Arsenal will be desperately hoping to avoid a repeat of last season after going six points clear of title rivals Manchester City in the Premier League table.

The Gunners currently find themselves at the top of the pile ahead of Liverpool, who sit two points behind their north London rivals as things stand.

Arsenal were handed a welcome boost on Wednesday night when City were beaten by Aston Villa, who outplayed the Premier League champions to deservedly earn all three points. And the result extending City’s winless run to four league matches.

It leaves Arsenal in a promising position at the top of the table after their dramatic victory over Luton Town on Tuesday night. However, there will undoubtedly be fears that a repeat of last season could be on the cards in spite of City’s poor run in recent weeks.

Pep Guardiola’s men ended up winning the Premier League title last time around despite finding themselves eight points adrift of the Gunners at one stage. A dire spell of form in February and March saw City lose four times in nine matches, but they managed to dust themselves off and got back to their very best when it mattered.

It showed that City have the right mentality to deliver when the pressure is on, which Arsenal will be hoping does not come back to bite them between now and the end of the season.

The north Londoners will also be desperate to avoid slipping up themselves, with a tough run of fixtures on the horizon for Mikel Arteta and his players.

A tricky trip to Aston Villa, who will be high on confidence after their impressive win over City, could be a potential banana skin for Arsenal this weekend. They have taken maximum points from their last 14 home league games and will be determined to maintain their winning run when the Gunners visit Villa Park on Saturday evening.

Arsenal will then go up against Brighton at home, which will be another tough test against one of the Premier League’s better sides. A high-profile meeting with Liverpool will take place two days before Christmas, with the outcome likely to have a significant impact on this season’s title race.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal will be able to hold City at arm’s length for the rest of the campaign in order to earn their first domestic triumph in two decades. Their hopes of doing so will rest on avoiding a repeat of last season, with City determined to deny the Gunners in their quest to secure a fourth straight Premier League title.