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Lukas Podolski believes Arsenal will make top four if Mesut Ozil plays regularly for the Gunners in the final games of the season.
Arsenal are in the driving seat in the race for Champions League qualification after Manchester United and Chelsea suffered costly defeats in the last month.
After being sidelined at points throughout the season, Ozil has managed to reestablish himself under Unai Emery in recent weeks.
Podolski was an international and club team-mate of Ozil and thinks the German can fire his side back into the Champions League.
‘Mesut’s a good friend of mine, and a top player who can make the difference on the pitch,’ Podoloski told Four Four Two.
‘He can get Arsenal back into the Champions League places. They’re definitely better with him in the starting line-up – he’s got that eye for a special pass.
‘They have to finish in the top four. For a club of Arsenal’s size, there’s no excuse for going three seasons in a row without Champions League qualifications – they need Ozil to help them.’
Arsenal also have a game in hand over their closest rivals and could still finish third if Tottenham continue to falter this season.
Spurs reclaimed third spot from Arsenal by beating Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, but have just one win in six league games.
Arsenal’s away form has been consistently below par this season and Emery warned his players they must improve on the road if they are to qualify for the Champions League.
‘We know it’s going to be very difficult because we know Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea will win a lot of matches. It will demand a lot from us,’ Emery told talkSPORT.
‘We will play five matches away and it’s a challenge. We are hot here [at the Emeriates] but we need to be confident and consistent away from home as well.