The race for the top four will take another pivotal turn on Sunday as Arsenal host Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
The hosts have slipped down to sixth place courtesy of a poor run of form before the international break, while Man City sit seven points better off in third.
This is surely the lowest point yet of Wenger’s long reign. Pressure on him to stand down at the end of the season has reached unprecedented levels, and it seems for the first time as if the majority of the Arsenal fans are now in the ‘Wenger Out’ camp.
The Gunners have suffered four defeats in their last five Premier League games – their worst ever run of form under Wenger – and in the meantime they were also humiliated on the European stage by a 10-2 aggregate loss at the hands of Bayern Munich.
Such form has seen them slump to sixth in the table – only the second time in Premier League history that they have been outside the top five in April – and just as damagingly has created a civil war of sorts amongst supporters.
City, however, come into this weekend’s match in much better shape than their hosts and, while Guardiola has said for some time that Chelsea are out of reach, second place is still very much in their sights with a two-point gap separating them from Tottenham Hotspur.
Back-to-back draws – the last of which was a breathless and frantic stalemate with Liverpool before the international break – have harmed their chances, though, and the fixture list does not make particularly good reading over the closing stages of the campaign.
After Sunday’s trip to the Emirates Stadium they will return to London on Wednesday to face the runaway league leaders Chelsea, while they must also take on Manchester United before the season is over – not forgetting their continued participation in the FA Cup.
Arsenal could finally welcome Ozil back into the starting XI following a six-week spell on the sidelines.
However, the Gunners do have injury concerns elsewhere, with Petr Cech ruled out due to a calf injury and Lucas Perez unavailable because of a thigh problem.
City trio Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Pablo Zabaleta all suffered injury scares during the international break but have recovered in time for the weekend and should be available for selection.
Bacary Sagna has also overcome a groin strain, leaving long-term absentees Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus as Guardiola’s only injury concerns.
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Elneny, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud
Man City possible starting lineup:
Caballero; Fernandinho, Stones, Otamendi, Clichy; Sterling, De Bruyne, Toure, Silva, Sane; Aguero
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