Arsenal are perhaps one of the most frustrating sides to support in the Premier League, with the Gunners having the ability to frustrate even the most loyal of supporters by failing to consistently put results together, before giving immense hope by producing an outstanding result against one of their major rivals.
Failure to finish inside the top-four last season for the first time during Arsène Wenger’s time with the club meant that Arsenal headed into the 2017/18 campaign with a point to prove and in unfamiliar circumstances, with no Champions League football to play and Europa League on a Thursday night to contend with.
Of course, Wenger’s aim this season will be to break back into the Premier League’s top-four and re-qualify for Europe’s elite competition but his task is perhaps as hard as it has ever been, with some of Arsenal’s Premier League rivals seemingly streets ahead of the Gunners.
So far this season, Manchester City have looked the team to beat, with Pep Guardiola’s side playing an exciting brand of football that has seen many compare them to Arsenal’s title-winning side in 2004. City’s main challenge is looking like it could come from across Manchester, with United impressing on occasion, whilst Chelsea, Liverpool, and North London rivals, Tottenham, are also pushing for a place in the top-four.
Whilst many pundits continue to question the ability of Wenger’s squad, they have shown signs that they could once again stage a serious assault on the top-four, with many often overreacting to the club’s setbacks. The Gunners are well in contention for the top-four heading into the final month of 2017, despite disappointing results against Liverpool and Man City already this season.
Arsenal have picked up a positive result at Stamford Bridge already this season, with Wenger masterminding a 0-0 draw with last season’s Premier League Champions, whilst the Gunners have also claimed bragging rights in the North London derby, beating a popular Spurs side 2-0 thanks to goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez.
That result came against a Spurs side who are fancied to once again claim a place in the top-four this season and maybe even challenge for the title, highlighting Arsenal’s achievement. Oddschecker had a range of different offers attached to its preview of the North London derby, including a number of free bets for customers who were looking to place an unlikely wager on an Arsenal victory or under 2.5 goals.
More tricky tests are just on the horizon for Wenger’s side, with clashes against Manchester United and Liverpool coming up in December, along with the reverse fixture with Chelsea in early 2018. However, so far, Arsenal have answered plenty of questions against their rivals, to hang in there in the race for the top-four this season.
Of course, there are plenty of pressing issues at the Emirates Stadium, with the future of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil always bubbling away in the background but, first and foremost for Arsenal this season, they need to qualify for the Champions League next season and return to the top-four. The way Wenger and his side have been criticised on occasion this year, it would be easy to believe they were a million miles away but the fact is they are very much in contention to return to normality.