Arsenal return to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since March 7 on Wednesday night when they host relegation-threatened Norwich City.
Both teams were in FA Cup action at the weekend, with Arsenal progressing into the semi-finals whereas Norwich were knocked out by Manchester United.
It was a tale of two late goals for these two sides at the weekend, with Arsenal booking their place in the FA Cup semi-finals courtesy of an injury-time winner over Sheffield United and Norwich crashing out after conceding an extra-time goal against Manchester United.
For Arsenal it was another much-needed win; for Norwich it was another difficult blow to take in a season which looks increasingly destined to end with an immediate return to the Championship.
The Gunners were slow to get going again after the restart as defeats to Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion left them languishing, but they have since bounced back with successive victories over Southampton and Sheffield United.
Manager Mikel Arteta will be the first to admit that there is plenty of work still to be done, but he has now won more games in 19 outings as boss than Unai Emery and Freddie Ljungberg managed in 26 combined games this season.
Seven of those victories have come in Arsenal’s last 10 matches across all competitions, and yet they still remain ninth in the Premier League table and with hopes of Champions League football fading fast.
That can chiefly be attributed to their away form; they have won just three times on the road all season – all under different managers – and have picked up 10 points fewer than Wolverhampton Wanderers on the road, a significant figure as they trail fifth-placed Wolves by nine points in the table as things stand.
It will be a relief to finally be back at the Emirates for the first time in almost four months, then, as the Gunners bid to make it four successive home league wins for the first time since April 2019.
Arsenal are unbeaten at the Emirates in the league this calendar year and, if they can maintain that form until the end of the season, it could be the foundation for at least qualifying for the Europa League via the Premier League this season – something they are currently two places and two points short of being in a position to do so.
Victory on Wednesday will be expected, but it is also needed given what follows; Arsenal’s next four league games after this one all come against teams currently above them in the table.
Norwich are also in must-win territory, with a six-point gap to make up to safety over the final seven games of the season.
Daniel Farke’s side have shown very few signs of being capable of achieving that since the restart so far, mustering only two shots on target from their two league defeats at home to Southampton and Everton.
The latter loss was their 20th of the season in the Premier League, reaching that unwelcome milestone in their 31st game – only once before have they lost more after 31 matches of a Football League campaign, when they were in the Third Division South in 1946-47.
Norwich did at least score against Manchester United on Saturday and will have been gutted not to make it to penalties, having been on the end of a 118th-minute winner from Harry Maguire.
The Premier League goal drought continues, though; they have not scored a top-flight goal since February, have scored just one since January 22 and, incredibly, only have four to their name all calendar year.
The picture looks even worse when isolating their away form too, with just one point and one goal from their last six Premier League matches on the road – a run which stretches back to December 14.
Unsurprisingly, Norwich have the worst away record in the entire division this season with only one win, six points and six goals to their name from 15 games, and with trips to Chelsea and Manchester City also to come before the end of the campaign it is difficult to see that improving much.