It is game week 25 in the Premier League and Arsenal host Leeds united for the first time in the top flight since 2004 on Sunday, recalling that just “one point and one place” separates both teams in the Premier League table.
The visitors will be coming into the Emirates Stadium sitting at 10th position at the table and having an outstanding match which could give them leverage above the hosts who got into the bottom half of the league after losing away at Aston Villa, last week.
The last time Arsenal had Leeds over, that was during the Invincible campaign with Robert Pires scoring once and Thierry Henry scoring four goals as the gunners beat their visitors in April 2004, those days could look like a very long time for Arsenal fans who are now sitting behind Leeds United for the midtable battle.
The recent rise of the gunners have hit a brick wall with two defeats in a row, losing to Wolverhampton at the Molineux stadium and then to Aston-Villa at villa park last weekend and picking 17 out of 21 points on offer.
After this game, six of Arsenal’s games would come against teams who are above them in the table including, Leicester City, Manchester City and also having a double-header match against Benfica in the Europa League coming up before the month-end.
Arteta will have to focus on the positive side of his campaign this season one of which is Arsenal haven’t conceded a goal in their turf this season, and that the Gunners have been unbeaten in their last five games across all competitions at the Emirates since before Christmas last year, if there is another clean sheet, it would see the Gunners keep five clean sheets in a row at home for the first time since 5 years ago.
The North London side have also been unbeaten in their last 27 home league games against promoted league sides for as far back as a decade, with the visitors not being able to win any out of their 12 visits to the capital losing 10 since 1933-1938, and Leeds have lost all three of such games, although their form in this buildup can raise belief that they can end the curse of the Capital.
Marcelo Bielsa and his team have won three of their last four games to climb above Arsenal in the table and having a game in hand, another victory on Sunday would see them have three straight wins for the first time since August 2002.
Leeds are capable of putting frustration on Mikel Arteta’s men, and they are capable also of failing to a defeat as their inconsistency over the months have been showing as far as results are concerned.
Arsenal will be without Left-back Kieran Tierney due to leg injury and Thomas Partey who is out with a hamstring injury for this match, although they can be ready for the next match against Manchester City.
There is good news as Goalkeeper Bernd Leno and David Luis as both players are now available for selection, Aubameyang was on the bench in the last match but could be leading the mark again, Odegaard and Willian will also hope for starting roles.
Bukayo Saka and Lacazette will hope to find their form again and be on the starting lineup.
Jack Harrison should be seen starting as he has been in fine form, netting three goals in his last four games, Kalvin Phillips was taken off against Crystal Palace on Monday and will face a fitness test ahead of this game.
Diego Llorente, Rodrigo Moreno, Robin Koch, Pablo Hernandez, Ian Poveda-Ocampo, Adam Forshaw, and Gaetano Berardi are all still sidelined for the Whites.
ARSENAL: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Cedric, Xhaka, Ceballos, Saka, E. Smith-Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
LEEDS: Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Alioski, Shackleton, Raphinha, Dallas, Klick, Harrison, Bamford.
Arsenal 3-1 Leeds
Match Preview by Adeyemo Adesola