Anxiety has gripped a host of Nigerian Arsenal fans as the current league leaders welcome champions, Manchester City, to the Emirates Stadium for a Premier League title showdown in a mouth-watering top-of-the-table contest on Wednesday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The Gunners are seeking to avoid a third successive league game without a victory, while the Cityzens could knock the North Londoners off their perch at the summit, should they claim maximum points in the capital.
While hopes of lifting their first Premier League title for nearly two decades remain firmly in sight, Arsenal have experienced somewhat of a blip in recent weeks, with a slender 1-0 defeat at Everton followed by a 1-1 draw at home to Brentford on Saturday.
Arsenal have sat at the Premier League summit since November, but their once eight-point lead has now been cut to just three after dropping points in three of their last five games, and their unbeaten home run will be put to the test by the reigning champions today.
Indeed, the Gunners – who lost 1-0 away at Man City in the FA Cup fourth round last month – have failed to win each of their last 13 Premier League meetings with the Cityzens and have lost all of their last 10 – their longest losing run against an opponent in their topflight history.
Defeat against Guardiola and co would not be a complete disaster for Arsenal and their title hopes, with 16 league matches still to follow, including a game in hand over their rivals, but a statement victory on Wednesday would provide a major boost for Mikel Arteta’s side heading into a favourable run of seven successive fixtures against none of the so-called top six clubs.
Speaking ahead of the game, Banjo Adeyosoye, though hopeful of an Arsenal win, expressed doubt about his side overcoming the visitors.
“I will go for a win but won’t be sad if we got a draw as long as we don’t lose the game.
“But it’s been long coming since we beat City in the league and second half of last season we almost did beat them but hopefully we can pull a rabbit outta the hat.”
Olawale added, “So, we will be facing (Erling) Haaland again in today’s match? God help us.”
Njoke Steve is, however, banking on the Gunners’ outstanding game regardless of the outcome of tonight’s encounter.
“We have a game in hand no matter what the outcome would be, we are still in control of the league,” he said.
Another Arsenal fan, Fred, is of the opinion that there is a conspiracy against the Gunners.
“This is what the FA wants, all pre-planned to make the league interesting!! So sad.”
Jelel Ahmed added, “Honestly, it feels almost unfair that a win will take City above Arsenal in the table, despite we all saying Arsenal have been electric and City haven’t been themselves. If City win on Wednesday, I think that’s it.”
Biodun Kalejaye said, “It’s going to be an interesting game but knowing Manchester City they’re probably going to win and that’s so unfair to my darling club.”
An optimistic Kenneth Terungwa added, “No one seems to be giving Arsenal a chance here, but we can sprig up a surprise.”