8 wins in a row.
That is what The Arsenal are looking at if we beat Qarabag in Azerbaijan tonight (17:55ko in case you did not realise!)
It is a terrific run of form we are currently in.
The last time we won 7 in a row was at the beginning of the 2016/17 season when we beat Hull City, Nottingham Forest (League Cup), Chelsea, Basel, Burnley, Swansea and Ludograts. That run ended with a bore 0-0 draw away to Middlesbrough.
If we make it 8 wins in a row, it will be our longest winning run in all competitions since the 2007/08 season. That year we won 12 games in a row.
Some might point to average opposition, a League Cup win against Brentford and Arsenal being in the Europa League as reasons why we have won 7 in a row thus far. But you can only beat what is in front of you.
Looking at the previous 7-run winning streak, we only really played Chelsea. And whilst Basel and Ludograts were in the Champions League, they were not exactly competitive competition.
Likewise in the 12 game winning run of 2007/08; we beat Manchester City before the money (they lost their last game of the season 8-1 to Middlesbrough before before being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group) and a Tottenham side that finished 11th.
To go on long winning runs, you need favourable fixtures – we saw the same with Liverpool winning their first 5 games of the season. They did not really play anyone decent, yet were being hyped up by all and sundry.
But you need to win your games, regardless of who you are playing.
In our current winning run, Watford have beaten Tottenham and West Ham have drawn with Chelsea and beaten Manchester United. Arsenal won both games.
A 5 run winning run in the league is actually the current longest run of any club in the top 4 divisions of English football, yet not much about Arsenal is being mentioned in the press.
In September it was 6 out of 6.
Unai Emery has given the club a breath of fresh air. Surely after his sides performance in September, he has to be a shoe in for the Manager of the Month?
Qarabag are certainly not going to be a walk over.
Currently unbeaten in the Azerbaijan Premier League, of which they are defending champions, Arsenal are making a 6 hour 2,859 mile journey to Baku.
Chelsea beat them 6-0 and 4-0 in the Champions League last year, but they held Atletico Madrid to 2 draws, and only lost by 1 goal in each game against Roma.
Emery has selected a strong squad to travel out to Baku.
Sokratis is returning to the squad after his short injury, and will join up with Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal.
Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Iwobi have also made the trip in what looks to be our strongest available starting XI.
The highest profile absentees seem to be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Aaron Ramsey, who were not pictured in the clubs official photo release, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan who has been left home for “safety reasons”.
Petr Cech has not travelled to Azerbaijan and will be out for up to a month with a hamstring injury. Other players currently sidelined are Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (fractured fibula) and Laurent Koscielny (Achilles).
Matteo Guendouzi, Mohamed Elneny, Eddie Nketiah and reserve goal keepers Dejan Iliev and Emiliano Martinez.
All in all Emery is given the side its best chance to make it 8 from 8 and take a huge step towards securing early qualification for the knock-out rounds.