Most Important Games for Arsenal at the Emirates in the 2012-13 Season
Next season will be a difficult one for Arsenal as many of the other big title contenders have strengthened their squads. Chelsea, as an example, has signed Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar; this makes the Blues' midfield one of the best in the Premier League.
Manchester United has completed the signings of youngsters Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell. These two additions will definitely aid the Red Devils' attack.
Arsenal has also completed the signings of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. The Gunners have also been linked with potential deals with Santi Cazorla and Nuri Sahin (via The Guardian).
With this, Arsenal will need to make the most of every match they play, especially the matches they play at home.
Here are the most important matches for the Gunners at the Emirates.
August 18: Arsenal vs. Sunderland
This matchup for Arsenal is the very first one of the Premier League in the 2012-2013 season and will be very important in setting a starting tone for the season.
Last season, Arsenal had a less-than-promising Premier League opener with Newcastle last season, and that led to a 2-0 loss to Liverpool and an 8-2 thrashing by Manchester United.
The Gunners need to kick off this season with a better performance.
September 29: Arsenal vs. Chelsea
After the first few matches in August, September is a month filled with away matches against teams such as Manchester City and Liverpool, but one of the home matches for Arsenal is against rivals Chelsea.
At this point in the season, the Gunners will be looking to establish themselves as title contenders early on. Last season, they had a horrendous start to the season, but one of the matches that started to turn their season around was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It was a 5-3 thriller that boosted the team's confidence.
This time around, however, Arsenal will be facing a different Chelsea team. It is a better, more talented side that will be more of a threat on the attack and much better defensively than last year.
This will not only be an important match in progressing up the table in the Premier League, but it is also an intense London derby. Arsenal will need to prove that they are the dominant London team.
November 17: Arsenal vs. Tottenham
This matchup is an important one for Arsenal every single season. Last season, this exact match ended 5-2 in favor of the Gunners. Arsenal was down 2-0 at a point in the first half, but the Gunners managed to rally back, scoring five unanswered goals.
This is another London derby, and it comes at an important time in the season. It will be a huge boost of confidence if Arsenal can make the most of this match.
December 29: Arsenal vs. Newcastle United
Last season, Newcastle was one of the teams that managed to do very well against many big teams.
Some of their best matches included their 3-0 victory against Manchester United, a 2-0 victory against Liverpool and a 2-0 victory against Chelsea.
They ended up finishing fifth in the Premier League last season, so they can only be expected to continue their great form or even do better.
Newcastle will be one of the good teams, so it is important that at around halfway through the season, Arsenal is winning key matches against good teams.
January 12: Arsenal vs. Manchester City
This will be one of the big matches for Arsenal next season, facing the reigning Premier League champions. It will be key for Arsenal to prove that they are capable of beating the big teams in world football.
Arsenal managed to beat the Manchester noisy neighbors last season in a 1-0 win.
At around halfway through the season, it will be important for the Gunners to get a big win at home against the reigning champions.
January 30: Arsenal vs. Liverpool
When Arsenal faces off against Liverpool, it's usually a close match.
Last season, Liverpool managed to defeat the Gunners in a 2-0 victory. However, in the next meeting between the two clubs, Arsenal left victorious after a 2-1 win.
Under the new management of Brendan Rogers, Liverpool will be a different team, probably an improved one, so the Gunners will need to do well against them.
February 2: Arsenal vs. Stoke City
With the January transfer window having just finished, it will be important for Arsenal to win matches, with other teams having strengthened their squads.
Stoke City is one of those teams that can make effective transfers that don't involve big deals.
This matchup between Arsenal and Stoke City is usually an interesting one. Last season saw Arsenal win one of the meetings, 3-1, and end the second match with a 1-1 draw.
So with this, Arsenal will need to win this important match.
April 13: Arsenal vs. Norwich
After a pretty successful return to the Premier League from promotion, Norwich will be looking to do even better next season.
Against Norwich, Arsenal had a 2-1 victory in their first encounter and had a 3-3 draw in one of the last Premier League matches of the season.
As the end of the season inches closer and closer at this stage, the Gunners will need to win as many matches as they can to make a final push.
April 27: Arsenal vs. Manchester United
This match will be very important as Arsenal would be reaching the dying stages of the season, facing one of the best clubs in England.
Last season, the Gunners did not manage to snatch a single victory against the Red Devils, so at this stage of the season, this match could make the difference with how well Arsenal manage to do next season and whether the Gunners will be a part of the Champions League in the 2013-2014 season.
May 12: Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic
This match is the last home game of the season for Arsenal. It will be very important for Arsenal to finish their last match at the Emirates of the season on a high note.
Last season, the Gunners managed to cruise past Wigan in a 4-0 victory. However, in the second meeting between the two sides, Wigan left winners.
At the end of last season, Arsenal drew 3-3 against Norwich in their final match of the season at the Emirates, so it will be crucial for the Gunners to do well in their final home match of the 2012-2013 Premier League season.
Well, how do you think Arsenal will do next season? Will they manage to win key matches and remain title contenders? And will they continue to be part of the Champions League?
Thanks for reading!