Why Arsenal will win the Premier League (and why they will not)

The Premier League title race is about to get actual for Arsenal. For the primary time since Arsene Wenger’s “Invincibles” received the membership’s final title in 2003-04, Arsenal really feel like a crew that may go all the way in which and take the trophy to the Emirates. However supervisor Mikel Arteta’s aspect have solely performed the simple half to date.

Make no mistake: to be 5 factors clear on the prime of the desk, having suffered only one defeat in 14 video games, is a real achievement for Arteta and his younger crew. Arsenal need to be main the race because the Premier League resumes after six-week pause for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, however their spectacular begin to the season is now simply cash within the financial institution. We’re about to see how far it’ll take them.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga and extra (US)
– O’Hanlon: The 13 stats that designate the 2022 World Cup

For the reason that Premier League started in 1992-93, there have been 30 accomplished seasons and the crew that sits prime on Christmas Day simply has the sting. Sixteen groups have been prime at Christmas and ended up as champions, with 14 golf equipment failing to go the gap. Arsenal had been second to Manchester United on Christmas Day 2003 and went on to be champions.

It’s a barely skewed traditionally statistically this time round, with Arsenal solely having performed 14 video games as a result of World Cup shutdown. By now, groups have often performed 17 video games, so it’s maybe unfair to burden Arteta’s crew with the stress of getting to dwell as much as the “Christmas leaders” tag. However by beginning so effectively and sustaining their type, Arsenal are unquestionably within the title race.

Reigning champions Manchester Metropolis are nonetheless the favorites with each bookmaker, regardless of being 5 factors adrift of the leaders, but Pep Guardiola’s crew may have little margin for error if Arsenal proceed as they left off. That is the problem for Arsenal, nonetheless, and the image is not fairly as clear because it was once they wrapped up for the World Cup with a 2-0 win at Wolves in mid-November.

The most important concern for Arteta would be the lack of striker Gabriel Jesus, who may very well be sidelined for as much as 4 months with a medial ligament damage he suffered with Brazil on the World Cup. The 25-year-old has scored 5 targets for the Gunners since his £45 million switch from Man Metropolis in the summertime and whereas his strike charge will not be vastly spectacular, it’s his contribution as a crew participant and the successful mentality he has introduced from his time on the Etihad that make him so necessary to Arteta’s crew.

With out Jesus, Arsenal should discover a method to make their ahead line perform simply as effectively — and that will not be straightforward.

How defender Ben White performs after leaving England’s World Cup squad early for private causes might be one other key query for Arteta. White’s versatility and consistency, each at full-back and centre-back, have been essential this season, so Arsenal will want him to return to the shape that earned him that call-up for Qatar.

On the flipside, winger Bukayo Saka had an impressive World Cup with England, and fellow extensive attacker Gabriel Martinelli is reportedly near signing a contract extension on the Emirates after getting back from the World Cup with Brazil. So amid the considerations, there have been positives for Arteta to construct on.

The Arsenal supervisor is aware of {that a} robust interval lies forward, although. With extra gamers than every other membership — 9 — having registered greater than 1,000 Premier League minutes this season, fatigue may change into an element as Arsenal (and each different crew) begin to play catch-up in league and cup play following Qatar 2022 .

“We’re going to be enjoying each three days,” Arteta mentioned. “The congestion and the quantity of video games now we have to play goes to be unimaginable. We’re going to should have extra assets and extra gamers to have the ability to do this.

“We’ve the arrogance we’re on the best path, however as effectively, now we have the purple lights and alarms, as a result of what’s coming within the second half of the season is one thing unprecedented. And we must be prepared for it.”

Arsenal’s run of fixtures between now and the return of European soccer in mid-February will give us a transparent indication as to whether or not they can maintain their title bid or will fall by the wayside, with serial winners Metropolis benefiting from the depth and expertise of their squad to overtake the Gunners.

A house recreation towards West Ham on Monday is the beginning of the tough run, adopted by a tough journey to Brighton and the go to of in-form Newcastle on Jan. 3. And within the area of a month, after an FA Cup third- spherical journey to Oxford United, Arsenal should play Tottenham (away), Manchester United (dwelling) and Manchester Metropolis (dwelling), so it’s actually a testing interval forward for Arteta and his gamers.

Some title winners — Leicester (2016), Blackburn (1995) — have began effectively and harnessed a wave of momentum all the way in which to the top of the season, however many others have run out of steam. We’re about to search out out which class Arsenal will fall into this season.

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