Title contenders – Arsenal rebuild in bid to end trophy drought

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Without a trophy since 2005 and hungrier than ever for success, we assess Arsenal’s title credentials ahead of the new season.

Goalkeeper
While Manuel Almunia has made some crucial saves during his six years at Arsenal, the Spaniard has become increasingly error-prone, and Arsene Wenger is reportedly looking for a replacement.

Arsenal are 6/1 to win the Premier League, but if they are to win their first title since they finished the 2003/04 season unbeaten, they will need to be tighter in defence.

Defence
Wenger spent £10m on Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny, and the 23-year-old arrives with a reputation for robust physicality and a natural technical ability.

With William Gallas, Sol Campbell and Philippe Senderos all leaving this summer, Arsenal need to bolster their options in central defence, and another signing in this area would be a welcome addition.

Midfield
The long-standing transfer saga linking Cesc Fabregas with a move to Barcelona seems to be subsiding, and the World Cup-winning midfielder will be crucial to Arsenal’s hopes this season.

Fabregas was a part of the last Arsenal team to taste victory in a major final (the 2005 FA Cup final), and the Gunners are 7/1 to win the famous trophy again this season.

Arsenal are notoriously suspect against physically superior opposition, and despite Alex Song’s impressive showings last term, Wenger could do with an extra holding midfielder in his squad.

Attack
While Eduardo has left for Shakhtar Donetsk, Arsenal already have a replacement for the Croatian in the form of Marouane Chamakh, who is 33/1 to be the Premier League’s top scorer this season.

Chamakh has arrived on a free transfer from Bordeaux, for whom he scored 10 league goals last season, and he will compete for a starting role with Robin Van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner.

If he stays fit, Van Persie will be integral to Arsenal’s attack, and the World Cup finalist with Holland is 9/1 to finish the season as the top-scoring Premier League player.

How do you think Arsenal will fare? They are 33/1 to win the Premier League and FA Cup in the same season for a fourth time. See the full Arsenal Specials market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.