Arsenal: 4 worries in the top four race against Spurs

Arsenal fans applaud Arsenal's English midfielder Bukayo Saka during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. - - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal fans applaud Arsenal's English midfielder Bukayo Saka during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. - - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Arsenal, B
4 big worries for Arsenal in the top four race against Tottenham with just four Premier League matches left to play. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /

These are nervy times. While the prospect of heading into the North London Derby knowing a win could clinch top four is one Arsenal fans are starting to entertain, this is far from over.

Just four matches remain of this engrossing Premier League season, one where there is everything still to play for across the table.

Up in the elite section is a title battle between Manchester City and Liverpool that is set to go down to the wire, all the way down at the bottom a three-way tussle to avoid the drop has emerged between Burnley, Everton and Leeds, and over at the European spots there is still no certainty over who will clinch fourth.

The matches involving Arsenal and Tottenham this weekend impact all three of those subsections.

4 big worries for Arsenal in the top four race against Tottenham with just four Premier League matches left to play

Spurs will make the daunting journey to Anfield looking to maintain their push for a top four place just as Liverpool want to keep their title bid in tact. The other side of north London is clearly involved in a top four chase too, with that result also having huge permutations on the outcome of the relegation places.

It’s exciting…for some.

For the other more jittery Arsenal fans around (guilty) all manner of thoughts are running through the head, mapping out every worst case scenario and inflicting unnecessary personal worry. It’s quite hard not to, though, as so much is on the line.

What is most worrying? Well, for the final furlong, four areas spring to mind.

Arsenal, Fat Frank
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 12: Frank Lampard the manager / head coach of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Leeds United at Goodison Park on February 12, 2022 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images) /

1. Facing Two Relegation Candidates

Seeing Leeds and Everton as the remaining home games on the fixture list, who combined have only three more points than Arsenal, would normally be a source of relief. They’re very poor teams who are fighting relegation for a reason.

The fact that the pair are on the agenda at the tail end of the season when their respective Premier League statuses are on the line provides significantly less scope for optimism.

There have been some miraculous escapes from the jaws of the Championship down the years, with Sunderland’s memorable survival in 2014 when they were seven points from safety with just six games to play being one of them. That final run saw them secure wins away at Chelsea and Manchester United, among others.

It proves that even the worst teams pull off the biggest surprises, and in that season it required 36 points to avoid the drop. As it stands Leeds have 34, which shows that they’re far from the worst we’ve seen in this division.

Sides scrapping for their lives can often find a new gear. Playing two of those, whether at home or not, is anything but ideal. Mid-season wouldn’t be a problem, but when it’s two thirds of the possible candidates at the business end of the calendar it does strike fear into the heart.

Continued on next page…