Arsenal cannot afford to drop points against Sheff Utd at Bramall Lane.
As every game passes the pressure on Arsenal will increase simply because expectations have changed.
At the start of the season, Arsenal was expected to struggle to make top-four, no point denying that. Liverpool and Man City were expected to occupy the top two spots with Tottenham likely third. That was the general consensus.
That has now changed, Arsenal has done well so far losing just once, whereas Tottenham and Man Utd are in freefall. However, Chelsea and Leicester City are doing better than most expected.
A win tomorrow night and Arsenal would be six-points ahead of Spurs and potentially nine ahead of United.
A loss or draw against Sheffield and a golden opportunity would have been wasted to consolidate a top-four position.
Now, even if United and Spurs fail to recover their seasons there will still be at least three teams fighting for two top-four spots and so the pressure will not relent.
Every time Chelsea or Leicester win the pressure will increase and the same now applies if they drop points. Arsenal has to take advantage whenever given the chance and tomorrow night is a massive opportunity for Unai Emery and his men.
No comfort zone
There is no comfort zone anymore and it will not get any more comfortable as the season progresses. Now is a huge test for Emery, he failed this exact test last season, he cannot do so again.
Of course, it is far too early to take anything for granted but Arsenal has a chance to put a gap between themselves and Spurs and United. Last season they blew these opportunities big time, they cannot afford to do that again.
In better words, even after just eight games, Arsenal has their destiny in their own hands. Hopefully, they can handle that pressure better this season than they did last season.