We’ve all done it.
With just ten games to go, we’ve all looked at the remaining fixtures and attempted to figure out what we’ll get and what we’ll need to lift a first title since 2004.
It’s pretty futile, yep. But it hasn’t stopped any of us poring over the list has it?
So, let’s do that together. We’ll go over every remaining fixture we have, we’ll try and gauge how we’ll fare and more importantly – whether it will be enough to be crowned champions at the end.
Leeds (H) 01 Apr
We’re at home, we’ll be rested after the international break (well, aside from Saka, Partey and the rest of the international players) and most importantly – Leeds aren’t the type of side to sit back and contain.
There are only four other sides currently with more goals conceded than Leeds – this game should be the perfect curtain raiser to our title run-in. Yes, Leeds are fighting for their lives, but they’re porous and will struggle to keep us quiet.
Prediction 3-1 to The Arsenal
Liverpool (A) 09 Apr
We have 8 days rest before this game and normally, a trip to Anfield would result in a loss. We have a terrible record there (aside from a few notable exceptions…) but Liverpool are a different side this season.
That notorious press that Klopp’s success has been built on has faded, the intensity over his spell at Liverpool seemingly taking a toll on the players. They’re still capable of beating anyone – they’ve beaten City this season – and rocking up to Anfield with the home team battling for a top4 spot and nothing else to play for? It will be a tough cookie.
But Arteta has shown he can get results when the pressure is cranked up. This is a game for the taking and I think we’ve got a great shot at pinching the points.
Prediction – 2-1 to The Arsenal
West Ham (A) 16 Apr
The corresponding fixture saw us win 3-1 and although Moyes and his boys are fighting tooth and nail for every point, we have a week after our Liverpool game and plenty of time to prep and put emphasis on this game.
The Hammers don’t score a lot, but they also haven’t let in an awful lot either. Key to this and silencing the crowd will be an early goal. This could be a nail biter, so a goal to settle nerves and draw out the home side to attack would be welcome.
Prediction – 1-0 to The Arsenal
Southampton (H) 21 Apr
Saints are bottom for good reason – a terrible defence and the second worst amount of goals scored. Not a good mix.
But, their boss Ruben Selles has found something in his squad in recent games. Their fightback against that shower down the road in the last gameweek, their 0-0 with United and a tense 1-0 win over Leicester, has given the Saints hope where there was none.
And Southampton are somewhat of a bogey side for us.
They’ve already taken points from us this season with a 1-1 draw that showed a nasty streak to the Saints players at times – and they’ll be fighting for everything this time around too.
They’ve got players who can change a game quickly, but the Ashburton Army and co will turn up the heat at The Emirates and I think that will help.
Prediction – 2-1 to The Arsenal
Man City (A) 26 Apr
Five days after Saints, we go to The Etihad, with a match against Chelsea to factor in just three days later.
Recent games against City have shown tantalising glimpses of what we can do to damage them. The problem for us is it wasn’t sustained and we didn’t take our chances – which has resulted in us losing both the FA Cup game and the corresponding PL game.
If we go there with no fear, we can hurt them. A lot hinges on how they fare against Bayern Munich in the CL. If they progress, they’ll be favourites for the tournament and might just be distracted. If they lose, they’ll be going all out against us.
Their second leg is seven days before this game, which means they also have the FA Cup semi-final Vs Sheffield United game just three days before this and a tricky tie against Brighton three days after.
They have the squad to cope, but we’ll be pumped for this. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result, I think we’ll get it.
Prediction – 2-2
Chelsea (H) 29 Apr
We’ve been imperious in London derbies this season – no other team has ever won as many as us in the course of a season. This is a great opportunity to stretch that.
Chelsea are a mixed bag under Graham Potter, but they’re sticking it out with him and backing him. Potter likes an expansive style of football that plays into our hands, if we turn up.
I can’t help feeling confident on this one. Chelsea any other season would take points from us, but this season, with the way we’re playing and where they are in their transition? We should be seeing three points at home here.
We’ll be tired, we’ll be sore – but our boys also recognise what is up for grabs.
Prediction – 2-0 to The Arsenal
Newcastle (A) 06 May
A brief respite, and we then go to St James Park for a tricky tie. Eddie Howe has done remarkably well and yep, there has been investment, but it hasn’t been ridiculous sums. A lot of this phoenix-like recovery is down to the manager.
He’ll have done his homework and expect them to double up on our dangermen, but if we shift it quickly, we can exploit the spaces that creates. We really need to be at it though, because it’s easy against a team of this style to start sliding toward an abject display.
Just like in our run-in last season against Newcastle.
We have enough to grab the points, but I think a little stumble here might be on the cards. Just like the corresponding, frustrating game this season, they’ll be looking to snuff out our threat.
Prediction – 0-0
Brighton (H) 13 May
Ooh, the Gulls are hard to call.
On their day, they can dismantle anyone. Liverpool, Chelsea and United have come unstuck. But they can also unravel – our 4-2 win at The Amex is the perfect example.
Two goals in the first half settled the nerves, a third just after half time killed the game.
They’ll give us chances. If Jesus is up to speed by that time, we should have enough firepower.
Prediction – 3-0 to The Arsenal
Nottm Forest (A) 20 May
By this point in the season, Forest will be in a real dogfight, most likely. Steve Cooper has acquired a Chelsea-like amount of new players and he’s worked miracles by wrangling them together.
But their defence is pretty woeful – only Bournemouth at the time of writing have a worse number of conceded goals.
This will be tougher as the City Ground will be rocking, but a goal to deflate the crowd and tease the defence out should be enough for the points.
Prediction – 3-1 to The Arsenal
Wolves (H) 28 May
Wolves should be home and dry by this point and will have nothing to play for.
We however, will have plenty on the line.
On that proviso, I think we’ll walk this.
A team with holidays on their mind should be a walkover.
Prediction – 2-0 to The Arsenal
Will this be enough?
With a five point gap – on the assumption City win their game in hand – we have to win at least nine of our games.
That is also on the assumption that City get maximum points from their eleven games.
City and Pep want the CL – journalists ask them constantly and it is a pain point that despite the sums of money poured into City, they still haven’t won it.
That is our edge.
City still have Liverpool and Chelsea, like us, to pay. Not to mention tricky away trips to The Amex and St Mary’s to contend with. If they win all of their remaining games, then they’ll deserve to lift the title.
They have the experience of previous run-ins to fall back on too – but I think we’ll nick it.
It all hinges on the games against City, Chelsea and Newcastle within a short space of time. If we escape with seven points, it’s in our hands.
Anything less, we need to rely on City’s CL fixation.
So to offer a summary – It really is in the lap of the gods.