Arsene Wenger believes Sunday’s draw against Everton shows Arsenal are in good shape ahead of what could prove to be a huge week in their season.
The Gunners have made a magnificent start to the campaign, winning 11 of their 15 league clashes to sit five points clear at the top of the table. Arsenal are now 2/1 with Paddy Power to win the Premier League.
However, the next few days include two possible season defining clashes, with a trip to Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday, before facing Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next Saturday.
Although they are pretty much guaranteed a place in the knockout stages of Europe’s biggest club competition, they need to ensure that they avoid a heavy defeat to Rafael Benitez’s men, who themselves are struggling to make the last 16.
The game against the Citizens also promises to be a huge test, with the Gunners still having plenty of questions to answer against the big teams in the league, especially away from home after their disappointing defeat to Manchester United last month. Furthermore, the likes of Olivier Giroud has question marks hanging over his neck, despite being 9/1 to score the most goals over the Christmas Period fixtures.
The clash against the in-form Everton, who won at Old Trafford on Wednesday, was predicted to be somewhat of a banana skin but they came through with a draw after Gerard Deulofeu’s late goal equalised Mesut Ozil’s strike.
Wenger was pleased with the point and with Chelsea also coming to the Emirates in a few weeks, believes it sets them up nicely ahead of what could prove to be a period that makes or breaks their season.
Wenger stated: “It [a point] is not bad to take. Overall, ideally we wanted seven but at least we got five points [in front of Liverpool and Chelsea. It gives you a little bit of cushion to play in a serene way against the other teams. Now we go to the Champions League. It is important that we recover and we have a difficult task in Naples. Then we go to Manchester City on Saturday morning.”