So here’s a (not so) fun statistic: Arsenal haven’t won away in the league since November. For a side desperately trying to stay in contention for a Champions League spot, that simply won’t cut it. The Gunners have to start racking up the points, and they need to start today against bottom-dwelling Huddersfield Town.
Heading into this weekend’s action, Arsenal are three points behind Chelsea for fourth and a point behind Manchester United for fifth. It looks as if one and only one of those three will make the Champions League next season. Spurs are seven points clear of Chelsea and a whopping ten points ahead of the Gunners. It would take a, well, Spursian collapse for the Gunners to catch them.
To win away from home (and at the Emirates too, really), Arsenal need to breathe some life into their attack. The Gunners didn’t manage a shot in the second half of the loss to Manchester City. They have struggled to generate quality scoring chances for weeks.
When these two sides met in early December, Arsenal needed a late Lucas Torreira goal to lift them to an unconvincing victory - not exactly the razzle-dazzle offensive performance you’d hope for against a side mired at the bottom of the table. Today needs to be better.
The Gunners will not be helped by the fact that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is questionable for the match due to illness. They will also not be helped by the fact that Mesut Ozil is so deep into Unai Emery’s doghouse that he needs a map and a GPS to find his way out. Perhaps new signing Denis Suarez will add a spark, although his debut against Manchester City was lackluster. To be fair, it was an extremely difficult situation to be thrown into.
Despite the dire tone in my open, I think Arsenal still have a pretty good shot to finish fourth. They have an easier run-in than United and Chelsea. In fact, I think Arsenal should be favorites in pretty much all of their remaining games. Spurs away will be tough, United at home as well, but four (or even six) points from those two is doable.
But three points today is an absolute must. You can’t drop points to the worst team in the league.
WHAT: Arsenal at Huddersfield Town
WHERE: John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
WHEN: Saturday, February 9th, 7:00 AM PT | 10:00 AM ET | 3:00 PM BT
US TV: CNBC
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