Upon return from the international break, Arsenal have an excellent opportunity to cement themselves as a Champions League team. Their next eight Premier League matches come against teams outside of the “big six.” Arsenal must make the most of this opportunity.
Arsenal Must Take Advantage of Upcoming Fixtures
The Gunners will take trips to Sheffield United, Leicester City, Norwich City and West Ham United. While Leicester and West Ham have both enjoyed good starts to the new campaign, Unai Emery’s side will fancy their chances of winning at least three of these matches.
The toughest trip will be to the King Power Stadium to face now fourth place Leicester. Brendan Rodgers will want to win this match even more after coming so close to getting a result against both Manchester United and Liverpool earlier this season.
Arsenal have the opportunity to change the narrative regarding their away form. They should cement themselves as the front-runners for third place by beating the newly promoted teams convincingly.
Arsenal have historically been brilliant at home. They will host Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion. At first glance, it is hard to think Arsenal should not win all four matches at home.
They lost to Palace at the Emirates last season after the Shkodran Mustafi disaster-class, but that will not happen again. 12 points will be the aim and very likely the outcome.
Returning From Injury
Arsenal have several players returning from injury and we may finally see their best lineup during this run. Players on their way to full match fitness include Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Rob Holding.
Arsenal’s defence has looked shaky so getting three new options at the back will be fantastic news for the manager. In addition, both Tierney and Bellerin are great attacking fullbacks which can help an attack that needs to get more service to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The partnership of Lacazette and Aubameyang will also take the pressure off record signing, Nicolas Pepe, who has struggled to adapt thus far.
This upcoming run of games will undoubtedly dictate Unai Emery’s future at the club. His contract runs out in the summer and he will need to prove to the board that he can take Arsenal to the next level.
His relationship with some fans has turned sour since the start of the season. With the current state of Arsenal’s rivals, Emery should be getting this team to qualify for the Champions League with ease.
It is within reason to expect Emery to lead Arsenal to six wins at the least in this run of eight matches. They should be pushing 20 points and could even find themselves in second place depending on Manchester City’s form.
If the Gunners do not make the most of this string of games, Emery’s job will be on the line.
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