Arsenal head into 2023 seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table after defeating Brighton & Hove Albion on New Years’ Eve as Manchester City fail to cut the gap.

Arsenal went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-2 win over Brighton on New Years Eve.
Arsenal went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-2 win over Brighton on New Years Eve. (Image: (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images))

Arsenal continued their impressive Premier League form on Saturday evening with a 4-2 victory over Brighton to round off an impressive 2022.

The victory means the Gunners go into 2023 seven points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table after winning 14 of their 16 league games this season. First half goals from Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard were followed by Eddie Nketiah’s second goal in as many games as Mikel Arteta’s side surpassed the Seagulls with little trouble.

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After Manchester City and Newcastle failed to overcome Everton and Leeds United earlier in the day, Arsenal capitalised and increased their odds of winning a first Premier League title since 2004. Now, attention turns to next week’s difficult clash against Newcastle.

READ MORE: Arsenal handed Mykhaylo Mudryk incentive on eve of January transfer window with Instagram hint

The game is the first of four fixtures in January for the Gunners as the Premier League continues to provide a number of difficult tests for Arteta’s men. With that being said, football.london brings you a look at the next five opponents looking to derail Arsenal’s title hopes.

The games don’t get any easier for Arsenal and it’s another difficult opponent in Newcastle. The Magpies have shocked a few in the footballing world with their presence in the Premier League top four but Eddie Howe’s men have been rather impressive.

Newcastle are currently the most in-form side in the Premier League with six wins in their previous seven games, including outwitting Tottenham and Chelsea before the World Cup. Following the World Cup break, Eddie Howe’s side have defeated Leicester City and drew 0-0 with Leeds.

In a game that, before May’s defeat, the Gunners have largely been successful in, January’s contest could provide a difficult test ahead of the upcoming north London derby.

Tottenham (A) – January 15

Arsenal will turn their focus to FA Cup action after the Newcastle game, with the trip to Oxford United providing Arteta a chance to rotate his squad ahead of the trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Spurs sit eight points behind the Gunners and had encountered a strange start to the season with a number of surprise results. However, Antonio Conte’s side steadied the ship prior to the break with qualification to the Champions League knockout stages followed by a dramatic 4-3 win over Leeds United.

As always, the north London derby is expected to supply a number of thrills. Earlier in the campaign, Arsenal easily dispatched Tottenham with a 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka.

Manchester United (H) – January 22

As you may now have realised, Arsenal’s return to Premier League football is pretty difficult. A rejuvenated United will be looking to continue their attempt at returning to the Champions League.

It’s now a Man United side with no Cristiano Ronaldo and possibly a better one. Victories over Nottingham Forest and Wolves have forced Erik ten Hag’s men into the top four and will come into this fixture, like Arsenal, on the back of a local derby with Manchester City the weekend before.

The game will be another ginormous test for the Gunners and provides a big opportunity for Arsenal to seek revenge for September’s 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

Everton (A) – February 4

The first opposition outside the Premier League top 10 and Arteta’s former side Everton will welcome the Gunners to Goodison Park for the early kick-off in February.

Frank Lampard’s side have struggled to find consistency this season and find themselves in a similar position as they did last term. The Toffees currently sit 16th, two points above the relegation zone, after keeping Manchester City at bay this weekend.

The Blue side of Merseyside has not been a welcome hunting ground for Arsenal in the past. In fact, their last win at Goodison Park came in October 2017 with Everton winning three of the previous four meetings.

Brentford (H) – February 11

The fixtures continue to come thick and fast for Arsenal in February and prior to the mouth-watering clash with Manchester City the following Wednesday, Arteta’s side will look to avoid a potential banana skin against the impressive Brentford.

Thomas Frank’s side are currently five games unbeaten after defeating Manchester City and holding Tottenham to a draw on Boxing Day. Striker Ivan Toney currently has 13 goals to his name and has earned himself plenty of praise for his performances this season.

Whilst it seems a comfortable win on paper, the Gunners must overcome these tests should they lift the Premier League in May. Man City have already dropped more points than they would have hoped for meaning the onus is on Arsenal to keep on the straight and narrow.

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