Arsenal’s pursuit of a place in the top four of the Premier League stalled slightly on Wednesday night as they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at the Emirates.
The Gunners were playing one of their games in hand on those above them but will not be too disheartened. Jurgen Klopp’s men were made to work hard for the three points and with the fourth place still under control, they remain in good shape.
But momentum can change very quickly in football and with Tottenham picking up a valuable three points against Brighton on the same night, the race has narrowed. So with that in mind, football.london compares Arsenal’s next five top-flight games to those of Manchester United, Spurs and West Ham.
Aston Villa (A) – March 19
A daunting trip to play Steven Gerrard’s side. Prior to their loss to West Ham, Villa had won three games on the bounce in the Premier League, keeping three clean sheets and scoring nine goals.
So the meeting at Villa Park is sure to be another big test for Mikel Arteta’s side at both ends of the pitch. But these are the games that the Gunners will have to be winning if they are to secure that coveted spot come May.
Crystal Palace (A) – April 4
The international break separates Arsenal’s next two games so Arteta will have plenty of time to mastermind a victory over club legend Patrick Vieira. While praying that none of his star men suffer any injuries, of course.
A last-gasp Alexandre Lacazette strike was needed to earn a 2-2 draw against Palace last time out, one that caused Vieira to drop to his knees on the sideline. But Arsenal will be eager to go one step further at Selhurst Park.
Brighton (H) – April 9
A game that should really have three points written all over it for Arsenal. After a strong start to the season, Brighton’s motivation appears to have dropped in recent weeks with Graham Potter’s side currently on a six-game losing streak.
Arsenal were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at the Amex earlier this season but in front of a home crowd, only three points will do in the race for the top four.
Southampton (A) – April 16
A game that may have proved troublesome a few weeks ago, but Southampton too have struggled for form in recent weeks. Ralph Hassenhuttl’s men are currently in the midst of a three-game run of losses, including to relegation-threatened Watford and Newcastle.
But with the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Armando Broja and Tino Livramento in their side, they are always capable of causing a problem. Regardless, this is again another fixture Arsenal should be winning if they are serious about making the top four.
Chelsea (A) – April 20
It is impossible to tell what state Chelsea will be in by the time this fixture comes around. The Blues are on the hunt for a new owner following Roman Abramovich’s sanctioning and saga does not look likely to end any time soon.
But with the Blues sitting pretty in third, there is every chance focus on league games will have wavered by the end of April, potentially handing Arsenal the chance of claiming a big three points.
Manchester United’s next five games
West Ham’s next five games
Tottenham’s next five games
West Ham (H)
Aston Villa (A)