Although the season ended in disappointment for Arsenal, falling just short in the title race no one expected them to be in, they can at least say they finished above London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea.
It’s the first time the Gunners have finished as top London club since Leicester’s title win in 2016, and the first time Chelsea haven’t finished as top London club since 2018.
Although it’s early days, Arsenal are hot favourites to finish above Tottenham and Chelsea once again at 4/9, but is there value in Tottenham and Chelsea at bigger prices?
The appointment of Ange Postecoglou had potential but was a gamble nonetheless considering his lack of top-level managerial experience, and with the loss of Harry Kane it felt impossible that Tottenham would be challenging for Champions League football, yet their blistering start to the season has seen Spurs into 8/11 to finish in the top four and 1/4 to finish in the top five.
Son Heung-min has taken up the mantle of being Tottenham’s talisman superbly, putting a disappointing 2022/23 behind him with seven goals in his first nine games. James Maddison has made the step up tremendously to top the assist charts; Dejan Kulusevski is looking dangerous down the right flank again, while Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr have provided a sturdy base in midfield.
But the chaotic defeat to Chelsea in which two men were sent off may have lasting implications. Destiny Udogie, just back from a minor injury will miss Tottenham's next game through suspension. Cristian Romero will miss the next three games including the trip to Manchester City. James Maddison was removed after picking up a knock, though his condition didn't appear too serious, but Micky van de Ven could be out for a substantial period of time after pulling up.
While Tottenham's first XI is strong, their squad looks thin and could be tested severely in the next few weeks and Spurs are out to 12/1 for the title.
Chelsea are the outsiders of the big three London clubs at 7/1 after their underwhelming start to life under Mauricio Pochettino. There were encouraging signs in the Blues’ first few games, but losses to West Ham and Nottingham Forest were big dents in their Champions League aspirations. Interestingly, Chelsea were the only team in the country to have won the xG battle in every game until their defeat to Brentford (and were even winning that until Bryan Mbeumo's open-goal tap-in at the death), and Pochettino will be optimistic that his forwards can start finding the net more regularly.
Nicolas Jackson hasn't had the easiest start to life in West London but will surely be feeling more confident after his hat-trick against Spurs, even if it did come against nine men and still somehow saw him under-perform his xG.
bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “It’s been three years since Postecoglou last tasted a home league defeat but there would’ve been a number of Spurs fans heading home with a smile on their face despite the wide-margin scoreline.
“Unfortunately for the Australian, he’ll have a number of injuries and suspensions to deal with for their trip to Molineux this weekend, although we’re not expecting him to change approach to the match after continuing his high-line tactics with his depleted side against Chelsea.
“The latest international break may come at a good time but Spurs return to face the likes of Manchester City, Newcastle as well as Aston Villa in what will be the toughest set of fixtures they’ve encountered to date.”
Arsenal are hot favourites to finish Top London Club at 4/9 and while it would be nice to finish above their rivals again, there’s a club 200 miles north who they’ve got their sights set on…