When Arsene Wenger’s record-breaking ‘Invicibles’ landed the Frenchman his third Premier League title as Arsenal manager in 2003/04, it was inconceivable that the Gunners would reach 2015/16 without winning another.
That is the reality though, but over a decade of Wenger-bashing later, the long-awaited fourth may just be around the corner for Arsenal’s wily old manager.
Although there are only 11 games in the books of the current Premier League season, the health of Arsenal’s title challenge is so rude that punters should seize the moment and back the Londoners while they are still odds-against at 13/10.
Here are five compelling reasons Arsenal will finally deliver again under Wenger:
5. Their defence is the platform
The merits of a rock solid defence were evident in all of Wenger’s title-winning sides and while it’s taken an awfully long time to assemble another unit fit for the task, Arsenal’s first-choice back five are formidable.
Petr Cech’s arrival cannot be underestimated, but if Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin can stay fit for the majority of matches, then the Gunners are in business.
Arsenal have kept six clean sheets already and alongside Manchester United have conceded the fewest in the league so far.
4. They are brilliant away from home
Aside from a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea which can be largely attributed to a pair of red cards, Arsenal have been phenomenal on the road.
No other team can match their tally of five wins (Manchester City have W2 D2 L1), while they’ve scored a division-high 14 goals. The north Londoners are no slouches at the Emirates Stadium either. Since losing at home to West Ham in their opener, they’ve claimed 10 of 12 available points.
3. Alexis Sanchez
When a team wins the title there is usually a player sprinkled with stardust whose contribution was pivotal. Last season it was Eden Hazard beating the Chelsea drum, while past players such as Sergio Aguero, Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry spring immediately to mind. In Sanchez, Arsenal have a such a superstar in their midst who can turn games on their head in a flash.
2. Their points-per-game ratio against top-half sides
One of the criticisms constantly levelled at Arsenal over the past decade is their inability to get results against the top sides. This season gives an indication those fragile days could be behind them. Despite that Stamford Bridge blip, only West Ham have garnered a better points-per-game ratio against teams in the top half in 2015/16, where that 3-0 thrashing of United was a huge statement early in proceedings. Man City have already lost heavily at Tottenham this term.
1. It’s a two-horse race
Chelsea’s stunningly-bad start pretty much renders the Premier League a two-horse race, with United still searching for the right formula under Louis van Gaal. Being better than City, which Arsenal have shown themselves to be in crucial areas already, is the key to unlock the door to the title.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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