Arsenal have the daunting task of taking on the newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool tonight, in what could be a must-win game for our side.
We go into the tie on the back of a loss to North London rivals Tottenham, which has left us down in ninth place in the division, with only three matches remaining to try and secure a top-seven finish in order to seal European football for next season.
We do have a possible back-up option to get into the Europa League however in the shape of the FA Cup, but with Manchester City to beat at the weekend for a place in the final, before having to beat one of Chelsea or Manchester United, that is FAR from a formality.
Liverpool have little to play for, having wrapped up their first Premier League title, but are believed to be keen to reach 100 points, with seven points needed from their final three fixtures.
The Reds have no distractions, no FA Cup or European competitions to concentrate on, and the 100-point goal will be their only inspiration, but they have been grinding out the wins despite having little to play for.
Liverpool have won three of their last five matches, just as Arsenal have, although our side has failed to win in each of our last two matches.
Mikel Arteta will have to have the team fired up if he has any hopes of climbing up into the European places, while the players must know that a loss today will likely cement their place outside the top seven, should Sheffield United and Wolves win against Leicester and Burnley respectively over today and tomorrow.
I’m struggling to feel confident about our sides chances today given our recent run of results, but given the importance that the tie possesses, I’m going to back our boys to fight for the result we need.
We were the better side for much of the Tottenham tie, but Liverpool will not be expected to line-up in Jose Mourinho fashion, and we will surely be able to carve out the chances needed to get goals tonight, and I’m going to be backing our side to get a 2-1 win.
Am I alone in thinking the importance of the tie gives us an edge going into tonight’s match? Will Liverpool be keen to end our chances of earning European football via our league position?