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Arsenal September 2016 Preview

After the international break, Arsenal comes back to a stuffed September fixture listing.

Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger
Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger
Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

With the international break, we had a bit of extra time to wait for the September preview. It’s probably best that we did, because these next three weeks are PACKED.

v. Southampton - Saturday, September 10 (PL)

Current position and record: 15th, 0-2-1 (2 pts)
Previous meeting: N/A
Last five meetings: D-L-L-W-L

It was the 0-4 Boxing Day drubbing at the hands of the Saints at home that catapulted Arsenal’s fall from grace last season. Arsenal had won 8 of their previous 11 contests leading into Christmas; they would win just 4 of their next 12...

It would be nice to reverse the outcome this time, especially riding the wave out of the transfer window and international break.

@ Paris Saint-Germain - Tuesday, September 13 (UCL)

Table position and record: N/A
Previous meeting: N/A

Here’s a peculiar one.

Arsenal head to the Parc des Princes to take on a remade PSG side sans Zlatan Ibrahimovic et David Luiz mais avec Grzegorz Krychowiak et Jesé. This, the first of Arsenal’s six matches in the Champions League Group Stage, won’t see the rematch until late November. Getting any points here is probably sufficient with FC Basel and Ludogorets offering the obvious pathway to the Knockout Stages.

@ Hull City - Saturday, September 17 (PL)

Current position and record: 5th, 2-0-1 (6 pts)
Previous meeting: N/A
Last five meetings: W-D-W-W-D

Hull were literal seconds away from remaining unbeaten through three games until a late Marcus Rashford inch-pincher took three points for Manchester United. Now having settled on Mike Phelan to manage the club, Hull have at least a bit of newfound stability on that front to drive the team into the fall.

It wouldn’t be all that upsetting if that stability manifests results after we see them at KCOM Stadium...

@ Nottingham Forest - Tuesday, September 20 (EFL Cup)

Previous meeting: Well...it’s been a while
Last five meetings: Even longer

Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump. Ghostbusters. Pokemon. Missy Elliot. Arsenal and Nottingham Forest...This is some turn of the century nostalgia getting far too real.

Arsenal’s fourth game in 10 days is certain to be staffed by youngsters getting a League Cup call-up. And given the game following this, it’s probably best to just sit most of the starting XI and hope the youngsters get us through to the next round.

Or, uh, don’t. Arsenal have bigger fish to fry.

v. Chelsea - Saturday, September 24 (PL)

Current position and record: 2nd, 3-0-0 (9 pts)
Previous meeting: N/A
Last five meetings: L-L-W-D-L

TIME TO FRY FISH.

Diego Costa is doing Diego Costa things, things he did in both Arsenal-Chelsea contests last season. He is going to do them again, provided he isn’t suspended for the 1,144,572 reasons he might be in the next three weeks.

Perhaps more worryingly, Chelsea are doing Chelsea things. Eden Hazard looks like the 2015-16 season never happened. Michy Batshuayi is all of 22 years old. And Antonio Conte, well, he’s not the worst manager I’ve ever seen.

Methinks there might be #taeks after this one.

v. FC Basel - Wednesday, September 28 (UCL)

Table position and record: N/A

Previous meeting: N/A

What a hell of a month.

Arsenal’s sixth match of a curtailed September is their second Champions League contest of Group A. Taking on the Swiss Champions (for the seventh season in a row...) at home offers Arsenal a chance to stack up some early points in the cup table. A chance. Certainly, we all remember how last year’s group stage opened up with Olympiakos and Dynamo Zagreb...

Summary

Yeah, let’s hope Arsenal come blasting through the end of September on a string of positive performances. Otherwise things are going to get extremely annoying for all of us.