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Arsenal’s Christmas Challenge

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Arsenal Football Club has had an inconsistent season so far to say the least. Often shrouded by news regarding the futures of manager Arsene Wenger and star men Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, their displays at times leave plenty to be desired.

There have been a few false dawns this season like their two nil victory over archrivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates – the first since Mauricio Pochettino took over at their North London rivals – but such performances have been few and far between for the Gunners in recent times.

Despite their mightily impressive home form that has seen them win 13 out of their last 14 Premier League home matches, a run of only 2 away victories so far this season has been a source for concern amongst fans who have been betting on Arsenal.

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Their poor away form has proven to be their undoing so far this season has The Gunners are currently outside the top 4 in fifth. Another finish outside the top 4 will prove to be disastrous for the club as it is already difficult enough to attract quality players to The Emirates and even to keep their current stars – as is the case with Ozil and Sanchez who are seemingly running down their current contracts with the club ahead of summer moves away.

Ahead of a defining set of fixtures to end the year, Wenger’s men need to start performing at their best to keep their hopes of a top 4 finish alive. Trips to Crystal Palace and West Brom (grounds where they faced defeats last season) follow a very crucial home match against Liverpool who are currently 1 point ahead of The Gunners in fourth.

The last meeting between these two sides came on August 27th at Anfield, which saw Arsenal totally torn apart by Liverpool’s blistering attack. A 4-0 defeat to a rival so early in the season did nothing to inspire confidence in the team for fans who had already been calling for the manager’s ‘head’.

Arsene Wenger has since steadied the ship, with a semi-final berth in the Carabao cup already secured as well as a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League (a competition that offers another route into the Champions League for the winners) and as was established earlier are within touching distance of the much-coveted top 4 places.

There are a few absentees for The Arsenal ahead of Friday’s mega clash at The Emirates. Olivier Giroud will be missing from the squad as he picked up a hamstring injury in midweek’s Carabao Cup victory over West Ham United. Aaron Ramsey has been ruled out until the New Year at least, with the same injury as Giroud but defender Shkodran Mustafi has returned to the squad having recovered from a thigh injury in a timely boost to the manager.

The veteran manager is set to stick with a back four after abandoning the back three system that served them so well towards the backend of last season. The Gunners defense will have to be extremely focused to deal with Liverpool’s ‘fab four’ of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and the leagues’ top scorer Mohamed Salah.
The predicted lineup should see, Petr Cech in goal, in defense; Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Saed Kolasinac. In central midfield, Granit Xhaka and Jack Wilshere – in place of the injured Aaron Ramsey.

The attack will see, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi as the trio behind center forward Alex Lacazette.
It promises to be a very intriguing match, which offers a chance for The Arsenal to stake their claim for a top 4 finish and also a chance to attain vengeance for the demolition at Anfield.
A run of victories in their next three fixtures could see The Gunners firmly placed on the log ahead of another massively important game against Chelsea three days into the New Year at The Emirates.

The writer is a passionate Man United fan. He has good insights into the world of football especially the English Premier League.

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Arsenal

Arsenal Set To Recall Striker From Loan Spell

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North London giants Arsenal have concluded plans to recall young striker Eddie Nketiah from his loan spell at English Championship outfit Leeds United.

According to the Daily Mail, Eddie Nketiah will leave Leeds United when the transfer window reopens in the coming days after manager Marcelo Bielsa failed to give him a lot of playing time as expected.

Eddie Nketiah came through the ranks at Arsenal before he made his debut for the first team.

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The England junior international joined Leeds United on loan from Arsenal in the summer.

Since joining Leeds United, Eddie Nketiah has scored five goals in 13 appearances with a lot of his playing time coming as a substitute.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has preferred Patrick Bamford in the attack this season.

With the new development, Eddie Nketiah could join English Championship side Bristol City on loan for the second half of the season once his Leeds United loan has been terminated.

Eddie Nketiah has one Premier League goal for Arsenal and that came on the final day of last season.

The young Arsenal striker scored one of the goals as the Gunners beat hosts Burnley 3-1 in their final league game.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the other two goals for Arsenal.

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Arsenal, Everton Options For Highly Rated La Liga Manager

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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is on the verge of leaving the Spanish club as confirmed by the various reports from the media in Spain.

Diego Simeone has struggled to achieve results for Atletico Madrid this season especially in the Spanish La Liga and members of the Atletico Madrid board are growing frustrated with the situation.

Atletico Madrid are in a disappointing sixth position on the league table with 25 points from 15 league games.

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The former Spanish champions are six points adrift of league leaders Barcelona who have played a game less than Atletico Madrid.

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone could be an option for the Premier League duo of Arsenal and Everton if he leaves the Spanish club.

Both Arsenal and Everton have struggled in the Premier League this season especially in the last two months.

Everton have dropped into the bottom three of the Premier League table under Marco Silva and the Portuguese manager will lose his job as a result.

On their part, Arsenal are looking for a permanent manager after the dismissal of Unai Emery.

Ex-Sevilla, Valencia and Almeria boss Unai Emery spent just 18 months in North London before he was booted out of the job.

Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg is now in temporary charge of the team.

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Pochettino Won’t Take Arsenal Job Because Of These Four Players

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Former West Ham midfielder and Leicester City manager Martin Allen is certain that Mauricio Pochettino will stay away from the Arsenal job because of four players.

Martin Allen talked about the transfer links involving Mauricio Pochettino and Arsenal while he was doing his punditry job on LoveSport.

According to him, Pochettino won’t take the Arsenal job mainly because of their incompetent central defenders and central midfielders.

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Martin Allen said that the two Arsenal center-backs of David Luiz and Skhrodan Mustafi, as well as the Arsenal midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi, are not good enough for a top team like Arsenal and Mauricio Pochettino would prefer to take up a managerial job elsewhere.

Mauricio Pochettino is a free man at the moment after he was relieved of his job as the Tottenham Hotspur manager.

The Argentine tactician lost his job at Spurs five months after leading the North London club to the Champions League final.

The Arsenal job became vacant last week Friday after Unai Emery was sacked due to the recent run of poor results.

Spanish tactician Unai Emery also led Arsenal to a European final last season before the ex-Valencia and Sevilla was sacked six months later.

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EPL: Pochettino’s Stance On Vacant Arsenal Job Revealed

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Sacked Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has been strongly linked with the managerial job at Arsenal since it became available last week.

According to the report from the Manchester Evening News (MEN), Mauricio Pochettino is open to the idea of taking the managerial job at Arsenal.

It was also revealed that his preference is the Manchester United job but the Arsenal job is also a viable option for him despite his ties with Tottenham Hotspur.

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Mauricio Pochettino lost his job as the Tottenham Hotspur manager after the poor start to this campaign.

He led Tottenham to just three wins in the first 12 league games played under him and that poor form led to his exit some months after the Champions League final.

Mauricio Pochettino masterminded the run to the Champions League final for Tottenham Hotspur before they were beaten by Liverpool.

Tottenham Hotspur have since appointed Jose Mourinho as his replacement and the Portuguese tactician has led his new club to three successive wins in all competitions ahead of the Premier League trip to former club Manchester United.

Apart from the Arsenal job, Mauricio Pochettino is also a top contender for the managerial job at Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

 

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Arsenal Add Another Name To Managerial Shortlist

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North London giants Arsenal have added another name to their managerial shortlist as the search for the replacement for Unai Emery continues.

According to the publication from Goal, Arsenal have made former Valencia and Villarreal manager Marcelona a target in the quest to appoint a new manager.

It was revealed that Marcelino has been added to their long list of potential managers in the quest to replace Unai Emery in his former role as the permanent manager at the Emirates Stadium.

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Marcelino led Valencia to the Europa League semifinals last season before his team lost to Arsenal.

He was sacked as the Valencia manager at the start of this season.

Arsenal are looking for a new manager after Unai Emery wad sacked on Friday following a run of seven games without a win in all competitions.

Former Arsenal winger Freddie Ljungberg was a part of his (Unai Emery) coaching crew this season and he has been given the responsibility of leading the club until a new manager is appointed.

Freddie Ljungberg managed his first game during the Premier League trip to Norwich City at the weekend.

Arsenal came from behind twice during that game to rescue a 2-2 draw against the Canaries.

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EPL: Arsenal Tipped To End Barren Run vs Brighton

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Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has backed North London giants Arsenal to return to winning ways at the end of their Premier League game with Brighton and Hove Albion later this week.

In his column for BBC Sports, the former Liverpool player predicted a win for Arsenal over their opponents.

Arsenal host Brighton at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night and Mark Lawrenson believes that the North London giants will beat the Seagulls 2-0 to end their barren run of eight games without victory in all competitions.

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The Gunners have gone six matches without a victory in the league including the 2-2 draw at the home of Norwich City on Sunday.

The Norwich City game was the first for Arsenal legend Freddie Ljunberg who have been placed in temporary charge after Unai Emery was sacked at the end of last month.

Freddie Ljunberg is a former Arsenal winger and was part of the Invincibles who went through the whole season without a single defeat during the 2003/04 Premier League campaign.

He would be hoping that the team can end their poor winless run under his watch.

Ahead of the game, defenders Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding are doubtful for the game with respective injuries.

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EPL: Confirm Arsenal Starting Lineup vs Brighton Revealed

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Interim Arsenal manager Freddie Ljunberg will take charge of his first game at home when the Gunners host Brighton and Hove Albion at home with the aim of ending their poor run of games without a single win.

Arsenal have gone eight games without a win in all competitions with six of those games coming in the Premier League where they have fallen off the table and are far from the chasing pack mainly because of their poor form.

The Gunners have drawn four and lost two of their last six games in the Premier League.

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They have not tasted victory in the Premier League since the slim 1-0 win over Bournemouth on October 6.

Since the win over the Cherries, Arsenal have drawn all their three games.

In his first game as an Arsenal manager, Freddie Ljunberg was unable to get a win as the Gunners drew 2-2 at the home of Norwich City on Sunday evening.

The Arsenal legend would be hoping to guide his beloved team to a first win in nine games in all competitions against Brighton.

Likely Arsenal XI vs Brighton (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac; Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi; Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Nicholas Pepe; Alexandre Lacazette.

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Arsenal, Man Utd Target Eager To Return To Football Management

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Ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he’s keen to get back to the dugout just weeks after his last managerial job.

In his latest interview as monitored by Fox Sports, Mauricio Pochettino talked about the possibility of returning to football management as soon as possible despite the fact that he was just sacked by Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last month.

According to him, he is still very young and doesn’t need too much time to recover before getting another managerial job.

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The Argentine tactician also confirmed that he has received many offers since his dismissal from Spurs.

Fellow Premier League sides like Arsenal and Manchester United are also said to be among the clubs interested in Mauricio Pochettino.

German champions Bayern Munich are still without a permanent manager since the sacking of Niko Kovac last month and Mauricio Pochettino is said to be one of the frontrunners for the job.

For now, interim manager Hans Flick is in charge of the first team at Bayern Munich at the moment.

Mauricio Pochettino spent over five years at Spurs and his biggest achievement was the Champions League final last season.

His Spurs team lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the final.

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