Steve Freeth assesses Arsenal's credentials with the league-leaders still the big 7/1 outsiders to claim the Premier League crown.
The last time Arsenal were top of the Premier League after 12 games they went on to be crowned champions with the ‘Invincibles’ romping to the title, boasting a mammoth 11 point cushion!
However, despite being two points clear of Manchester City at present, the Gunners are currently rated as 7/1 shots to reclaim the coveted crown in 2022/23 with Pep Guardiola’s array of stars the red-hot 1/6 favourites.
Quite a startling difference, especially when you consider the fact that the Londoners have shown very few signs of weakness during what has been a hugely impressive opening few months of the campaign.
Ten victories from their 12 top-flight fixtures to date represents a return that few, if any, of the Gunners faithful could have envisaged during the summer months.
Eye-catching triumphs over top-end rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool last month served to back-up their credentials as genuine contenders, whilst their previously inconsistent nature seems to have been banished with Arteta’s men displaying a newfound ruthless nature against those who have stood before them.
Even in their one and only league defeat of the campaign thus far, against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Arsenal were without doubt the better side – although those of a United persuasion will find it natural to argue that case.
The long and short of it is that the Gunners do have a chance this season! How big a chance… well that depends on who you are speaking to.
I think if you showed a neutral supporter in the street a current Premier League table and asked them whether they were expecting a genuine title race this season then a large number would say yes, but the bookmaking world sees it differently.
We rate Manchester City as being far superior to Arteta’s side; that despite the present two-point deficit.
For example, the odds we are currently offering on Arsenal winning the league are similar to what they would be if it was Brighton & Hove Albion challenging the Gunners right now at the top.
Look, bookmakers have been wrong before of course… Leicester City can vouch for that!
But, from a bookmaker’s point of view, whist a second place finish looks very much on the cards for Arsenal at Evens, a first top-flight crown since those heady days of Arsene Wenger still looks a way off.
That said, there is absolutely no denying that Arteta and his side are in a very good place right now.