Analysis of Arsenal’s fixtures in April by SE
The Gunners have enjoyed a 100% win record across all competitions during March. They have defeated the likes of Everton, Queens Park Rangers, West Ham United and Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League. Arsenal also registered a 2-0 win over AS Monaco in the 2nd leg of their Champions League R-16 tie and progressed to the semifinals of this season’s FA Cup after beating Manchester United in the quarterfinals at Old Trafford. Looking ahead to April, what are the fixtures awaiting a rampant Arsenal side that is playing arguably the best brand of football in the country at the moment?
April 4th: at home vs Liverpool
This clash at the Emirates will see two in-form sides in the Barclays Premier League pitted against each other. Liverpool slumped to their first defeat of this calendar year against Manchester United last weekend, and would be under immense pressure to achieve a positive result against 3rd placed Arsenal.
However, to add insult to injury, the Merseysiders could be without seven of the main players of their squad — Adam Lallana (groin injury), Steven Gerrard (3-match suspension), Martin Skrtel (also suspended), Dejan Lovren (abdominal wall injury), Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Simon Mignolet (all unspecified) — for the visit to North London. Wenger’s wizards, considering their current form, don’t need any favours from their opponents, but facing an injury-hit Liverpool side might make the job a little easier for Arsenal.
April 11th: away to Burnley
The crucial home game versus the Reds is followed by a tricky trip to Turf Moor to face relegation-threatened Burnley. The Clarets haven’t done too badly of late, and Sean Dyche’s men, with their willingness to work hard, could make things a bit difficult for Wenger’s side. Arsenal cannot afford to underestimate Burnley, who not so long ago defeated a lethargic Manchester City side at home, and need to emphasize on scoring that all-important first goal early on in the game.
April 18th: at Wembley vs Reading in the FA Cup
Arsenal’s FA Cup semifinal opponents are languishing in 19th place in the Championship and you have to think that the currently 3rd placed Premier League side might prove too strong for their lowly opponents. Arsenal, barring an unlikely implosion, should progress to the finals of this season’s FA Cup and have the chance to retain the crown they won last season.
April 26th: at home to Chelsea
Arsenal face a home clash against their London rivals, Chelsea, to round off the month of April. As a manager, Wenger has yet to defeat Jose Mourinho, having failed in his previous 12 attempts that have seen the French manager lose 7 and draw 5 of those games against his long term Portuguese adversary. However, you can’t help but think that Arsenal, if they continue in this rich vein of form and register a win over Liverpool at the beginning of next month, will be quite confident of facing the West Londoners who have not been at their best over the last couple of months.
The home games against Liverpool and Chelsea will dominate the thought processes of Arsenal players once April begins. They, however, can’t afford to take Burnley lightly, as it would be an unnecessary howler to commit. The semifinal clash against Reading at the Wembley Stadium should be an easy fixture for the North Londoners, who have been irrepressible during the month of March.