Huddersfield Town-Arsenal Preview
Arsenal's unbeaten run over all competitions has spanned a little more than three months, but it still has them chasing several squads in the Premier League table.
The Gunners will try to extend that undefeated stretch to 21 games when they look to hand Huddersfield Town a third consecutive defeat Saturday at the Emirates.
Though Arsenal (9-4-2) had to settle for 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Wednesday - thanks to a 69th-minute equaliser from the Red Devils' Jesse Lingard, they still have not dropped a league match since opening the season with losses to leaders Manchester City and Chelsea. The club's overall unbeaten run includes their play in the Europa League.
"At the moment, we have a good feeling after a good result (against Man United), but we need to close with a victory on Saturday," manager Unai Emery told Arsenal's official website.
The Gunners are fifth in the table, though tied with fourth-place Chelsea on points and 10 back of City. The fact they have not lost since Aug. 18 is quite impressive, but there is still plenty of work to be done, especially on the domestic front.
"We only think about the next match and prepare as well as possible," Emery added. "Then, we've created team spirit with confidence, improving things we needed to do better.
"The draw (Wednesday) is only good if we win against Huddersfield."
Though Arsenal are the better team on paper this weekend, it looks as if they will be minus some of their key contributors. Mesut Ozil is reportedly dealing with a back issue that could keep him out further, though rumours have also kicked up that he's not getting along with Emery. Aaron Ramsey, meanwhile, is bothered by an ankle injury and defender Rob Holding has a knee problem that could be severe.
It also appears the return of star Laurent Koscielny is imminent. Whether that will be Saturday remains to be seen.
Regardless who is on the pitch for the Gunners, Huddersfield Town (2-4-9) faces a major hurdle. The Terriers went 2-1-0 in the month of November, but have suffered consecutive 2-1 losses to Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth thus far in December.
The Town led out of the gate against Brighton, but trailed 2-0 early versus Bournemouth. Manager David Wagner knows his side can't afford to fall behind deep against the likes of Arsenal, and also must take advantage of every opportunity should they have the advantage in this contest.
"In every football game you have a small percentage of a chance if you believe and trust in what you are capable of - this is what you have to do," Wagner told Huddersfield's official website.
"We will see what happens in this game. We like to challenge and test ourselves against the best, and for sure, Arsenal are one of the best in the Premier League at the minute."
The Gunners also proved that last season - at least in the eyes of the Town - whilst doing the double in this series. That featured a 5-0 Arsenal rout at the Emirates.
Updated December 6, 2018