Mikel Arteta’s men are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table after winning the North London Derby 2-0 away vs Spurs. They’re eight points ahead of the team in second. Here we are previewing Arsenal’s massive next 2 games Vs Man Utd and Man City which could prove decisive in their title challenge in an important week for the club.
In their next couple of fixtures, Arsenal will take on Manchester United and Manchester City in back-to-back games. The game against Manchester United will take place in the Premier League, while the Gunners will play Manchester City in the FA Cup.
Both games present different challenges. Manchester United are defensively resolute and can be devastating on the break – meanwhile, Manchester City’s strong pressing tactics and possession dominating approach make it very difficult to enjoy extended periods of possession against them.
Manchester United Game:
Arsenal’s next game will come against Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, January 22. It’s a real crunch clash – a convincing win for the Gunners could leave them with one hand on the Premier League trophy and pretty much ending any ideas United have of winning the title. However, should Arsenal lose, it may blow the title race wide open.
Most pundits will probably expect Arsenal to win handily, given their league position. Despite this, it’s important to note that only one team have beaten Arsenal in the Premier League this season – Manchester United – who won 3-1 at Old Trafford on Antony’s debut.
In that game, while Arsenal enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, United counter-attacked ruthlessly and took their chances with clinical precision. Arsenal will need to be more wary of the Red Devils’ ability to score goals during turnovers of possession in the reverse fixture.
In addition to this, United also ran out as 2-1 winners over Manchester City in their last game. Arsenal will be expected to win – but do not be too surprised if Ten Hag’s team pull an upset.
Manchester City Game:
While the Gunners’ priority will undoubtedly be the Premier League, they’re also still in the FA Cup – a competition Arsenal have won more times than any other club in England. However, they face a tough task in the fourth round as they have been drawn against Manchester City.
Arsenal will play away for this game on Friday January 27th, giving City the home advantage. Guardiola’s team haven’t been at their best this season – even though several pundits expected them to dominate the Premier League this campaign.
Erling Haaland might be the league’s top scorer, but his contributions haven’t been enough to lift City into first position. Nevertheless, his pace, power and precision will make him a major threat if Arsenal decide to employ a high line. It may be time for the Apprentice (Mikel Arteta) to get one over on his old Master (Pep Guardiola).
With Liverpool and Chelsea not in contention for the title this season, it really is down to Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and the surprise package of Eddie Howe’s in-form Newcastle United team to decide who claims the Premier League. Arsenal have their destiny within their control which has to give them huge confidence ahead of these big games.