The Gunners face champions Liverpool in the pick of the midweek Premier League action
Arsenal will look to choose themselves up when they face Liverpool in Premier League action on Wednesday night, having been defeated by Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s North London Derby.
Spurs, out of sorts after their recent 0-0 draw with Bournemouth, originated in behind to win 2-1 after goals from Son Heung-min and Toby Alderweireld cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette’s opener.
It’s a loss that threatens to undermine the Londoners’ recent progress under Mikel Arteta, and leaves their hopes of European qualification in tatters.
With three matches to play, they find themselves in ninth on 50 points, two behind their local rivals, four behind Sheffield United in seventh and five behind sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Certainly, they’ll be desperate to take points from Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, otherwise they risk needing to rely on the FA Cup in order to secure any kind of presence in Europe next season.
The Reds could have got their hands on the title, however they still have much to play because of this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side making little secret of their need to claim the Premier League’s all-time points record.
Their 100-percent home record was ended when they were held 1-1 by Burnley at the weekend, when Jay Rodriguez’s equaliser cancelled out Andy Robertson’s opener, but they must win if they’re to take Manchester City’s 2017-18 haul of 100 points.
At the moment, they’re seven points short with nine points still to claim, so even a draw would mean they might only equal the record set by Pep Guardiola’s side two seasons ago.
City are also doing his thing on Wednesday, taking on Eddie Howe’s revived Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.
The Cherries have the wind in their sails after downing Leicester City in style on Sunday, but will their momentum be halted in its tracks by City?
Also in Premier League action on Wednesday, Europa League hopefuls Spurs—surely buoyed by their North London Derby triumph—are away at Newcastle United while they look to round off the campaign any way you like.
Monday 13 July – Manchester United vs Southampton (Premier League)
Monday 13 July – Granada vs Real Madrid (LaLiga)
Monday 13 July – Inter Milan vs Torino (Serie A)
Tuesday 14 July – Chelsea vs Norwich (Premier League)
Tuesday 14 July – Atalanta vs Brescia (Serie A)
Wednesday 15 July – Manchester City vs Bournemouth (Premier League)
Wednesday 15 July – Newcastle vs Tottenham (Premier League)
Wednesday 15 July – Arsenal vs Liverpool (Premier League)
Wednesday 15 July – Udinese vs Lazio (Serie A)
Wednesday 15 July – Sassuolo vs Juventus (Serie A)
Wednesday 15 July – AC Milan vs Parma (Serie A)
Earlier in the week, Manchester United host Southampton on Monday, while Chelsea welcome already relegated Norwich City to Stamford Bridge.
United are ending the season strongly—they’ve won their last four league games on the bounce—with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting the most readily useful out of the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and wonderkid Mason Greenwood.
Bruno Fernandes, obviously, is receiving most the plaudits for his instrumental role behind leading three, while Paul Pogba appears determined to play his part as United get over the line in Champions League qualification.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have proved that they’re not the real deal under rookie coach Frank Lampard, losing two of these last four.
They were hapless as they were thumped 3-0 by Sheffield United, and the visit of Norwich—already bound for the Championship—may yet be considered a banana skin.
Across the rest of Europe this week, we’re also set for crunch fixtures in Serie A and LaLiga.
All of the most notable three in Italy dropped points this weekend, with Lazio and Internazionale failing continually to capitalise on Juventus’ slip-ups.
The Old Lady took just one point from their last two matches—and were held by Atalanta on Saturday—but Lazio’s form has evaporated, and they’ve lost their last three.
Juve are away at Sassuolo on Wednesday, trying to return to winning ways, while Inter—held by Hellas Verona on Friday—will be desperate to just take all three points if they face 16th-placed Torino on Monday.
Atalanta will also be in action this week following their heroics against Juve on Saturday; twice the Serie A surprise package took the lead, and twice these were pegged back by Cristiano Ronaldo penalties.
They’re nine points behind Juve ahead of the visit of Brescia on Tuesday, and can they keep the directly the leaders—and reduce the gap—before Ronaldo and co. try the field on Wednesday?
In Spain, Barcelona’s go back to form has put the pressure back on Real Madrid.
Barca have won their last three in a row, adhering to a stutter by which they drew back-to-back games, and Real’s lead is just one point as we approach the final week of the campaign.
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Zinedine Zidane’s side can take a huge step towards the title if they win their game in hand—away at Granada on Monday—which would leave them needing one more victory from their final two matches (at home against Villarreal and away at Leganes) to secure the title.
“It’s the last week and we have three games,” Zidane told journalists. “It’s the absolute most difficult week, the most important one.
“All the teams have what to play for and we want to put all our energy into [Monday]’s game.”