Arsenal FC: 10 Most Key Fixtures For The Remainder Of The Season

James WillisAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2011

Arsenal FC: 10 Most Key Fixtures For The Remainder Of The Season

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    With the Premier League table taking shape and the run in to the end of the season coming quickly, the fixtures for every team are rapidly becoming even more important.

    At the top end of the table, Arsenal are still in contention for the Premier League title despite having slipped up slightly of late.

    The club also remain fighting on three other fronts as well, in the FA Cup, Carling Cup and Champions League.

    Although we do not know all of the club's fixtures yet in the event of them progressing further in other competitions, these are the club's most important fixtures remaining that have already been confirmed.

Arsenal Vs Birmingham City

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    Date: Feb. 27, 2011

    Competition: Carling Cup Final

    H/A: Neutral (Wembley Stadium)

    Reason: Arsenal have not won any silverware since the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2005. That means the club have gone five seasons without a trophy, and it could soon be six if they fail to capitalise on their better performances this year. This match is arguably the club's best chance for silverware this season with far bigger obstacles to overcome in other tournaments.

Barcelona Vs Arsenal

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    Date: March 8, 2011

    Competition: Champions League (Round of 16)

    H/A: Away

    Reason: Having shocked the world by overturning the Spanish giants in the first leg of their tie, Arsenal will have an even bigger task facing them when they head to the Camp Nou. Regardless of whether they deserved their first leg win, Arsenal managed to convert their chances which Barcelona struggled to do. The return leg will be an even bigger ask for the club now though.

Arsenal Vs Manchester United

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    Date: April 30, 2011

    Competition: Premier League

    H/A: Home

    Reason: In what will likely still be a match between first and second in the Premier League, it is thought by some that the game could act as a potential title decider. Despite the match being at home for Arsenal, the club will still face a tough task as Manchester United have only lost one game all season regardless of their performances. United are currently four points clear at the top of the table and this game could potentially cut the lead to one or swap the top two, dependant on matches up until then.

Arsenal Vs Liverpool

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    Date: April 16, 2011

    Competition: Premier League

    H/A: Home

    Reason: Considering Liverpool's performances over the last couple of years, the challenge would be thought not to be as much for Arsenal this time around as it has been in the past, but it would be wrong to think that. When the clubs met at Anfield this season, Arsenal only just snatched a point from the game after scoring a late equaliser thanks to Joe Cole's dismissal and a mistake from Pepe Reina. With Liverpool rejuvenated under Kenny Dalglish and the return of Andy Carroll from injury, Liverpool will be another proposition this time around.

Stoke City Vs Arsenal

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    Date: May 7, 2011

    Competition: Premier League

    H/A: Away

    Reason: The Britannia Stadium is a tough place for any team to go and win points but with Arsenal having suffered there in the past (Ramsey's broken leg), it will be even tougher for the Premier League challengers. Arsenal fans largely dread Stoke due to their physicality, which has proved difficult for the gunners to deal with in the past. Regardless of history though, if the team want to still have a chance of winning the Premier League title, this is a must win game.

Blackpool Vs Arsenal

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    Date: April 9, 2011

    Competition: Premier League

    H/A: Away

    Reason: Despite beating the newly promoted club 6-0 back at the start of the season, this game will have a completely different feel about it. Blackpool have largely proved this season that they can compete with the 'big boys' of the Premier League, and if they solidify their defence in time for the Arsenal clash, they may have a real shot at causing an upset. The northern club will also have the benefit of being more experienced this time around and playing the match at home.

Fulham Vs Arsenal

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Date: May 22, 2011

    Competition: Premier League

    H/A: Away

    Reason: It may not immediately jump out as one of the most important fixtures Arsenal have left this season, but unless they reach the Champions League final or FA Cup final it will be the team's final match of the year. With the title race heating up and provided Arsenal manage to close the four point gap on Manchester United, the league title could be decided on the last day, here at Craven Cottage.

Bolton Wanderers Vs Arsenal

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    Date: April 23, 2011

    Competition: Premier League

    H/A: Away

    Reason: Bolton are another club who have caused problems for Arsenal due to their physical nature of play. Arsenal won't be able to rely on the support at the Emirates for this one either, playing at the Reebok Stadium this time around. While Arsenal will clearly be the favourites to win, it is one of the games that looks possible for an upset out of all the club's remaining fixtures. If that were to be the case, Arsenal could practically wave goodbye to the Premier League trophy.

Arsenal Vs Leyton Orient

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    Date: March 2, 2011

    Competition: FA Cup (Fifth Round replay)

    H/A: Home

    Reason: Despite Arsenal being heavy favourites for the game, the magic of the FA Cup may strike again. Regardless of whether it does or not this game is important for Arsenal either way. If the club win and qualify, they face a tough quarter final against Manchester United and a further fixture in their already congested schedule. If the club surprisingly lose, it may have an effect on their confidence for the final few games of the season. One way or the other, Arsenal will have to deal with the consequences of the match as best they can.

Arsenal Vs Aston Villa

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Date: May 14, 2011

    Competition: Premier League

    H/A: Home

    Reason: With this match being the penultimate game of the season, it is imperative Arsenal come out on top of the clash. With Aston Villa having struggled for form this season it would be thought that it wouldn't be too difficult to do, but with Arsenal suffering from fixture congestion and fatigue they may struggle more than expected. If players such as Marc Albrighton, Darren Bent and Ashley Young are on top form, it could be Villa who derail Arsenal's title campaign so late on in the season.