The tactic which could win Arsenal their fourth Premier League title
There’s a growing feeling around the Emirates Stadium that Arsenal can win the Premier League this year, as their unbeaten run since the opening day defeat to Liverpool stretches to eight games. And that’s now four victories on the bounce in all competitions for Arsene Wenger’s men, who look to have found a real winning formula.
So just what are the Gunners doing? And, more importantly, can it be maintained?
On paper, it’s simple. They’re shocking teams by coming out of the traps flying, and comfortably seeing the rest of the game out.
It’s an approach which they succeeded with in patches last campaign, most notably against Manchester United, where they scored three goals in the opening 19 minutes only to dictate the rest of the match without unnecessarily pushing forward.
But while it was impressive to watch, it simply didn’t happen often enough.
However, skip forward 12 months and it seems to be a tactic which is being deployed on a more regular basis, given that the Gunners have scored an impressive 12 goals in all competitions in the first-half since the start of the season, conceding just three before the interval.
In their last two games, they’ve shown moments of brilliance which very few teams in world football would be able to keep up with, becoming the first side to lead Chelsea 3-0 at half-time since Atletico Madrid back in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup.
The pace running through Wenger’s frontline is simply frightening. Playing Alexis Sanchez on his own up-front means when the Gunners break means there’s a constant thorn in opponent’s sides.
An in-form Theo Walcott on one side, a currently unstoppable Alex Iwobi on the other, the magic of Mesut Ozil in the middle and Sanchez up-top make up arguably one of the strongest attacking units in the league right now. Each of Arsenal’s goals against Chelsea at the weekend only further emphasised this.
And their ability to kill games off early on means there could be some value in backing them in the HT/FT market in future games.
Possessing just the right amount of pace, creativity, experience and energy, there’s definitely an argument that the Gunners are massively overpriced at 17/2 for the title.
Though Manchester City’s draw with Celtic in Europe does nothing to alter their position in the league, it will certainly give teams in England at least an ounce of confidence that they can take points from the league leaders.
Up next for the Citizens is a difficult trip to White Hart Lane, to face Tottenham Hotspur, who are the only other unbeaten team in the top-flight.
And Arsenal’s bitter rivals could do them a huge favour on Sunday by taking points from City, before the Gunners face an inconsistent Burnley side.
There’s a chance the Gunners could be just two points behind Pep’s men come close of play on Sunday evening. If that happens, expect that 17/2 on them winning the league to fall.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing