After its latest match against Bayern Munich, the Champions League hopes of Arsenal seem to have all but ended. However, there is a a silver lining to this dark cloud. By having more time to focus on the domestic league in addition to a less strenuous schedule that requires less travel, players will have more time to heal and the Gunners might be in their best position to take home the English Premier League title in more than 10 years.
Arsenal currently sits at 2nd in the Premier League and is tied with Manchester City on points and only lags behind the Citizens by four on goal differential. This is all the more reason that the team needs every able-bodied forward it can find.
Several players are set to return from injury in January including forward Danny Welbeck and midfielder Jack Wilshere. The club also hopes that winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit for the team’s upcoming match against West Bromwich Albion following the winter break.
However, after so much time on the bench, the players will have much to prove when they return to action at the start of 2016.
Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have both been absolute revelations for the team this year. The flourishing partnership between the two is responsible for much of the squad’s success. Ozil has been breaking Premier League records left and right, and he looks to have developed into the enterprising playmaker that Arsenal supporters always hoped he would be. During the Gunners’ most recent match against Tottenham Hotspur, the midfield maestro set a Premier League record for the most consecutive assists in a season after aiding a goal for six games in a row.
Sanchez has also become an indispensable part of Arsenal’s frontline in his own right. Given the injury woes that have plagued the Gunners since the start of the season, it would make sense that manager Arsene Wenger would want to to do everything he can to keep his few remaining players healthy. Sources report that the manager plans to give the Chilean striker a much needed rest in the coming weeks as the team begins to plan for the second half of its Premier League campaign.
With the consistent performances of Ozil and Sanchez along with many of the club’s key players returning to action after the holidays, the odds of Arsenal hoisting its fourth Premier League title and its first in over a decade have never been better. The betting experts are giving the team a strong chance of taking the title, as they have put Arsenal at 2/1 odds to win it all this year. The last time the Gunners even finished a season as runners-up was in the 2004-05 campaign, so this string of success is long overdue for supporters, as is the good faith of those predicting the outcome.
There have been rumours that Manchester United also has their eyes on the Chilean goal-scorer. They may be looking to for a big money steal over the winter transfer window, though we’d be shocked if Wenger was willing to let him go given his current form. It’s like the old saying goes, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”