The ruthless nature of Premier League football means that even if you’ve been knocked back down, you don’t have all too long to get back up and go again. Arsenal are in a similar situation, because in a little over 24 hours, they’ll be going head to head with Brighton & Hove Albion, just a few days removed from a humbling defeat at the hands of Manchester City.
On paper this is going to be a much more favourable game for them, but of course, this league doesn’t always work like that. The morale is clearly pretty low in North London, but they have to look at this as a potential opportunity to really send a message to their competitors in the top six race.
The big focus for Brighton in the next few months is going to be survival. They were in freefall before lockdown, and their fans must be praying that the break has done them some kind of good. We’ve seen Arsenal struggle against teams like this in the past that are battling for their top flight lives, and that’s the big danger here. If the Seagulls throw everything they’ve got at us, will we have enough to stop them?
Mikel Arteta knows who the weak links were in the game against City, and he knows what he has to change in order to pick up a result here. Everyone can see that the Spaniard wants to push the club towards a new direction, and that’s admirable. He is giving opportunities to younger stars, and he’s also doing everything he can to ensure the biggest senior players stay on the books beyond the summer. Regardless of how this season ends up, he needs to be given a full campaign in 2020/21.
We do think Arsenal are going to win this game but we most certainly do not think it’s going to be easy. Arsenal have a habit of dominating a game early on before letting it slip through their fingers, and while we don’t quite believe that’ll happen, we do feel as if it’s going to be close. We’re predicting Arsenal to score early in the game before clinging on for a 1-0 win, and while that may not be the most attractive of results, it’s exactly what they need in order to start pushing towards the top four.
Will Arsenal be able to get back to winning ways?