It may only be October, but this feels like the start of an important week for Arsenal. Now, it's far too early to even imply it's a season-defining seven days for Mikel Arteta and company, but an intriguing period nonetheless awaits.
On Tuesday evening the Gunners are on the road once again. Their third away fixture on the bounce takes them to France as they face a resurgent Lens side on matchday two in the UEFA Champions League. Four days later it's back to home comforts with the visit of Manchester City in the Premier League.
So with two important fixtures on the horizon and taking form and injuries into consideration, football.london has taken a look at what would be the perfect week for Arsenal heading into the second international break of the 2023/24 campaign.
Of course, the dream scenario for Arsenal is to record two wins this week. Victory over Lens would give them maximum points after two games upon their return to the Champions League. Furthermore, were PSV Eindhoven and Sevilla to play out a draw in the other fixture, all of a sudden the Gunners are firmly in control of Group B and potentially two more wins away from qualification.
Yes, the reward for beating Man City is only three points. At this stage of the season, nothing can be decided — even if Pep Guardiola's side emerge victorious at the Emirates Stadium. But for Arteta's army, a win on Sunday over the champions would mean a lot psychologically.
Many can point to the Community Shield success — albeit on penalties — back in August but it's going all the way back to December 2015 for the last time Arsenal beat Man City in the Premier League. A record that has to end as it is often the case that title races are swayed by head-to-battles.
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