Those are the upcoming 10 fixtures for Arsenal Football Club. I guess I’m jut being a realist when I say that those Premier League matches within this period of time will determine how Arsenal will still be challenging for the title in May. The Champions League spot is more or less guaranteed as I feel that the 2 remaining home game are sure 3 points for us and whatever happens in the other matches, 12 points are more than sufficient to go through.
Wenger will continue to field the reserves side in the Carling Cup match against Liverpool. Whatever the outcome, it will be good experience for young guns in front of an expected capacity Emirates crowd. If Liverpool field the same team as the one that beat Leeds in the previous round, Wenger will surely be confident of going through and giving his future stars a prolonged run in cup competition. However, given the current situation that Rafa Benitez is in, they may need to concentrate fully in the Carling Cup and thus put in the first team. Having said that, Arsenal’s reserves did beat a half strong Liverpool side 6-3 at Anfield a couple of seasons ago also in the Carling Cup. So we will see what happens with that one.
Like I have mentioned previously, the next 5 league matches running up to the Chelsea game will be crucial to the hopes of winning the Premiership. We are currently 6 points behind Chelsea in the league table with a game in hand. Provided we win the balance game then we will only be 3 points adrift. Going into the next 5 league fixtures, I expect Arsenal to claim full points in every game. Sc*ms may be above us now but it’s fair to say that we always beat them so there’s no worries there. The only possible place where Arsenal might drop points is at the Stadium of Light. Steve Bruce has put together a nifty side who can upset anyone on their day though if only the best 11 are available to them.
As for Chelsea, they will be up against Aston Villa at Villa Park and those games are never easy as Man City found out on Monday night. The other match-up looks fairly easy for Carlo Ancelotti’s side barring the away game at Man Utd. Ever since the departure of Jose Mourinho, Chelsea have yet to bet Man Utd at Old Trafford (someone please correct if one wrong cos I’m basing this on memory alone). If these 2 games finishes as draws then that will be 4 points dropped. This will set up nicely for the match on Nov 29th when the teams will only be separated by 1 single point (provided the earlier permutations were correct).
Now I’m not saying that win this and Arsenal will win the trophy or there is no other challengers to the title. But this will bring some sort of indication as to whether the challenge this time around will be a sustainable one.