From Contenders to Pretenders: Will Arsenal's Title Challenge Continue to Falter?
Arsenal Football Club are leading the Premier League standings, five points ahead of Manchester City, the defending champions. They have been having an unexpectedly brilliant season so far, playing consistently well and showing some of the best football in England. However, has the pressure begun to get to them, with results beginning to stutter and a meagre three points gained from the last three games.
With important games and Arsenal's uneven recent record, there are doubts over whether they can sustain their championship pursuit.
The results of Arsenal's season thus far in the Premier League have been amazing, with the team winning 23 of its 31 games, drawing 5, and losing only 3. They have scored 74 goals and conceded only 31, giving them a goal difference of +43. Their current points tally of 75 is five points ahead of second-place Manchester City, who also have a game in hand.
They have shown consistency as the team has been playing some of the best football in England this season, with Mikel Arleta’s possession-based style of the play bearing fruit. The defence has been solid, conceding fewer goals with the third-best defence in the league, behind Newcastle and Manchester City. The attack has been potent, with Nigeria and England’s very own Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard, and Gabriel Jesus contributing to more than 25 goals.
Analysing Arsenal's remaining fixtures
Arsenal has six crucial matches left in the Premier League campaign, and these games will determine whether their title challenge continues to falter. Let's look at some of their remaining fixtures, which seem more challenging and could hurt their chances of winning the title.
Manchester City (Away) - 27 April: Arsenal's next match is a daunting away fixture against Manchester City, who are currently in second place and just four points behind Arsenal with a game in hand. This match will be crucial in deciding the outcome of the title race, and Arsenal will need to be at their very best to get a result at the Etihad Stadium.
Chelsea (Home) - 3 May: Arsenal's third match in the run-in is another home fixture, this time against Chelsea. The Blues are currently in 11th place. A win for Arsenal in this match would be a massive statement of intent in the title race.
Newcastle United (Away) - 7 May: Arsenal's fourth match is an away fixture against Newcastle United, who are currently in 4th place and have the best defence. This is a must-win game for Arsenal if they are serious about challenging for the title.
Many leading betting sites have Arsenal as the favourite to win the title, ahead of Manchester City, despite the dip in form. However, recent form and crucial upcoming matches against Manchester City, Chelsea, and in-form Newcastle have raised concerns about whether Arsenal can continue their title challenge. They have the quality and momentum to do so, but they must be their best in their remaining fixtures to make it happen.
Despite their outstanding performance this season, Arsenal's recent form has been erratic, as they have dropped points against Liverpool and West Ham at this crucial juncture. They have only won two of their last five games across all leagues, losing one and drawing two. They had a chance to increase their advantage at the top of the league before their most recent game, a 2-2 tie against Liverpool.
There are worries that Arsenal's current performance may be a precursor to future struggles. The team has struggled against teams like Manchester City and Chelsea. With critical games against both clubs in the coming weeks, there are worries that the squad's championship challenge may fade.
Arsenal's performance and ratings of individual players
The young Arsenal team is four points ahead of Manchester City in second place in the Premier League. Some players like Bukayo Saka, Martin Ødegaard, and Gabriel Martinelli have performed well and contributed significantly to Arsenal's success. In contrast, others like Oleksandr Zinchenko, Emile Smith Rowe, and Mohamed Elneny have had a difficult season, with injuries or lack of game time affecting their performance. Arsenal needs some players to step up during the final ten games to maintain their title charge and already have one eye on the future being linked with rising Prem starlet, Michael Olise.
Impact of Injuries, fatigue, and other factors on Arsenal's Performance
Injuries have certainly had an impact on Arsenal's performance. Being a regular member of the defence, Takehiro Tomiyasu's knee injury has forced him to miss the rest of the season, a setback for the squad. William Saliba has also been out due to a lower back ailment, but he is progressing well and should return in a few weeks. However, Oleksandr Zinchenko's recent muscular issue means he was not fit enough to play, and his potential return is currently being assessed.
Fatigue could also affect Arsenal's performance, as the team has been playing regularly in the Premier League, Europa League, and Carabao Cup. The fixture congestion could affect the players' physical and mental well-being and pitch performance.
Arsenal Football Club has had an impressive campaign in the Premier League so far, currently sitting atop the table with a slender four-point lead over Manchester City. Arsenal has played some of the best football in England this season, and their possession-based style of play has proven effective. However, Arsenal's recent form needs to be more consistent, and with crucial matches coming up, there are concerns about whether they can continue their title challenge.
The remaining Premier League matches include important fixtures against Southampton, Manchester City, Chelsea, Newcastle, and Brighton, and the match against Manchester City on April 27th is crucial. Although Arsenal has a solid defence, there are still concerns about their defensive vulnerabilities, which City and Chelsea will be looking to exploit.
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