The fixtures are coming thick and fast, and just three days after comfortably beating Southampton, we welcome fellow South Coasters Bournemouth to The Emirates.
The weekends results were kind for the Gunners, with United and tottenham dropping points and Arsenal slipping into the top4 with Chelsea taking part in the Carabao Cup Final, but there is no rest for the wicked, and our job is far from done.
With United on a roll and looking transformed under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, we cannot afford to slip up, and home games especially need to be cashed in to the max. Lucky for us our home record is very strong this season - one loss all season - and the Cherries come to London without a raft of their lineup.
The likes of Calum Wilson, David Brooks and Stanislas are not in the travelling party for Eddie Howe’s side, and that makes our chances all the stronger. For us though, a win is doubly important, with the need to build up confidence before the North London derby a very real one. We will need everything we can muster before we take on our rivals, and a win here would really boost us before our trip to Wembley.
So, who will make the team, especially with one eye on the weekend?
Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles both trained in the buildup to this fixture, as well as Stephane Lichtsteiner. Iwobi could be left out for this game, Emery must make a choice on his right back - will Maitland-Niles be risked before such a big fixture this weekend?
Aside from the above and the long term injuries to Welbeck, Holding and Bellerin, we are at full strength, so it will be rotation rather than injury that dictates who will play this game.
Emery mentioned Ozil and Suarez in his press conference, and how Suarez is still adapting to the demands of the Premiership. With Ozil playing well in his cameo against Southampton in the weekend, he could be saved for the NLD. Expect Aaron Ramsey to start the game.
Player to Watch
The diminutive Scottish winger has caused us plenty of problems in the past - the 3-3 draw from two seasons ago springs to mind - and Fraser started the season very strongly indeed, linking up with Wilson to devastating effect.
With Wilson out of the equation and Brooks out too, more emphasis will be on the tricky wideman to lay chances on for Dominic Solanke. Our defence will need to show him outside and stay tight when he drives to the byline to snuff out potential crosses. We can have no room for flat footedness.
How this will go
Matches against the Cherries are always entertaining affairs, but all too often we suffer palpitations as we sail too close to the wind. We need to take advantage of their injuries and their expansive play and put them to the sword. If we can send a message to spurs while we are at it, even better.
Howe will set his team up with a definite plan that an early goal could rip up. We did just that in the weekend’s win over Saints, but crucially, we need to ensure Mkhitaryan has a good game.
The Armenian is the most likely of our creative players to start the game, and he has the ability to supply Lacazette and Aubameyang with what they need to plunder Bournemouth. If he can get the ball in the attacking third, then we should have too much firepower for the visiting team.
Predicted Linuep - Leno, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Predicted Scoreline - 3-1 to The Arsenal