While Manchester City fans are well versed in the twists and turns of a title race, it’s been a generation since Arsenal supporters were last put through the emotional turmoil of tussling for the Premier League crown.
Not since the 2009/2010 season have the Gunners had such a strong claim for the title going into the final chapter of the campaign and, with an eight-point lead over City, Mikel Arteta’s side are many people’s favourites to end their 19-year wait for a league title.
But the Gunners have the nous and growing momentum of Pep Guardiola’s side breathing down their necks, and Arsenal’s lack of experience in these situations will be tested to the maximum in the coming two months.
On paper, the Gunners have a tougher run-in than City but nothing is certain in a title race – other than the prospect of unexpected twists and turns.
With that in mind, Metro.co.uk has taken a look at the five fixtures that will decide the destination of the famous trophy.
Liverpool vs Arsenal – April 9th
A trip to Anfield has been City’s acid test in recent years but it’s Arsenal who face a daunting trip to the red half of Merseyside early next month.
Though Liverpool’s form this season has been patchy at best, they have renewed hope of finishing in the top four and their recent demolition of Manchester United at Anfield shows they’re still capable of raising their game against the top sides in the division.
No stadium in the country can whip opponents into such a frenzy as Anfield and Leeds are the only visiting side to have beaten the Reds there this season.
Arsenal haven’t beaten Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League for over ten years and anything less than three points will pile further pressure on to the Gunners ahead of a mammoth fixture…
Manchester City vs Arsenal – April 26th
It’s Manchester City vs Arsenal at the Etihad. What more needs to be said?
No game in the run-in will go further to deciding the destination of the Premier League title than the clash at the Etihad in late April.
For City, it will be an opportunity to claw back Arsenal’s lead. For the Gunners, supporters will be looking to avoid defeat to preserve the gap and the more optimistic could even view it as a chance to put one hand on the trophy.
City have beaten the Gunners twice – in the Premier League and in the FA Cup third round – already this season. If they’re to defend their crown they’ll have to make it a hat-trick of sorts.
The fixture has the added spice of Arteta returning to the club where he spent three years as Guardiola’s assistant, before joining Arsenal, while both Gabriel Jesus and Olkesandr Zinchenko will be back at their old stomping grounds.
Newcastle United vs Arsenal – May 7th
St James’ Park has never been an easy venue for visiting teams, even when Newcastle have been battling at the other end of the table.
Chuck the prospect of the Magpies finishing in the top four into the mix, and a trip to the north-east looks like a potentially defining fixture.
Eddie Howe’s side are three points off third ahead of the resumption following the international break and a place in the Champions League could fast-track the owners’ ambitious plans for the Magpies.
Only Liverpool have come away from St James’ Park with all three points this season and that came after Newcastle were reduced to ten men following Nick Pope’s sending off.
Depending on the result at the Etihad, it may not be a must-win fixture for Arsenal but the side’s trip to the north-east looks set to be a crucial test for Arteta and his players.
Everton vs Manchester City – May 13th
Though City trail Arsenal by eight points, the Gunners’ lack of experience and tougher run-in means many of the questions of this title race must be answered by Arteta’s side.
But City’s run-in is not without it’s banana skins and a trip to Goodison Park on the third from last weekend of the season is precisely the type of challenge that champions must overcome.
Sean Dyche has breathed new life into the Toffees and they earned a spirited draw away at Chelsea before the international break, having beaten Arsenal in the former Burnley boss’ first match in chare at Goodison Park. Frank Lampard’s side also earned a draw against City at the Etihad earlier this season.
Just three points separate Bournemouth in 19th and Crystal Palace in 12th, meaning 15th-placed Everton are likely to still be fighting for their lives until the very end of the season.
Should City progress to the last four of the Champions League, their trip to Merseyside will be sandwiched by either leg of the semi-final.
Arsenal vs Brighton – May 13th
On that same weekend, Arsenal welcome Brighton to the Emirates.
While the Gunners face tough tests against the likes of Wolves and Chelsea in their final five fixtures, the visit of Brighton to north London will cause nervousness among Gooners.
The Seagulls have an impressive record against the Gunners and knocked Arteta’s side out of the Carabao Cup earlier this season.
Of the 11 times the two teams have faced each other in the Premier League, there’s been four wins for either side and three draws.
The Seagulls have won at the Emirates in two of their last three visits and Roberto De Zerbi’s side are gunning for a European spot this season, while a top-four finish is not beyond question.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.
For all the latest Football News Click Here