After beating Crystal Palace 4-1 over the weekend, putting the pressure back on Manchester City, Arsenal now has 10 games left to go to lift the Premier League title.
Arsenal has stumbled, without question, but they continue to get back up, dust themselves off, and go again. They now sit 8 points clear of Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand, but still, look like the team with the edge in the Premier League title race.
Manchester City won 6-0 over the weekend beating Burnley and former club captain Vincent Kompany in the FA Cup. Prior to that, it was an absolute rout of RB Leipzig to kill off the tie and advance in the Champions League, with Haaland marking 5 of those 7 goals. Advancing in the Champions League might prove to complicate the road to a 3rd successive Premier League title, as some believe. However, that remains to be seen.
Here are some of the key fixtures for both Arsenal and Manchester City examined:
Manchester City vs. Liverpool (Sat. 1/4)
Form aside, this fixture has not been kind to Manchester City in recent meetings. City managed to beat Liverpool in the EFL Cup upon return from the World Cup break but lost the 3 meetings before that. The last match they won in the Premier League against Liverpool, was on February 7 of 2021.
Returning from the international break with few to no injuries will be top of everybody’s wishlist at Manchester City ahead of the final stretch of games.
Arsenal may very well get an early boost when teams return from the international break depending on this result, but City can take some solace, as this match is at the Etihad, and having the fans to back them in what will be a massive match will definitely give them the necessary energy to go on and get the result they need.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal (Sun. 9/4)
However confident Arteta and co. may be, going to Anfield should be pretty low on a list of places they want to visit when in need of all 3 points. Apart from their win this season in the Premier League, Arsenal hasn’t beaten Liverpool since a 2-1 victory on July 15th, 2020.
A similar backstory in how both Arsenal and Manchester City have faired against Liverpool in the league in the last few years, so both these fixtures immediately stand out in the final stretch to lifting the Premier League trophy.
*Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich (Tues. 11/4)*
This is being used as more of a placeholder for the games against Bayern and any potential further proceedings in the Champions League should City advance. The UCL undoubtedly complicates things, and playing Bayern Munich does not ease any burden on this Manchester City squad. This was certainly one of the teams that the boys in Sky Blue would’ve been looking to avoid in the draw, and certainly the side of the bracket they are on.
All teams should be wanting to fight on all fronts at this stage in the season, as it is an honor to progress in every competition, that’s what football is about for big teams, competing at the highest level and trying to win trophies.
With Arsenal now all eyes on the Premier League after falling out of all available competitions, their path certainly seems much simpler than that of Manchester City.
Manchester City vs. Arsenal (Wed. 26/4)
This is the most obvious choice for important fixtures, as it features both Arsenal and City. This time, the contest will be a home match for the Citizens, after beating Arsenal 3-1 away in what can be described as a sloppy performance from Arsenal in front of their home fans.
Say what you will about that uncharacteristically bad match from Arsenal, the mental battle was certainly in favor of City after that match, and should remain leading into this game. City knows they can beat Arsenal, and Arsenal’s record against Manchester City in the league remained troubling. Manchester City and their fans will want to keep it that way, as this is the easiest way for them to cut directly into the Gunners’ lead in the table.
Might want to call out of work on the 26th…
Arsenal vs. Chelsea ( Sat. 29/4)
This may not worry some Arsenal fans, but at the end of the day, this is a London Derby match. Emotions run high, form gets tossed out the window, and anything can happen. Chelsea fans will be demanding a better performance than the one which saw them lose 1-0, but were dominated if you take a simple look at the statistics behind that match.
Over the past 6 matches in the Premier League, Arsenal has recorded 4 wins, losing the other two. The fact that this particular game takes place at the Emirates should give comfort to many Arsenal fans, as they will have more of an ability to impact their team’s performance.
Manchester City vs. Chelsea ( Sat. 20/5)
I’d be lying if I said this game didn’t make myself and likely at least some City fans nervous. The fact that this particular match is so late in the season only adds pressure to the situation. After this, Manchester City will still have 3 more games to play, with 9 points up for grabs amongst Brentford, West Ham, and Brighton.
The last 4 matches have gone in favor of the Citizens, with the Champions League final still leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of many City fans. With recent meetings between these two sides and the season Chelsea has had thus far, Manchester City should and will likely be favored in this matchup.
However, you know what they say, there are no easy games in the Premier League.
That goes for all remaining games for both City and Arsenal, as you truly never know when teams are going to drop points. Injuries could pop up, Manchester City is still in two other competitions, and fatigue could hit either squad (mentally or physically). These are just some of the bigger matches that remain to be played ahead of what looks to be an exciting Premier League run-in for both Arsenal and Manchester City.
On the one hand, Arsenal holds the points and statistical advantage, with some comforting history sitting in their corner. On the other, being hunted by a Manchester City squad is not ideal, given what this City team has demonstrated in years past. City is a team that fights till the end.
So, what say you? Who takes the title at the end of the 2022-23 Premier League season?