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Arsenal September 2018 fixtures preview

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The Unai Emery era is underway. These next four matches will set Arsenal up for the biggest challenges ahead.

Arsenal FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Well, here we are. The Unai Emery is actually underway and Arsène Wenger is now relegated to related Wikipedia pages and off the sideline.

As someone who has watched Arsenal football for about 20 years, it’s pretty damn weird.

Alas, we must press forward. And so must Arsenal over the next month.

@ Cardiff City - Sunday, September 2 (PL)

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

Last in the Premier League in 2013-14, Cardiff are one of the newly promoted sides along with Wolverhampton and Fulham. As such, it’s hard not to approach this demanding three points. Cardiff, in fact, are the only side in the league yet to score a single goal through three matches.

Attendance and crowd performance could be a legitimate factor. Cardiff City Stadium’s capacity is smack in the middle of the stadia featured this year. And with Arsenal the best of the sides Cardiff has faced to this point and on an early kickoff with no other competing matches for attention, supporters could be up for this one in South Wales.

@ Newcastle - Saturday, September 15 (PL)

Current position and record: 16th, 0-1-2 (1 pt)
Previous meeting: N/A
Current form: L-D-L

Oh Newcastle. Ye of memories past of Alan Shearer and...Alan Shearer.

Since finishing 5th in 2011-12, Newcastle have sunk into the bottom half any beyond including a year in the Championship two seasons ago. Promoted last year, they finished 10th on the back of a well-organized defense.

The sale of Aleksandar Mitrović funded some transfer activity, but that seemed more to prop up Newcastle’s future over its immediacy. Securing inbound loanees of Salomón Rondón from West Bromwich Albion and Kenedy from Chelsea, however, could serve out significantly more impact on this season.

v. FC Vorskla Poltava - Thursday, September 20 (EL)

Current group position and points: N/A
Previous meeting: N/A
Current form: W-L-W

Europa League action beckons again for a second year. The draw takes place tomorrow, so we’ll have some clarity here and perhaps I’ll come back and update this! Perhaps I won’t! Perhaps you’ll have to follow me on my magical mystery tour to find out! Will I update this story? Will I instead travel to Salto, Uruguay, to meet up with Martín Bravador, an international jewel dealer and unctuous lothario, who upon arrival will introduce me to the lovely albeit mysterious Palmalido Suave whose evening dress though enticing belies a danger I can hardly resist but remains alluring enough to pursue perhaps even at the risk of death by shark aka elasmocide?!?! ? Am I writing this while watching Licence to Kill? Who knows!

Vorskla!

(Looks up Vorskla)

(Sees Ukrainian Premier League)

(Realizes this is not Shakhtar Donetsk or Dynamo Kyiv, the only two Ukranian clubs I know)

Vorskla!

v. Everton - Sunday, September 23 (PL)

Current position and record: 8th, 1-2-0 (5 pts)
Previous meeting: N/A
Current form: D-W-D

Everton did quite a bit of business over the summer bringing in 48 players from Barcelona. This is likely the most difficult fixture of the month, but it is at the Emirates which means a warm welcome for Theo Walcott before Granit Xhaka picks up a yellow for cleaning him out before halftime.

Things should look at least a bit different in the table by this point, and a Tottenham-Liverpool showdown on the 15th means at least one of the two sides if not both will drop points. If we’ve handled business in the prior two matches, things could look very promising as we return home for this one.

v. Brentford - Saturday, September 25 (Carabao)

Current form: W-W-L

I had totally missed the Carabao Cup draw was feeding us into this match slot. Perhaps what’s most interesting here is the sheer condensible nature of this stretch of fixtures.

Since opening the league campaign on August 12 against Manchester City, we have to this point (now since beating Cardiff as I update this) played just four matches in the span of 21 days. From the Europa tie against Vorskla to the game following this one against Watford, we’ll play four matches in just 10 days.

v. Watford - Saturday, September 29 (PL)

Current position and record: 4th, 3-0-0 (9 pts)
Previous meeting: N/A
Current form: W-W-W

Harry the Hornet is a nightmare vehicle. I do not like him at all.

I do, however, like Troy Deeney. Or to be more specific, I like his face. It is very emotive.

What do you think about Arsenal’s defense through the first three matches, Troy Deeney’s face?

I know. Bewildering. But it’s early! We’re three games into the Unai Emery era! Time!

What about this fixture, though? Surely, your suggestion that Arsenal lacked “cojones” will be a talking point. Your thoughts on revisiting that after finishing out the confrontation last year as Arsenal beat Watford 3-0?

Oh Troy Deeney, you scamp! You do know how to rankle my convictions, you rogue!

What say after the game we abscond for oysters and longaniza?