Arsenal have just five matches left of what has been a memorable and thoroughly entertaining Premier League season, but how will they finish?
On Wednesday evening, Mikel Arteta was dealt a considerable setback in his hopes of sealing the Gunners’ first league title in nearly 20 years.
Indeed, reigning champions Man City put them to the sword at Eastlands, with goals from Kevin De Bruyne (2), John Stones and superstar striker Erling Haaland sealing a statement win.
Rob Holding’s late consolation will be of little comfort to supporters as Arsenal suffered a 4-1 defeat in Manchester, a result which now leaves them four games without a win in the league.
While Arteta’s side remain top, City possess two games in hand and could leapfrog Arsenal if they take advantage – which is a very distinct possibility given their recent form.
Arsenal now face a real fight on their hands to loosen Pep Guardiola’s stranglehold on the English top flight, and with just a handful of matches left to play, this is how we believe they’ll fare.
- 2 May: Chelsea (h)
- 7 May: Newcastle (a)
- 14 May: Brighton (h)
- 20 May: Nottingham Forest (a)
- 28 May: Wolves (h)
Arsenal v Chelsea
First up after Arsenal’s capitulation is an encounter against a severely out-of-form Chelsea side, who have lost their last three league games under Frank Lampard.
The west Londoners are without victory since a 3-1 win away to Leicester City in mid-March, and if Arsenal want to get back to winning ways quickly, Chelsea appear ripe for the taking.
Potentially buoyed by the home crowd and hungry to fight back, we believe this will be a real miss-match, especially since only City have scored more than Arsenal in the league this season.
Prediction: Arsenal 4-1 Chelsea
Newcastle v Arsenal
Eddie Howe’s top four-chasing Magpies present a much tougher test than Chelsea, having recently battered Arsenal’s arch rivals Tottenham 6-1 at St. James’ Park.
Barring their 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa a fortnight ago, Newcastle have picked up form at just the right time – sitting five points clear of fifth and well in contention for Champions League qualification.
Howe also boasts the top flight’s best defensive record, conceding fewer goals than any other side in the division, while Arsenal have been struggling in that respect without star defender William Saliba.
Arteta won’t be helped by Newcastle’s home advantage, either, and we can actually see them losing this difficult encounter.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-0 Arsenal
Arsenal v Brighton
Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton side have arguably been one of the success stories of this season and are still in with an outside shot of European qualification.
Graham Potter was a very tough act to follow at the Amex, especially after the Englishman recorded Brighton’s highest-ever Premier League finish last season, yet De Zerbi has somehow done it – earning plenty of praise in the process.
Only Arsenal, City, Liverpool and Tottenham have bagged more goals than the Seagulls this season, but their defensive record has left a lot to be desired recently – conceding nine in their last five.
Brighton’s recent 3-1 loss to Nottingham Forest shows that they can be undone at the back, and we believe Arsenal have too much quality in the forward areas not to take advantage.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Brighton
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
After their fantastic win at home to the aforementioned Brighton, Forest sealed a crucial victory in the fight for survival and one which lifts them outside the bottom three.
It’s been a turbulent debut season back in the top flight for Steve Cooper’s side overall, with their summer of heavy recruitment ultimately failing to propel them up Europe’s most competitive league.
That being said, despite their status as real relegation candidates, this could present Arsenal with another stern test as Forest are still very much playing to remain in this division.
Statistically, only Leeds United and Bournemouth have conceded more than Forest, while they’re also among the Premier League’s lowest goalscorers.
This could depend on which Forest side show up – the one which earned a point against Man City in February – or the one battered 5-0 by Arsenal late last year.
Prediction: Forest 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal v Wolves
Last but not least, a resurgent Wolves side travel to London on the final day to face off against Arteta.
Julen Lopetegui has reinvigorated the Old Gold, with Wolves tasting victory in three of their last five whilst climbing further and further away from the drop zone.
Wolves are now seven points clear of 18th-placed Leicester City and maintain a strong position to avoid the Championship drop, but if they carry on that this rate, they’ll have nothing to play for by the time they face Arsenal.
This could even play into Arteta’s hands if they’re indeed still chasing the league on May 28.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Wolves
- Predicted run-in points: 12/15
- Predicted total points: 87
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