Today’s game against Manchester United could make or break Arsenal’s top 4 challenge.
Win and we return to 4th place, keeping on Tottenham’s coat tails for 3rd with 8 games to go.
Lost and we could find ourselves in 6th place, 4 points behind the resurgent Manchester United and, perhaps more importantly, potentially 2 points behind Chelsea who also have a game in hand.
If it was only a two-horse race for 4th, it would not be unreasonable to hope that we could close a 4 point gap on a single team. But a 4 point gap from Manchester United and a 5 point gap from Chelsea, we would need both sides to lose at least 2 of their last 8 games – with Arsenal winning at least 7 – to stand a chance.
This really is our most important domestic game of the season.
Manchester United currently top the injury league table and could be without up to 10 senior players.
Anthony Martial, Nemanja Matić and Phil Jones missed the mid-week victory over PSG but could be back for this afternoons kick off. They will however be with Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata, Anders Herrera and Jesse Lingard – who has terrorised Arsenal in recent seasons.
Arsenal really should have beaten Manchester United in the away game, but were caught cold conceding an equaliser within a minute of going 2-1 up.
Ultimately, there is only going to be a handful of points between Arsenal and Manchester United after 38 games. The difference could be the 3 points on offer today.
Arsenal need to be at 100%, go for the win and expect nothing less.
Failure to get 3 points will leave the Europa League as our most realistic way back into the Champions League next season.