Shocker! Arsenal could be FOURTH by Christmas

Emirates Stadium 3

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City can all leapfrog Arsenal this weekend.

Here's how...

Liverpool beat Cardiff

Manchester City beat Fulham

Chelsea win at Arsenal

Just under a fortnight ago Mesut Ozil scored a late goal to put Arsenal 1-0 up against Everton. As it stood the goal would have taken the Gunners seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Gerard Deulofeu quickly equalised and left the game at 1-1, but Arsenal were still able to boast a five point lead.

After qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages despite a 2-0 defeat, they lost 6-3 away at Manchester City, looking tired and not at the peak of their game.

The effect of that loss was to cut the lead to two, with Liverpool winning convincingly and surprisingly away at Tottenham, and Chelsea dispatching Crystal Palace.

It means by time Arsenal kick off against Chelsea on Monday Night Football, the Gunners will almost certainly have relinquished their top spot and will likely sit third.

A confident Liverpool team, who sit on 33 points to Arsenal's 35, are expected to beat Cardiff at home; 1/5 favourites with the bookies to do so.

Manchester City travel to Fulham, hoping to improve on their inconsistent away form. They are 1/3 favourites with the bookies for the win. While they are three points back - their superior goal difference, +29 to Arsenal's +16 means they will also go above the Gunners with a win.

Arsenal can of course reclaim top spot and their two point advantage with a victory against Chelsea on Monday night.

Former defender Martin Keown talked of the psychological advantage being top at Christmas can bring:

"It’s good for the confidence and it’s a period of reflection stepping into a new year. If you look back and you’re sitting at the top then you know things aren’t going too badly.

"But you’re only half way there so you have to be very wary of complacency. It is good but things can change very quickly over the Christmas period. Even with the league this close, it is still important to keep your noses in front.

"It adds extra pressure and anxiety to the teams below you, because they will feel they should be top but they aren’t."

However lose to Chelsea and Jose Mourinho's side, currently level with Liverpool on two points behind Arsenal, can leapfrog Arsene Wenger's side with a win.

Chelsea are 15/8 for the win, compared to Arsenal who are favourites at 11/8. 

However with the pressure cranking up, if Arsenal take the victory and regain their lead, the feeling may not be one just of joy - but relief at avoiding a psychological blow which could have further negative effects over the festive period.

image: © zongo

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