Robin Van Persie’s return to form could be just the tonic Arsenal need to overhaul Manchester United at the head of the Premier League standings this season.
Arsenal’s betting odds are 5/2 to win the Premier League, but to do so they will have to make up two points on Manchester United, who also have a game in hand.
However, the odds of them doing so are improving by the week, particularly with Van Persie showing the way at the head of their four-pronged attack.
The Dutchman has proved fragile since being signed by Arsenal and has had to spend spells on the sidelines in five of his six seasons because of problems with his toes, knee and ankle.
Although still feeling his way back to action from his latest setback, Van Persie could come to the fore at just the right time for the Gunners as all four competitions in which they remain are reaching the business stages.
His appearance against Wigan, where he scored his first Arsenal hat-trick, was just his 12th of the campaign, but it was clear that the understanding he is forming with Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott is on the verge of fulfilling its potential.
If these four continue to grow as an attacking quartet, dictating the pace and tempo of matches while producing moments of brilliance, then there is certainly no reason to doubt that they can finish the season in a similar manner to Arsenal teams of old.
The most notable example is in the 1997/98 Premier League season, where the Arsenal team went unbeaten from the new year onwards and at one point won ten games in a row to secure the title.
Meanwhile, they may be close to having overcome their biggest obstacle as they have remained in contention despite having to play nine games in all competitions throughout January.
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