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Arsenal vs. Huddersfield Town preview: it’s gotta be three

Huddersfield is 17th in the table. No two ways about it, this has to be a win.

Arsenal FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Granit Xhaka approves. Of what? I’m not sure. But he approves!
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It’s that lovely time of year - the holidays are almost here the absurdly congested fixture list is upon the Arsenal. It feels as if it crept up on us. The North London Derby backed up by away to Manchester United distracted us from the fact that a stretch of 13 games in 41 days began November 25th and won’t end until January 5th. That’s a match every 3.15 days.

On Saturday, Arsenal face Huddersfield Town at the Emirates. The Terriers are struggling this season. They sit 17th in the table, just one above the drop, and have scored the fewest goals in the league thus far. While it’s important to beat the teams around you in the table - the win over Spurs was vital, drawing away to United was a good result - it is equally as important to beat teams like Huddersfield. Those are three points your Top 4 competition will get. You have to keep pace.

It’s a mixed bag for the Gunners on the injury front. Just when guys like Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are nearing a return (but probably not this weekend), Rob Holding tears his ACL. Aaron Ramsey (ankle) and Mesut Özil (back) are doubts, but their injuries appear to be match-to-match ones as opposed to long-term ones. Dinos Mavropanos (groin) is expected back in training this month, and Danny Welbeck is out for the season.

Having served his one-game, yellow card accumulation suspension, Granit Xhaka is available for selection.

Huddersfield will be without midfielders Philip Billing (suspension) and Abdelhamid Sabiri (broken collarbone) and striker Steve Mounie (suspension). Fullback Chris Lowe (shoulder) could make his return to the lineup on Saturday.

I’ll say it again - Saturday’s match has to be three points for the Gunners. Huddersfield are a below-average team and the match is at the Emirates. I don’t want to seem greedy but it would be nice if in addition to a win, Arsenal could manage something they haven’t all season - a halftime lead.

WHAT: Arsenal vs. Huddersfield Town

WHERE: The Emirates

WHEN: Saturday, December 8th 7 AM PT | 10 AM ET | 3 PM BT

US TV: CNBC. Stream here.

For all your international streaming needs, check out livesoccer.tv. And the usual admonition, but Yoda-style this time: Discuss links to illegal streams here, DO NOT.

In all seriousness, don’t do it.