The dull internationals are over, and we can all get excited about the return of the Premier League, with the added spice for Arsenal’s fans anticipating the impact Thomas Partey will make on a team already sitting handily placed in fourth. Despite three wins from four, with the only loss being to the champions, it would be fair to say the progress so far has been functional, with Arteta and his team getting the job done.
It would equally be fair to say that the three teams we have defeated we should have expected to beat if we are to be serious challengers but the next seven fixtures, coming in quick succession will truly inform is where this Arsenal squad is when compared to its rivals. In short, the run of matches will truly test us and determine whether this squad has depth, talent and belief to push for major honours. As Delaware sports betting will tell us the Premier League is a lottery with many possible winners, and this period will tells is if Arsenal are in the game.
Starting this Saturday with Man City away, Arsenal have to player Leicester (H), Man United (A), Aston Villa (H), Leeds (A), Wolves (H) and Tottenham (A), between now and the first week of December. This set of fixtures alone is daunting, but we must factor in three Europa League ties so the Spaniard will have to fully utilise his squad.
In one sense perhaps we are fortunate to be playing so many of our Top 4 competition away, with no home fan advantage against is but Arsenal’s track record away against Top 6 opposition is well known, with no actual win in 5 years. For much of that time we were playing under latter day Arsene Wenger and our week core and defence was easily exploited. Under Arteta we are better organised, better without the football, show far greater discipline and Thomas Partey, once integrated, with only augment these traits whilst allowing our more creative side to shine.
Without seeing exactly how Arteta wants to play with Partey in his team and I hope to see him at least of the bench at the Etihad, it is of course tough to predicted how Arsenal will navigate the next 7 matches but here goes….
Saturday 17th Man City Away – If reported are to believed Pep’s team will be missing key player in Aguero, Sterling and De Bruyne. They have had an inauspicious start to the campaign, and I fancy a confident Arsenal to take advantage of their injuries and disorganised defence. High scoring draw, 1 point.
25/10 Leicester Home – The Foxes are playing well but are not infallible. I suspect our Ghanaian midfielder will be starting and Arteta will have shifted to a back four, given us greater creativity. Arsenal Win, 3 points.
01/11 Man United Away – United have strengthened but in the wrong areas. They are frail and the back and did not bring in the left sided central defensive player they desperately needed. This is the day Arsenal break the 5-year dick with an away win and 3 points.
07/11 Aston Villa Home – The Villains have started well, with Grealish pulling the strings. It is hard to discount them after their impressive win over Liverpool, but I still see Arsenal edging a tight affair. Arsenal Win, 3 points.
21/11 Leeds Away – I cannot see many teams coming away from Elland Rd with three points. Bielsa has this team functioning superbly at this new level and I feel Arsenal will be content with a draw, 1 point.
28/11 Wolves Home – Wolves have performed very well against the Gunners since being promoted but Arteta unlike his predecessor showed he had their number at the end of 19/20. I feel the home side will edge this. Arsenal Home win, 3 points.
05/11 Spurs Away – Much will depend on how Mourinho is able to integrate Gareth Bale, so this is difficult to call so far into the future. It will be unusual to see a team coached by the Portuguese that may be better going forward than defensively but this Spurs team may be the first. Much as I would love to predict an away win, I suspect a tightly fought draw is the likelier outcome. Arsenal secure 1 point.
If we have indeed secured 15 points from a possible 21, I am sure Arsenal will be comfortably still in the top 4 of the Premier League. Arteta will find his team ideally placed to push on into the Christmas period and enter the New Year and new window, knowing much more about is players and what he needs to do in that window.
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