The 2015/16 EPL season marks 20 years since The Gunners last failed to make the top four in the Premier League as they finished behind Manchester United, Newcastle, Liverpool and Aston Villa. The next season saw them finish third but the eight campaigns after this saw them finish in the top two, taking the title on three occasions, but the last ten seasons have seen six fourth places and four thirds. Can they go one, or even two, better and move back into the top two of the league?
Although Arsene Wenger’s side finished third in the Premier League last season as they trailed second placed Manchester City by four points with champions Chelsea a further eight points clear they did show that things are looking up for them. They retained their FA Cup title with a 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa at Wembley following their win over Hull City the previous season and the final position in the EPL was the first time since the 11/12 season that they had made the top three in the league. They had spent big last season with the signings of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle and Danny Welbeck from Manchester United amongst others seeing them spend more than £70m and with the third best attacking and defensive records in 14/15 they will feel that they can step forwards again the 2015/16 season.
2015/16 EPL Preview:
Arsenal will consider the build up to this season successful by any standards as they have already lifted three trophies with the Premier League Asia Trophy lifted in Singapore with a 3-1 final win over Everton before lifting the Emirates Cup ahead of Lyon, Wolfsburg and Villarreal. The last of the three successes is the most promising and important of the three as they defeated EPL champions Chelsea at Wembley in the Community Shield as Arsene Wenger claimed his first win over Jose Mourinho in 14 clashes. Confidence will be high at The Emirates this season, but will The Gunners once again flatter to deceive?
Ins and Outs:
Petr Cech – While there have been a number of new players arrive at The Emirates for the Academy and Reserve teams with the six arrivals separated into four and two respectively, the only first team signing has come from West London. This signing addresses one of the biggest issues that Arsenal have had in recent years in an inconsistent goalkeeper as they have signed 33 year old four time Premier League winner Petr Cech who has won four FA Cups, three League Cups, three Community Shields, the Champions League and the Europa League. Former captain John Terry has stated that Cech is worth 12-15 points a season, but will the player who has been capped 114 times by the Czech Republic guide them to the title?
Outgoings at the club have been busy also but, just like the incomings to The Gunners, things have been busier outside of the first team. Only Abou Diaby, who was released and joined Marseille, and striker Lukas Podolski, who joined Galatasaray in Turkey in a £1.8m deal, have departed full time from the first team. Several other first team players have moved out on loan for the season too with Carl Jenkinson returning to West Ham on a second loan spell while striker Yaya Sanogo and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny will spend the season at Ajax and Roma in the Netherlands and Italy respectively.
Arsenal EPL Preview Bets:
With Arsenal having added a world class addition to their squad in Petr Cech and pretty kept the same first team squad as last season, with rumours of new big named players arriving at the club (Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema the biggest rumour) too, online bookmaker Unibet.com think that Arsenal will at least match their performance last season.
They are currently available at odds of 5.25 in the Unibet Sportsbook to take the 2015/16 Premier League title. With Cech boosting the side and if they can keep their key players fit as well as adding a world class striker then this price may very well look to be far too high at the end of the season.
However, what we do see, just like the bookies, is The Gunners doing at least as well as they did last season and this is our less risky bet of the season. Unibet.com are offering odds of 1.62 for Arsene Wenger’s side to end the season in the top three of the league and we’re all over this despite the vast improvements made by Manchester United and Liverpool this summer.
We’re also tempted to have two small bets on The Gunners to move up the pecking order too with them available to make the top two @ 2.40 and to win their first title since 03/04 at a price of 5.25 as both of these offer value with just days to go before the start of the season.