Arsene Wenger has set his Arsenal side the target of 21 points from their remaining Premier League games to earn a top-four finish.
The Gunners go into Wednesday night’s clash at struggling QPR in third place but with only a total of three points separating them from Manchester United, Southampton and Liverpool below.
Wenger’s side also face a trip to Monaco, who won 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of their Champions League tie, knowing they face an uphill task if they are to overturn the deficit to stay in this season’s competition.
But having reached the Champions League for 15 successive years, Wenger is well-placed to know what is needed to ensure qualification for a 16th by finishing inside the Premier League’s top four.
“Seventy-two,” was his thoughtful response when asked how many points are required for a top-four finish this season. “People have finished in the top four with 67 points, but if you look at this year we have 51 points now. So it will be in the 70s. It is a tough run-in but it will be similar to last year.
“Look, have you seen the quality of the teams behind us? Southampton, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United. The best way is to look forward and go as fast as we can.
“It will be down to consistency because mathematically it is not impossible for the guys behind us to catch us, but also for us to catch the teams in front of us. You just have to focus on yourself and win the next game.”
A season-ending tally of 72 points means Arsenal require another 21, or seven wins, to reach that target, but Wenger also conceded he would like to remain in the top three and thus avoid the need to play in a qualifying round to reach the group stage.