Arsenal’s wait for what would be a 14th league title stretches back to 2003/04, but they are very much in the mix as we head towards the busy festive period in 2016/17.
The Gunners 2015/16 Premier League campaign was one of missed opportunities as they failed to fully capitalize on the failings of their traditional rivals. Despite being well-placed at the turn of the year, they were unable to match the consistency of Leicester City and were eventually a little fortuitous to end the season as runners-up.
A top-four finish and another season of Champions’ League football are the minimum expectation for Arsenal supporters, but there has long been a feeling that many in the upper echelons at the club are too comfortable with that and lack the ambition to push for the top honours.
In fairness the purse strings have been loosened in the last few years and Arsene Wenger strengthened his squad in key areas over the summer with the signings of Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Pérez.
Arsenal should now be well-equipped to deal with any of their customary injury setbacks if and when they occur. The one area where they may still be short is that of having a really top drawer marquee striker they can rely on, although Alexis Sanchez has already weighed in with 11 league goals and he could be a decent option for the Premier League top-scorer market for Arsenal betting fans.
Arsenal’s Summer Transfers (major deals)
Transfers In (signed from):
Granit Xhaka (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Takuma Asano (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Robert Holding (Bolton Wanderers)
Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia)
Lucas Pérez (Deportiv La Coruna)
Transfers Out (moved to):
Mikel Arteta (retired)
Tomas Rosicky (Sparta Prague)
Mathieu Flamini (Crystal Palace)
Wojciech Szczesny (Roma – loan)
Joel Campbell (Sporting Lisbon – loan)
Takuma Asano (VfB Stuttgart – loan)
Calum Chambers (Middlesbrough – loan)
Serge Gnabry (Werder Bremen)
Jack Wilshere (AFC Bournemouth – loan)
Arsenal’s only Premier League defeat to date was the 4-3 loss at home to Liverpool on the opening day of the campaign, when Wenger went into the game with a makeshift defence. There’s a resilience about the team this season that hasn’t always been evident in the past.
Recent history might suggest otherwise, but the Gunners could be worth a small interest for the title. Naturally, Arsenal are also among the frontrunners in the betting for the FA Cup although, with other priorities as things stand, it could be worth holding fire on them there.
There have been six consecutive exits in the last 16 of the Champions’ League for Arsenal, so improvement on that front will be a clear goal going into 2017. The signs are encouraging, as they not only secured their customary place in the knock-out stage of the competition, but somehow claimed top spot in their group after an uncharacteristic slip-up by Paris Saint-Germain. There will certainly be a great selection of Arsenal free bets available however long they remain in the competition.
When it comes to Arsenal betting, the Gunners are usually good for a few goals. In particular, Arsenal to win and Both Teams to Score (BTTS) is always worth keeping an eye on. In Arsenal’s opening 15 Premier League games this season, that’s a bet that would have paid out on no fewer than eight occasions.
There will be numerous Arsenal free bets available in the form of enhanced odds throughout the season, but it’s always worth checking out any individual bookmakers welcome bonuses when contemplating opening a new account too.
Manager – Arsene Wenger
Goalkeepers – David Ospina, Damián Martínez, Petr Cech, Matt Macey
Defenders – Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Héctor Bellerín, Robert Holding, Carl Jenkinson, Shkodran Mustafi, Marc Bola
Midfielders – Mesut Özil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Krystian Bielik, Alex Iwobi, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ben Sheaf, Gedion Zelalem, Joshua Dasilva
Forwards – Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sánchez, Danny Welbeck, Chuba Akpom, Lucas Pérez, Yaya Sanogo, Chris Willock, Stephy Mavididi