The words "Emirates Stadium" and "title-winning performances" have not gone hand in hand since Arsenal moved to their new stadium from Highbury in 2006 but victory in north London could hold the key to Premier League glory this season.
Arsenal fans were, unsurprisingly, cursing their luck when the fixture computer threw them trips to Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham in the first two-and-a-half months of the campaign.
A miserable run of autumn form was partly the fault of ponderous midfield and creative play, but another, often overlooked factor, was the loss of any momentum caused by repeated trips to some of the top flight's toughest venues.
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In the event, they won just three points from the four games, thanks to a 1-0 win at Old Trafford. But profligate finishing at Anfield from Alexandre Lacazette and the Etihad from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang consigned them to further losses at familiar venues.
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The flipside of it all is that, having entered the second half of the season, Arsenal are spared trips to all of the Premier League's big six clubs, barring Chelsea, against whom they are unbeaten in three.
The first of those comes on Saturday, with a meeting against Manchester United, who will no doubt be seeking revenge after being stunned by bottom club and relegation favourites Sheffield United at Old Trafford in midweek.
United are unbeaten on the road this season but Mikel Arteta has plenty of reason to be optimistic. In the last two seasons, Arsenal have ended two promising runs from Saturday's opponents in the past two seasons, with Unai Emery's side finishing a 12-match unbeaten streak in 2018-19, before Arteta himself recorded his first win as a manager last term, precipitating a sequence of three losses in four from a United side who had previously been defeated once in their previous nine.
United are a sole point behind leaders Man City ahead of their trip to the capital, but another loss could see their City rivals put daylight between them.
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But it will not be too long before the blue half of Manchester face a trip to the Emirates, with Pep Guadiola's side due in town in late February. Spurs, whose earlier title bid is now ailing, follow in mid-March, while Liverpool follow in early April.
There is no doubting that Arsenal's fortunes have improved against the Premier League's finest under Arteta. The win at Old Trafford was their first away at a big six side since January 2015. The FA Cup triumph last season featured their first victory against Man City for more than three years in the semi-finals.
After failing to overcome Liverpool for five years, they have since beaten the champions three times, albeit twice on penalties. The Emirates has hardly been a fortress this season, with meagre teams such as Burnley and Wolves both winning three points there.
But none of United, Tottenham, City and Liverpool will be relishing their trip to Islington this term, not least because Arsenal have plenty to play for. Short of another cup victory in the Europa League, they face a first season without continental football since the mid-90s if results don't improve.
The scope is there to climb up a table. They are just seven points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, and teams between fifth and 10th are all tightly packed.
The key to more than one team's fortunes this season could be performances at the Emirates.
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