5 Biggest fixtures for Arsenal in the 2022-23 Premier League
The preparations for the upcoming Premier League edition have already started in the Red half of London as Arsenal has been chosen for the opening game of the season. They will be facing the city-rivals Crystal Palace FC on the 6th of November which will kick-start the 2022-23 season of English top-flight football carnival.
The announcement has generated hype among the Arsenal fans who have a lot of expectations from the Gunners after their promising finish in the last season.
The London-based club finished 2021-22 EPL in the fifth position and missed out on the golden opportunity to be back in the Champions League after the absence in Europe’s grandest stage since 2016. The Gunners were indulged in a triple-threat fight with the other Londoners, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur for the two UCL spots but eventually lost the race by just two points.
Arsenal was outside the Top 10 throughout the first nine fixtures, then they took a leap and remained in the Top 6 for the rest of the campaign. The Spanish gaffer in the London artillery, Mikel Arteta is well acquainted with the culture of this historic club and the strengths of his roster. The turnaround of the previous season proves that Arteta is capable enough to take them to new heights if things go in his way right from the start.
The Spaniard will be guiding a young squad consisting of prominent faces and will be aiming to end their six-year drought in UEFA Champions League. So, let’s have a look at the list of 5 toughest fixtures for Arsenal in the 2022-23 EPL season.
#5 Arsenal vs Liverpool – 8th October
Arsenal’s second silverware under the tenure of Mikel Arteta came against Liverpool when they lifted the 2020 FA Community Shield by cutting down the Reds on penalties. Just right after a month of their Community Shield triumph, they went on to register another victory over Liverpool on penalties and this time it was the Round of 16 of Carabao Cub. Every manager in the Premier League has gone through tough times while facing the German gaffer Jurgen Klopp but the Gunners have proven themselves capable enough to sway the Merseyside forces.
The Reds have a pleasant recent record against the Londoners after completing two consecutive doubles in the English top-flight football league. Arsenal has failed to score past the Liverpool side in their previous six face-offs across all competitions as the last goal-scoring Gunner was Alexander Lacazette who no longer dons the Red and White colors. They will be hosting the champions of the 2019-20 edition at Emirates Stadium on 8th October which will be their back-to-back tough home fixture following the North London Derby.
#4 Arsenal vs Manchester City – 18th August
Before joining the London Reds, Arteta was part of Manchester City’s coaching staff and served the Citizens as an assistant coach for three seasons. From their Barcelona days, Arteta has been very close with Pep Guardiola and also polished coaching skills under his guidance during the City stint. The two Spaniards are well-versed in each other’s style of coaching and tactical approach hence the encounter will be the toughest to crack for both of them.
Arsenal’s last victory over the Sky Blues came back in 2015 when the legendary Arsene Wenger was in charge of the club while City had the likes of Yaya Toure and Joe Hart in their ranks. Since then the Citizens are cruising on an undefeated streak of 13 games in the Premier League which depicts the downfall of the almighty. The Gunners are aiming to break the winless run as they will be hosting the defending champions at their home ground on 18th August.
#3 Arsenal vs Manchester United – 3rd September
There were times when the Arsenal-United fixture was on the top of everyone’s list whenever there was a debate on the Premier League’s biggest rivalry going on. The feud between Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, the Battle of Buffet, and the famous switch of Robin van Persie from Arsenal to United are many such iconic moments in this rivalry. The almighty has fallen in this modern era and both of them are no longer strong competitors for the Premier League title yet have managed to keep the competitiveness of this fixture always high.
Arsenal fielded a young squad the last time they faced Manchester United and still claimed all three match points from the paws of the Red Devils. The trio of young gunners Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, and Emile Smith Rowe each bagged a from their two United fixtures of the previous season and will have the scoring responsibilities in this season too, due to the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. They will be visiting the Old Trafford on 3rd September while the home fixture will take place on the 21st of January 2023.
#2 Chelsea vs Arsenal – 5th November
Whether it’s Red or Blue, one thing is inevitable that London always turns up in big whenever the city’s two biggest football clubs take on each other. When the Gunners took their revenge for Europa League final upset by defeating Chelsea in the 2020 FA Cup final, Arteta became the first Arsenal general since the year 1980 to lift the trophy in his first year in charge. Arsenal will be travelling to the Stamford Bridge on 5th November as their second-last Premier League fixture before dispatching the mega event of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The previous encounter between these two combatants was a high-scoring saga where the Gunners registered an emphatic victory by 4-2 and painted the English capital red. The young Arsenal attack outclassed the Chelsea defenders as the 23-year-old Eddie Nketiah scored the brace while Saka and Smith Rowe fetched one goal each.
#1 Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal – 14th January
The craze of the North London Derby has drastically risen in the 21st century as the rivalry has been often considered one of the most fierce rivalries in English top-flight football. The distance between two hubs of North London football is just 6km hence the away crowd always shows up in numbers to provide the back for their side in the Derby.
They had an intense battle between them for the final ticket to Champions League in which Arsenal was leading the race till the 36th matchday but then Spurs emerged victorious in one-on-one combat and had the last laugh. Arsenal used to manhandle their North London counterparts in the past few decades as the Gunners were also on a 21-game undefeated streak from 1999 to 2008.
But the recent rise of the Tottenham has brought back the competitiveness and relevance of this rivalry. Arsenal will be hosting the arch-rivals on the 1st of October to seek revenge for their expulsion from the UCL race in the final stage of the EPL campaign while Spurs will host Arteta’s men on January 14 after the mid-season break.