Arsenal and Man City's next six Premier League games as Gunners slip in race

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Arsenal and Man City
Arsenal and Man City's next six Premier League games as Gunners slip in race

Pep Guardiola was a happy man on Tuesday night after Premier League leaders Arsenal failed to beat Newcastle at the Emirates.

The Gunners had 17 shots against Eddie Howe's side but couldn't break down the toughest defence in the Premier League, which has leaked just 11 goals in 18 games. The result leaves Mikel Arteta's high flying team eight points clear at the top of the table.

Yet Manchester City can close that gap to five points if they beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night. That is arguably the biggest game of the season to date, with the Blues also in need of a victory after their slow start to life under Graham Potter.

Guardiola's champions are not in great form after losing 2-1 to Brentford at the Etihad in their final game before the World Cup and failing to beat relegation candidates Everton in their last outing. Chelsea, meanwhile, are 10th in the Premier League table.

Potter's side failed to beat struggling Nottingham Forest in their most recent game. As such, it's very hard to predict which way Thursday night's game will go. On paper, it's a difficult fixture for Man City and one that could make Arsenal's life a lot easier.

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The next six weeks could define the Premier League title race. Here, Mirror Football takes a look at which teams Arsenal and Man City will play between now and mid-February.

Arsenal and Man City's next six Premier League games as Gunners slip in raceMikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola are preparing for a challenging Premier League title race (Getty Images)

Who do you think will win the Premier League title? Let us know in the comments below!

Arsenal

Arsenal's run of games will confirm whether they are genuine title contenders. Newcastle a formidable team and a draw wasn't a terrible result for Arteta's side, but they need to record some big wins during the next six weeks to state their credentials.

Next up for the Gunners is a trip to Tottenham on January 15. Arsenal fans will be expecting to win that clash after beating their local rivals earlier in the campaign - not to mention Tottenham's struggles. Spurs have won just four league games since September.

Arsenal will also need a good result against Manchester United on January 22. The Red Devils have won four consecutive games under Erik ten Hag and are now outsiders for the title after moving within nine points of Arsenal with a 3-0 win against Bournemouth.

On paper, Arsenal's fixtures become slightly easier after Man Utd's trip to the Emirates. They travel to struggling Everton on February 4 before hosting Brentford seven days later. They should also be confident of winning at Aston Villa on February 18.

Before travelling to Birmingham, however, they must play Man City at the Emirates on February 15. That will undoubtedly be Arsenal's greatest challenge. If the Gunners are still ahead of their title rivals after that, they will be considered as genuine contenders.

Manchester City

Right now, however, Man City are still the bookies favourites for a fifth Premier League title in six seasons. But, although Arsenal have a tricky run of fixtures, Guardiola's side must also record several big wins in the coming weeks to stay within touching distance.

After their trip to Stamford Bridge, they travel to Old Trafford on January 14 to face Man Utd. That's never an easy game, especially when their local rivals are playing well.

Man City's next home Premier League game is against Tottenham on January 19. Incidentally, they also play Spurs in London on February 5. Although Antonio Conte's side are not playing well at the moment, they did the double of Guardiola's men last season.

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Sandwiched in between those Spurs games is the visit of Wolves ' on January 22. Man City will be tipped to beat Julen Lopetegui's side and repeat the feat when they host Villa on February 12. The latter game comes just three days before that Arsenal clash.

When it comes to a title race, it's common for one team to have an easier run of games than the other. In this instance, though, neither Arsenal nor Man City can look forward to a comfortable ride. Both teams are set for a tricky six weeks.

As a neutral, the great thing about that is it will make for thrilling viewing. Are Arsenal genuine contenders? Are Man City still favourites? All will be revealed soon.

Tom Blow

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