EPL preview: Wenger in search of lost flow

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has his back to the wall as Arsenal goes in search of a restorative victory in the Premier League this weekend. Wenger’s men have fallen 12 points off the pace after successive losses against Watford and league leader Chelsea.

Amid mounting dissent within Arsenal’s fanbase, Wenger has urged fans to rally behind his team ahead of Saturday’s home game against Marco Silva’s revitalised Hull.   -  Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has his back to the wall as Arsenal goes in search of a restorative victory in the Premier League this weekend.

Wenger’s men have fallen 12 points off the pace after successive losses against Watford and league leader Chelsea.

READ: >Wenger may quit, says Gunners great Wright

Arsenal’s title hopes appeared to be ended for another season by last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Chelsea, which left Wenger’s side below Spurs and Manchester City in fourth place.

Amid mounting dissent within Arsenal’s fanbase, Wenger has urged everyone associated with the club to rally behind his team ahead of Saturday’s home game against Marco Silva’s revitalised Hull.

“You cannot be a fan until last Tuesday (when Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to Watford) and not be a fan any more and not be behind the team this Saturday. It doesn’t make sense,” Wenger said.

“All the other clubs, everywhere we fight with Man United, Man City, Liverpool, they have big expectations as well and big histories.

“We are in a fight there. We absolutely have to be united or we have no chance to do it.”

With Chelsea not tackling Burnley at Turf Moor until Sunday, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs all have opportunities to eat into their advantage.

But with 16 wins from its last 18 league games, there appears to be no stopping the leaders and head coach Antonio Conte has urged his side to maintain its current momentum.

“Now we are on top of the table, but this league is very tough,” Conte told BBC Sport.

“For me now it’s important to continue to push and to exploit this momentum. If you send the right signal for us and not for the other opponents, it’s very important.”

Manchester United will be hoping for slip-ups from its rivals ahead of its home game with Watford, having closed to within two points of the top-four by winning 3-0 at Leicester City last weekend.

Buoyed by a timely FA Cup win over Derby County in mid-week, ailing champion Leicester faces a crunch clash at Swansea, with both teams a solitary point above the relegation zone.

Fixtures:

Saturday (2030 IST unless otherwise stated): Arsenal v Hull (1800); Liverpool v Tottenham (2300); Middlesbrough v Everton; Manchester United v Watford; Stoke v Crystal Palace; Sunderland v Southampton; West Ham v West Brom

Sunday: Burnley v Chelsea (1900); Swansea v Leicester (2130)

Tuesday: Bournemouth v Manchester City (0130)

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