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November: A make or break month for Arsenal

Sunderland v Arsenal - Premier League

When Arsenal lost to Liverpool on the opening, many thought it was going to be a long, hard and arduous season for the Gunners. Fast forward to the beginning of November and Arsene Wenger’s men are on a 15-game unbeaten streak in all competitions. New signings Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka have settled well, especially the former, while Rob Holding and Lucas Perez have also shown to be solid acquisitions, albeit in a much lesser role than Xhaka and Mustafi. Arsenal’s run of form, however, could well come to end in the near distant future. November is Arsenal’s typical bogey month for injuries, while they also have to play Tottenham, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Bournemouth and Southampton – a very tough run of fixtures. 

If Arsenal want to prove they can finally win the title, these next few games will be essential to that. The North London derby is a game charged full of emotion and intensity, with Tottenham’s standing in the League, this will only be even greater. Tottenham are unbeaten in the League, and if Arsenal were to beat them that would six points between them and their north London rivals. The games don’t get any easier, however, as Wenger will face his arch nemesis, Jose Mourinho.

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After a solid start to the season, Manchester United have faltered and seem to be going through a sticky patch, this isn’t to say that Mourinho couldn’t get a win over a man who he has never lost to. Manchester United might not be the team they once were but if Arsenal want to win the League they must defeat the Red Devils. Mourinho will more than likely employ two solid banks of four to shut Arsenal down, thus if Wenger’s men can beat them, it might just be the biggest indicator of their progression. 

The final two games of the month against Bournemouth in the League and Southampton in the English Football League Cup, could either be two opportunities to continue Arsenal’s form or salvage some pride. Bournemouth should be a comfortable win but who knows in the League, Southampton, on the other hand, will be anything but easy. With it being a Cup game, Wenger could well field a weakened side, arguably the logical option. Southampton has been Arsenal’s bogey team over the last few years and with Claude Puel at the helm, that could well continue. 

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If Arsenal can finish the month with seven points in the League, pretty much secure top spot in the group (in the Champions League), – League Cup progression is a bonus – then it would be a superb month. The Gunners don’t usually do well in November but if Wenger’s men can have a strong month, a serious title challenge could well be ahead. 

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