Thursday 16 June 2016

Arsenal to celebrate an earlier St Totteringham's Day?

Following the release of the full fixture list for the new season on Wednesday, the Gunners will start their 2016-17 Premier League season with a home match against Liverpool on Saturday, August 13.

Thereafter, Arsenal will then travel to King Power Stadium to take on Premier League champions, Leicester City, before the team's trip to Watford at the end of the month.

On November 5 at the Emirates Stadium, the match against Tottenham will be the first Arsenal derby of the season with the return fixture at White Hart Lane on April 29.

Last term, Arsenal had their highest league finish in over a decade as they were second to Leicester City, but it was still a disappointing season for the north Londoners. The Gunners were some way off the Foxes' pace and once again, they failed to mount a genuine title challenge.

It has now been 12 seasons since the Gunners last won the Premier League and this coming 2016-17 could perhaps be manager Arsene Wenger's last chance to lift the famous EPL trophy again as his current deal expires in 2017.

A look at the Arsenal's full fixture list for the upcoming campaign provided by the club, as well as a closer look at the key clashes the Emirates outfit would face in the 2016-17 EPL season:
In the last campaign, the Gunners' first clash was with West Ham United, which got the season off to an awful start.

In the 2016-17 EPL, Arsenal will first face up to United at Old Trafford on Nov. 19, and Wenger will once again clash with his old rival Jose Mourinho.

The Gunners boss has an awful record against the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss, prevailing just once against Mourinho in August 2015's Community Shield.

The pressure will be on the Frenchman to improve that record when Arsenal face Manchester United in November.

However, if the Gunners do prevail over United in this coming campaign, it could be a huge confidence boost for the Gunners manager and his side, as well as an opportunity for the Emirates to kick on and finally maintain a season-long title challenge.

Certainly, it will not be easy as the Old Trafford clash between Arsenal and United last season saw the hosts prevail 3-2, and Man United could well be a better outfit in 2016-17 after replacing the club former boss, Louis van Gaal, with Mourinho.

Meanwhile, in a wonderful turn of events for Arsenal fans, the Gunners still managed to finish above their north London rivals last term despite Tottenham being the side that maintained the better title challenge until a dreadful end to their campaign.

However, there was nothing to choose between the two sides in their pair of Premier League meetings last season as they returned two closely fought draws.

In the recent past, Arsenal finishing above Tottenham was something of a given. Only a collapse from Spurs last term, which included a final-day 5-1 drubbing to already relegated Newcastle United which allowed the north London club to leapfrog their bitter rivals.

Nonetheless, Arsenal fans will hope St Totteringham's Day will be celebrated earlier in the forthcoming season than it was in the previous campaign.

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