A dramatic Boxing Day awaits Mikel Arteta this Saturday, with his Arsenal 15th in the table, just 4 points from the relegation zone. To top it all, the 'Gunners' host Frank Lampard's Chelsea on this traditional Christmas day of English football. Just December 20 marked a year since the arrival of Arteta (in which he relieved Unai Emery after whose dismissal Freddie Ljungberg took over the team for a month as interim) and made his debut as Arsenal coach on Boxing Day against Bournemouth (1-1).

Still further weakened by the elimination suffered in the League Cup against Manchester City of his friend Pep Guardiola, who was an assistant in the 'citizen' team (1-4), which left him unable to reach the semifinals, the Arsenal now faces the English football marathon on these dates.

Arteta's men await three Premier days: home against Chelsea and away from home against Brighton and West Brom (penultimate and whose coach, Sam Allardyce, sees Arsenal in the fight against relegation). These are again vital points for the 'gunner' team to breathe.

Arsenal have lost five of their last seven Premier League games and, 15th with 14 points, have had their worst start to the season since 1974-75. In the 30th FA Cup, Arsenal will face Newcastle on 9 January at the Emirates.

“At this time our season will be decided. We are in very big problems, “said Arteta after 1-3. The Basque coach hopes to reinforce his squad this January “but with the pandemic it is really difficult, given the football situation.”


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