Mertesacker upbeat on Arsenal chances next season
Defender Per Mertesacker (below) sees no reason why Arsenal should not head to Old Trafford confident of securing automatic Champions League qualification despite the frustration of a 1-0 home defeat by Swansea.
The Gunners saw their 10-match unbeaten run in the Premier League brought to an end by the Welsh side on Monday night after failing to take several chances before substitute Bafetimbi Gomis headed in a late winner for the visitors, which was given via the Goal Decision System.
Arsenal remain in third place, three points behind Manchester City, but with a game in hand, albeit with a far inferior goal difference.
Manchester United are two points further back, but would leapfrog the Gunners with victory on Sunday afternoon.
Mertesacker, though, feels Arsene Wenger's squad can take heart from their consistent performances since the turn of the year as they look to emulate their FA Cup quarter-final win at Old Trafford in March.
"You could feel the disappointment in the dressing room after the Swansea game, because we gave so much, but we are still positive," the German said.
"We still have a good level of confidence, so we are looking forward to the remaining games.
"It is very important (finishing in the top three) when you look at the schedule (for the start of next season), so we try to really avoid that."