IT may not be Arsenal’s toughest game this season, but Leeds at home on Sunday is definitely the club’s biggest match so far.
With every fixture comes increasing pressure as the Gunners look to secure Champions League football for the first time since 2016.
Arsenal go into Sunday’s home clash against Leeds having won three matches in a rowCredit: Reuters
Leeds know defeat at the Emirates could see them drop into the relegation zoneCredit: AFP
Mikel Arteta‘s side currently occupy fourth spot – two points above North London rivals Tottenham having won their last three Premier League games.
Arsenal go into their home meeting against Leeds buoyed by the news of Arteta penning a long-term contract at the Emirates until 2025.
If there was one fixture that Arsenal fans would want this weekend, Leeds at home would most likely be high up on supporters’ lists.
The Gunners, who smashed the Yorkshire outfit 4-1 in December at Elland Road, are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings against the Whites in all competitions, winning on nine occasions.
Their last defeat came in May 2003 after Leeds won 3-2 at Highbury to end Arsenal’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title.
And with Leeds languishing in 17th spot and to be potentially without SIX players, Arsenal go into the match as heavy favourites to claim all three points.
Skipper Liam Cooper and striker Patrick Bamford are doubts to be included in the matchday squad.
Meanwhile Stuart Dallas has just underwent surgery on the broken leg he suffered in the 4-0 loss against Manchester City.
In addition to the trio, Adam Forshaw, Tyler Roberts and Crysensio Summerville are also all absent for the trip to the capital.
Leeds know that a defeat could see them drop into the relegation zone heading into the penultimate week of the campaign should Everton beat Leicester on Sunday.
But despite their mauling at the hands of the Citizens, Leeds have shown defensive resilience under American gaffer Jesse Marsch.
They have lost just once out of their last six games, and prior to the City drubbing, they had won three out of five matches – conceding just four goals.
The Whites even kept a clean sheet when they pitted their wits against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on April 25.
Arsenal could name an unchanged side from the team that beat West Ham last time out
Patrick Vieira’s men banged three goals in against Arsenal last month, proving Leeds are more than capable of soaking up pressure.
Expect to see Leeds sit back and allow Arsenal to have the ball as they look to follow Brighton’s approach from April 9 and hit their opponents on the break.
But with Bukayo Saka set to be fit to start following his injury worry away at West Ham, you can be sure Leeds will have their hands full all afternoon.
This is how Leeds could line-up at the Emirates should Liam Cooper be ruled out