Stoke defeat will usher in month of utter misery for Arsenal

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It was supposed to be their most winnable game in the month of March, but Arsenal stumbled over their lowest hurdle in a 1-0 loss to Stoke that seriously hampered their chances of ending their silverware hex.

A Jon Walters penalty confined the Gunners to their third loss in the last six games in all competitions and saw their odds to win the Premier League slide to 16/1.

That’s largely due to the run of fixtures they must now face in the third month of 2014, which sees them travel to north London enemies Tottenham and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in consecutive matches before entertaining Manchester City just a week later.

By then the four point gap they currently concede to the Stamford Bridge side could have grown to something far less manageable, with their odds to win the title going with it.

Their chances in the FA Cup are not straightforward either, with Everton posing formidable opponents to their 11/4-rated chances of landing the trophy.

Then there’s the small matter of trying to overcome the two-goal arrears they accrued against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, something they are a huge 16/1 to do in the Allianz Arena.

So the odds are against Arsene Wenger on all fronts, and what seemed like a campaign that may finally deliver some long awaited joy for Gunners fans looks to be forming into the familiar shape of failure once again.

Should that be the case, it will be an all too common scenario at the Emirates, who as recently as 2011 were putting up a strong fight on four fronts before losing the Capital One Cup final to Birmingham and imploding everywhere else.

Having failed to win all but two of their matches against teams from the top six in the Premier League this season, it certainly looks like the league title-winning celebrations that all Gunners crave will have to be put on ice for another term.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.