Arsenal is currently second in the Premier League table with 40 points from 19 matches. The Gunners are a couple of points adrift of Liverpool after their 2-0 loss to West Ham United, despite dominating with 75% ball-possession and having 30 shots.
Mikel Arteta’s men threw away a lead last season to concede the league title to Manchester City. The Gunners will surely not want a repeat of the last season this time around, and should fancy their chances of ending their Premier League drought that has lasted two decades now.
The loss against West Ham was a reversal, but the 41-year-old Spanish manager might very well go on to become the first manager since Arsene Wenger to win the league title for the London club.
Arsenal has one of the meanest defenses
Arsenal’s center back pairing of Gabriel and William Saliba is probably the best in the Premier League at the moment. The Gunners have conceded only 16 goals in the league this season so far, which is the joint-fewest with Liverpool.
The Gunners also have Ben White as their reliable right back, who can pretty much play as the third central defender once they switch to a 3-2-2-3, with Oleksandr Zinchenko switching to a midfielder’s role.
However, the signing of the season has probably been Declan Rice, who is proving to be worth every penny the Gunners spent on him. Rice’s presence has given them the solidity they have needed and the 24-year-old English International has played his part in their attacks as well.
Moreover, Arsenal has an enviable attacking unit, who can play passes among themselves quite quickly and slice open any defense with them. With Kai Havertz slowly returning to form and Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in their elements, Arsenal’s attacking prowess keeps tormenting most of the opposition defenses.
However, they have often lacked a clinical finisher upfront, with Gabriel Jesus having a tally of seven goals and three assists in 19 matches this season. Leandro Trossard has filled in as a false nine at times, scoring six goals in 21 matches.
Still, the Gunners might go for a clinical striker in the form of Ivan Toney in the January transfer window to give their title-bid a further thrust. It remains to be seen how effective someone like Toney could prove to be in the upcoming year for them. In this regard, the Gunners might also be lured to sell Eddie Nketiah to generate some revenue.
Arsenal will face Fulham in their last Premier League match of the year. Fulham can be a tricky opponent, but the Gunners will back themselves to beat them to earn three points.
Should they be able to win that match, Arsenal will finish the year with the belief that they can actually contend seriously for the title. At the start of the next calendar year, Arsenal will face two easier opponents on paper, in Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, before coming up against the might of Liverpool once again.
With two powerhouses like Manchester City and Liverpool there, the Gunners will face a big challenge on their way towards a potential title triumph.