Arsenal v Chelsea is the big game on Monday Night and Thomas Rooney of Footballtips.com explains why it could be make or break time for the Gunners’ season.
It might seem too early to make such a statement, but if Arsenal lose at home to Chelsea this week – which they have already done this season – they drop to 4th in the Premier League table.
After the run they have been on, the optimism the club has gathered and all the hard work – this would be a devastating blow.
Arsene Wenger and everyone associated with the club would be eating their Christmas dinner, looking at the table in disbelief. One second they are the team to beat – the next they are hanging on for 4th.
The dropped points against Everton were extremely significant in this and could prove to be the moment it started going wrong for Arsenal. Win that one and they were in control.
They have the chance to put it right on Monday evening though and this is yet another reason this can be seen as the biggest match of their season so far. They are about to set the tone for the season.
It is of course a massive match for Chelsea too. Win this one and they not only beat their title rivals, but Jose Mourinho’s men go 2nd in the table, behind Liverpool on goal difference.
Now, you could argue that the Blues haven’t been anywhere near their best this season so this would be quite something. Mourinho’s teams often peak from the New Year onwards too.
Anyway – back to Arsenal.
This is just an opinion, but should they lose to Chelsea, the title looks a long, long way off. Holding onto a lead is a lot easier than trying to play catch-up.
This is especially the case for Arsenal. The atmosphere at the Emirates has been different this season, largely because they have been the team to watch. They have been the runaway leaders.
This would feel like a distant memory if they lose on Monday. Of course, they are not out of it as it would only be a point separating them from top spot.
Can I see them out performing Liverpool, Man City AND Chelsea in the second-half of the season though? If they lose, this task looks extremely difficult, especially with morale affected.
So, come 8pm on Monday, it is time for Arsenal to deliver. They are good enough and they are motivated for one last push before Christmas.
Three points certainly make the next few weeks a lot easier. The Gunners need to be top of the tree on Boxing Day. It’s crunch time.
Thomas Rooney is a betting expert at footballtips.com, a site offering Premier League odds, tips and news.