7 Key Dates for Your Diary After 2018/19 Arsenal's Premier League Fixtures Announced

As the 2018/19 season looms, Arsenal are preparing to enter into a time of great uncertainty. The era of Arsene Wenger had its ups and downs, but it also had a sense of predictability - Gunners fans could always expect a reasonably high finish in the Premier League and a strong set of results overall.


This year, however, things are different. Arsenal are preparing for life under a new manager for the first time in 22 years, with no way of knowing whether their new boss will have what it takes to deliver a strong campaign for the club. 


Unai Emery's credentials are impressive, sure - his three consecutive Europa League triumphs with Sevilla speak for themselves - but the Premier League is a different beast altogether and plenty of good continental managers have failed to get to grips with it.


With the fixture list for the 2018/19 Premier League season now available, let's take a look at the seven games which could make or break Emery's maiden season at the Emirates.

1. Man City (H) - Saturday 11th August

The prospect of beginning his Arsenal career against Manchester City will have given Emery sleepless nights ever since he was announced as manager back in May. City's extraordinary 2017/18 campaign saw them storm to the league title with a record points tally of 100, while also breaking the record for number of goals scored in a Premier League season in the process.


City ran out 3-0 victors when these sides last met at the Emirates in March, just days after beating the Gunners by the same margin in the League Cup final. Unless Arsenal recruit well defensively and Emery drills his new side thoroughly, a repeat of this scoreline could well be on the cards.

2. Chelsea (A) - Saturday 18th August

Following on just one week after playing Manchester City, Emery's baptism of fire continues with a trip across London to face Chelsea


Circumstantially, the two sides have rather a lot in common - both suffered disappointing 2017/18 campaigns to miss out on Champions League qualification and both are likely to be starting the new season with a change in management, with Antonio Conte's future as Blues manager looking increasingly uncertain.


While this game looks more winnable than Arsenal's first match of the season, Stamford Bridge is rarely an easy place to visit and Emery's side will need to be on top form to stand a chance against Chelsea. If the Arsenal boss doesn't play his cards right here, he could be looking at 0 points from his first two league games in charge, instantly placing him under serious pressure.

3. Tottenham (H) - Saturday 1st December

Emery's first north London derby takes place at the Emirates on the first day of December, and the Spaniard will be eager to get one over on his new rivals at the first attempt. 


Tottenham  have now finished above Arsenal in two consecutive seasons, having famously failed to do so for 22 years previously - restoring the balance of power in north London would go a long way towards ensuring that Emery's first season at the club is viewed as a success.


Unfortunately for Arsenal, this will be easier said than done - Spurs have gone from strength to strength in recent campaigns and were comfortably the better side when the two clubs last met. However, Arsenal fans will be encouraged by the fact that their last north London derby at the Emirates ended in a 2-0 victory.

4. Manchester United (A) - Tuesday 4th December

Once again, the ordering of Arsenal's fixtures in 2018/19 could be Emery's undoing - his side face Manchester United at Old Trafford just three days after playing Spurs. Emery may have performed well at Sevilla and PSG, but can he do it on a cold Tuesday night in Manchester?


United were the best of the rest last season, beating Spurs and Liverpool to finish second behind runaway champions Manchester City. Jose Mourinho has turned United into a well-organised side who are tough to break down, even if they can be rather unadventurous in attack. 


This will undoubtedly be a tough game for Arsenal - however, if the likes of Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang play to their full potential, a victory for the Gunners is certainly on the cards here.

5. Brighton & Hove Albion (A) - Wednesday 26th December

Emery would usually be enjoying his winter break at this point in the season. Not this time, though - the Arsenal manager will get his first taste of Boxing Day action with a trip to the south coast to face Brighton


The Seagulls enjoyed an impressive first season in the Premier League last season, spending almost the entire season outside of the relegation zone and ultimately securing their survival with a couple of games to spare. 


Chris Hughton's side will certainly not roll over for Arsenal and the Gunners will need to bring their A-game to get past the defensive wall of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk.

6. Manchester City (A) - Saturday 2nd February

February. A month which for years has struck fear into the hearts of Arsenal fans due to it being the point in the season where the wheels would often come off under Wenger, paving the way for an underwhelming end to the season. 


Emery will be keen to prove his Arsenal side are not going to fade away in the second half of the 2018/19 season - and what better way to prove it than by getting a result at the Etihad?


Nobody is suggesting Arsenal should beat the champions on their own turf, or that anything less would be a disappointment. However, it would make quite a statement if the Gunners were able to get anything out of this match, especially with it coming at such a pivotal time in the season. Even a draw in this fixture would show the critics that Emery's Arsenal side mean business and aren't about to down tools with three months of the season to go.

7. Burnley (A) - Sunday 12th May

Nobody enjoys an away trip to Turf Moor, which became something of a fortress for Burnley as they defied expectations to finish seventh last season. Arsenal will be hoping to go into the last day of the season not needing a win, as they will most definitely have their work cut out if they are to take all three points here.


Sean Dyche's side represent everything Arsenal fans had to fear under Wenger - a tough, physical side capable of breaking up play and preventing the Gunners from playing their trademark style of free-flowing football. 


However, that was the old Arsenal; Emery has a chance to imbue the Gunners with a whole new footballing identity, perhaps one that makes them less of a pushover in physical contests. Time will tell, but this has the makings of a tricky finale to the season for Arsenal.

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