The five Arsenal fixtures to prove the Gunners are serious contenders for Europe


Arsenal have 12 remaining Premier League games to reach their goal of European qualification for this season.

The fixtures are coming thick and fast with most pundits not expecting the Gunners to break into the top six unless a major shake-up is seen around them.

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Mikel Arteta’s side have had an inconsistent league campaign but find themselves in the last 16 of the Europa League and have just beat Leicester City who are currently in third.

Arteta knows himself that every single point up for grabs is crucial with no margin for error if his side are to secure a European qualification spot.

“We don’t have any margin now in the league and, in the Europa League, they are knockout games, so the moment you don’t do what you have to do you are out,” he said.

“First of all, we have to improve our position in the league dramatically, and in order to do that we have to win a lot of football matches.

“How many will depend on what the opponents do because at the moment it’s not in our hands.

“We need to get into Europe, into a really, really close situation where we can compete for that ‘trophy’, because that’s going to be key as well to see where we can compete in which competition next season.”

football.london has taken a look at Arsenal’s next five Premier League fixtures and rated their chances of whether they can secure European qualification.

Burnley vs Arsenal, Saturday, March 6, 12:30pm

These two teams last met at the start of December when Granit Xhaka saw red and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored an own goal as the Gunners lost 1-0 at Emirates Stadium.

It was the first time since 1959 that they had lost four consecutive home games in the league.

Granit Xhaka was dismissed against Burnley on Sunday evening in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to the Clarets. (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Many expected Mikel Arteta’s position to be under threat following the result but he managed to turn things around following a win against Chelsea on Boxing Day.

On paper a match against Sean Dyche’s side will always be testing, but Burnley aren’t in particularly good form and have just lost 4-0 to Tottenham.

They have home advantage but Arsenal are in buoyant mood following two consecutive victories against Benfica and Leicester.

Prediction: Burnley 0-1 Arsenal

Arsenal’s players look desolate after conceding against Burnley

Arsenal vs Tottenham: Sunday, March 14, 16:30pm

North London derbies are unpredictable and both teams face Europa League matches sandwiched in between this one.

The last meeting between these two came in December as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min scored and Thomas Partey was hauled off injury at half-time.

Arsenal dominated possession in the first half but Spurs were clinical and took the few chances they had.

With rotation expected and very little between either side in terms of points, it’s likely to be a tempestuous affair with guaranteed entertainment.

Can the Gunners get their revenge after December’s defeat? Mikel Arteta will certainly hope so but the fixture congestion could make it difficult to get anything more than a point.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham

Kieran Tierney and Serge Aurier for Arsenal and Spurs in the North London Derby (Final score; Tottenham Hotspur 2:0 Arsenal). (Photo by Richard Calver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

West Ham vs Arsenal, March 21, 15:00pm

These two teams met at the start of the season as Eddie Nketiah’s late winner gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over West Ham.

Michail Antonio was particularly impressive in that game and West Ham felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a late penalty when Tomas Soucek’s header appeared to hit Gabriel’s arm.

The Hammers have won just two of their last 20 games against Arsenal but have shown imperious form over the past few months.

With home advantage and seeking European qualification of their own, the match at London Stadium could prove tough for Arteta’s side to win.

Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Arsenal

Eddie Nketiah is reportedly wanted by West Ham to replace Sebastien Haller (Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsenal vs Liverpool, Saturday April 3, 15:00pm

Liverpool’s indifferent form this season and struggles at centre back make this a more even encounter then it previously would have been.

Arsenal lost at Anfield earlier in the season as Diogo Jota scored a goal on his home debut after Liverpool came from behind to win 3-1.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost four consecutive league games and whilst their form may improve in a month’s time, there probably won’t be a better time to play the Reds.

Added to the fact that the Gunners are playing at Emirates Stadium and have plenty of experience coming up against Liverpool after the League Cup tie earlier in the season, they have every reason to feel confident ahead of this one.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool

Michael Thomas believes Mikel Arteta is capable of emulating Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp if he is given time.
Michael Thomas believes Mikel Arteta is capable of emulating Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp if he is given time.

Sheffield United vs Arsenal, Saturday April 10, 15:00pm

Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe scored as Arsenal beat Sheffield United in October.

Pepe’s solo goal received widespread praise but the match didn’t end up being the catalyst for a strong run in the Premier League.

Chris Wilder’s side are battling relegation and know every point is vital, although they could be consigned to the Championship by the time this fixture is played.

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With fans inside the stadium this would prove a dangerous fixture for the Gunners, but Arteta and co will feel more than confident going into the game.

Prediction: Sheffield United 0-2 Arsenal





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