Arsenal’s Bernd Leno is reluctant to give up hopes on Champions League qualification for next season.
The Gunners are way off the Premier League top four race with eight points behind Chelsea who occupy the last spot, and also five points behind Manchester United who are fifth.
Overtaking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could bring some optimism around the camp of the London club who could secure a place in Europe’s elite competition.
Manchester City’s impending European ban could mean that their spot be given to a club outside the top-four, an opportunity the Germany goalkeeper wants his side to exploit.
Leno told DFB’s official website: “I hope we can get into Europe. We’re not ruling out the Champions League places because we might get it with just fifth place, given Man City’s possible ban.
“We were in decent form before the break, I just hope we can get back to that when we return and end up in a European spot.”
Prior to the suspension of the league, Arsenal were building a bit of consistency and Leno is hoping their game against City on june 17 will be the beginning of something positive for the rest of the season.
He added: “It’s a great way to start because we have to go full throttle right from the off – they’re an absolutely top team. It’ll be strange to play again after such a long time out and with such little time to prepare, but I’m optimistic about the rest of the season.”
The goalkeeper also spoke about the challenge of playing behind close doors when the league returns, having witnessed details from the Bundesliga.
“Here in England it was a lot worse than in Germany,” said Leno. “I was at home for nine weeks with my wife and my dogs and we had no contact with anyone.
“It really struck me how much I missed football, the atmosphere in the stadium and that boost of adrenaline you get from playing competitive football. I’m just thankful we can get going again next week.”