges are said to have been promised cash rewards should they help the club make a return to the Champions League.
Reports suggest Gunners players will earn lump sum bonuses that could go as high as £500,000 per squad player if they make the top four.