Three games in the next six days could go a long way to deciding if the Premier League title will be coming to the Emirates Stadium, come May. First up, the small matter of a trip to Old Trafford to take on an injury-ravaged Manchester United on Sunday. Then the Gunners welcome Swansea City to the Emirates on Wednesday night, finally ending with a trip to White Hart Lane to take on Spurs in the North London Derby on Saturday lunchtime.
Attention though, is firmly focused on Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford, as Arsenal will have fond memories of the encounter earlier this season, where three goals in the first twenty minutes helped put United to the sword in a 3-0 victory.
Arsenal will not have a better chance to go to Old Trafford and get a win, due to the current injury crisis that United have on their hands. With the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phil Jones all ruled out along with Anthony Martial and Chris Smalling being major doubts aswell. Though it looks likely that David de Gea will return for the home side on Sunday after missing the last three games with a knee injury.
The Gunners are favorites heading into the game, and must step up to the plate now in this title race, after their late, dramatic win over Leicester last time out in the league.
Though since that crucial win, the Gunners have stuttered slightly, drawing 0-0 at home to Hull City in the FA Cup which was then followed by Tuesday’s night 2-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Emirates in the UEFA Champions League. Sunday’s game is in the caliber of ‘must win’ against United as they need to push on now in this compelling title race. With that massive North London Derby looming next weekend, Arsenal really need to take a maximum of six points out of six going into that game. It could be a pivotal week in the title race for all the teams concerned, as all four teams have tricky looking fixtures.
27th February – LEICESTER vs. Norwich
28th February – Man United vs. ARSENAL & TOTTENHAM vs. Swansea
1st March – LEICESTER vs. West Brom
2nd March – ARSENAL vs. Swansea, Liverpool vs. MANCHESTER CITY & West Ham vs. TOTTENHAM
5th March – TOTTENHAM vs. ARSENAL, MANCHESTER CITY vs. Aston Villa & Watford vs. LEICESTER
Arsenal will be missing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the trip to Old Trafford after suffering an ankle injury in the defeat against Barcelona. But Wenger revealed that defender Gabriel could return to the squad, after missing the last few games with a hamstring injury.
There is a lot of pressure on United at the moment and in particular, Louis van Gaal, with the current situation that the team is in. But this is a game Arsenal simply can not afford to lose, and this big week must start with a win at Old Trafford otherwise we could face another similar story.