A little over a week ago, many people thought that there was only going to be one winner of the Premier League title. However, that has since changed.
Those Who Win Chris Sutton, a former striker for Blackburn Rovers, said on BBC Radio 5 Live that “let’s be honest, we are all expecting Man City to run away with the title again.” This was in response to the fact that Manchester City had once again appeared imperious by winning their first six games in a row.
He was not the only one who was thinking this way, but my, how things have changed in only the past week. Pep Guardiola’s team has been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Newcastle, and they suffered their first setback in the league to Wolverhampton Wanderers, which has left them looking rather vulnerable.
And while the treble winners City are still on top of the standings and considered by most to be the favorites for a fourth straight crown, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham have made a start to the season that shows it will not be a formality for them to win the title.
Gary Neville, a former defender for Manchester United, has predicted that Arsenal will win the Premier League title before Sunday’s (16:30 BST) match between Arsenal and City at Emirates Stadium.
Have the Gunners, who last time around finished five points behind in second place despite having an eight-point lead late in the season, made any progress toward being a member of Guardiola’s class of 2023-24?
How does this measure up to the previous year, and what changed throughout the course of the summer?
Arsenal was one point ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table after seven games in the previous season, with 18 points to Manchester City’s 17.
This season, City is on top with 18 points, while Arsenal is in second place with 17 points; nevertheless, the Gunners are currently undefeated in this season’s competition.
After that moment, Arsenal would go on a run in which they would win 10 of their next 12 games and draw two of those games, a run that would put them five points clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand over City.
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Despite this, City would eventually come back to beat them and take the championship with a game to spare.
“Stay with them and get to that point where there are nine or 10 games to go again,” advised Neville, a former England right-back, on his podcast.
“Arsenal won’t run away and win the league – your first title is very rarely like that, you have to get over the line crawling,” Wenger said. “Your first title is very rarely like that.”
“Towards the end of the previous campaign, they were unable to get it together and made some errors, but they need to be in that position once more. Then we’ll find out whether or not they’ve grown up. It seems likely that they will have.”
Last year, when Arsenal did not have to worry about competing in the Champions League, they were able to field a smaller team. Unfortunately for them, this proved to be their undoing as they had to deal with injuries, particularly to center defender William Saliba.
As a result, they strengthened their team by adding players such as Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, Chelsea attacking midfielder Kai Havertz, Ajax fullback Jurrien Timber, and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice throughout the summer.
Will the strikes prove to be the deciding factor?
The previous season, Arsenal finished second only to City with 88 goals scored in the Premier League. However, their goals were scored by a variety of players, with midfielder Martin Odegaard and winger Gabriel Martinelli leading the team with 15 goals in the league each.
Additionally, Bukayo Saka (14) and Gabriel Jesus (11) both reached the double digits.
Erling Haaland, who set a record for most goals scored in the Premier League with 36, was a more reliable goal source for City. However, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez were a long way behind with only nine points each.
Arsenal have scored 15 goals in the Premier League so far this season, while Manchester City have scored 17. However, Brighton, Aston Villa, and Newcastle have scored more goals than either Arsenal or City.
Would Arsenal be stronger if they had players like Alvarez and Haaland? Naturally,” responded Sutton with a smile. “Did they make any headway during the previous season? Without a doubt. This past summer, did they make any noteworthy acquisitions? Without a doubt. But would the addition of players like Rice, Havertz, Timber, and Raya be enough to dethrone Man City as the best team in the league? It doesn’t seem likely to me.
“I do believe that scoring goals has been a struggle for Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah is a kind guy, but in your opinion, how good of a striker is he? It doesn’t seem likely to me. Because of his lack of experience as a finisher, Jesus has received a significant amount of criticism over the years.
“While I do believe that he has made Arsenal stronger, I do not believe that he is clinical. It is likely necessary for them to take action and bring one player in if they want to win the Premier League. However, there aren’t very many of them out there. That is the crux of the matter.”
“Although six teams have scored more goals than Arsenal so far this Premier League season, Gracenote’s expected goals model says that the Gunners have the second-best attack in terms of the quality of chances created,” said Simon Gleave, head of analysis at Nielsen Gracenote. “The Gunners have the second-best attack in terms of the quality of chances created.”
In spite of the fact that they have attempted less goals overall, Arsenal’s offense has made great strides toward being more dangerous when compared to the identical matches played in the previous season.
This is due to the fact that the probability of scoring with an average shot on goal in these seven contests has grown from 9% in the previous campaign to 13.5% in the current one.
“Despite scoring 17 goals in the Premier League this season and having more shots and shots on target than in last season’s opening seven matches, Manchester City’s underlying numbers suggest that their attack is not as potent as it has been throughout the majority of Pep Guardiola’s tenure. ”
“City have created just 10.9 expected goals, which is 30% less than last season’s 15.65 from the first seven matches.”
Have we seen any changes as a result of the Community Shield?
Since December of 2015, Arsenal has not been victorious vs City in the Premier League, and the team has been defeated in each of their last 12 league matches.
Their most recent meeting of this type was a 4-1 victory for City against Arsenal at Etihad Stadium in April. This victory took the wind out of Arsenal’s sails and gave City the upper hand in the title race.
Leandro Trossard scored an equalizer for the Gunners 11 minutes into injury time of the Community Shield match that took place in August, and the Gunners went on to win the match on penalties.
But Andros Townsend, who played as a winger for England in the past, believes that this could end up being beneficial to City in the long run.
During an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, he stated, “I think that Community Shield defeat by Arsenal got rid of any hangover City could possibly have had.” [City] “got rid of any hangover City could possibly have had.”
Every team that has won the league has experienced a hangover in the following season, and Manchester City is the only side that has been able to go on winning runs of 15 games to recover from it.
“But I think that loss to Arsenal and the reaction of Arsenal, the celebrations, gave Pep the opportunity to refocus his squad and get them going,” you said. “Pep was able to get them going.”
How significant is this upcoming game?
Only Olivier Giroud, who is now 37 years old and still plays football, of the five players who scored or assisted a goal in the Gunners’ most recent league triumph against City, a 2-1 victory at the Emirates four days before Christmas in 2015, is still active in the sport. Arsene Wenger was the manager of the team at the time.
Is it possible for them to break that curse on Sunday?
As a result of Kevin de Bruyne’s long-term injury absence and Rodri’s suspension, Manchester City are playing without two of their first-choice midfielders.
“The match is massive,” said Lee Hendrie, who formerly played as a midfielder for Aston Villa. “Arsenal, are you going to take that one step further? They are going to be under the impression that they can win all three points.
The fact that Rodri is unavailable is such a huge deal, and it has the potential to transform the season entirely. If they can pick up three points, they will have a fighting chance.”
Former Arsenal player Kevin Campbell, who was with the club from 1988 to 1995, stated that the club “absolutely needs to win this game.” If they have any aspirations of winning the title, they will need to gain ground on Man City.
So, will Arsenal be crowned champions?
After suffering two losses in their last three matches, City appears to be in a significantly weaker position.
Neville added, “I’ve got Arsenal to win the league this year,” referring to the upcoming season. “What it would have taken out of those City players and staff members after Treble, it would have been immense.
“They could easily win the league this season, and while obviously this is just one game, encouraging results like that give the other teams hope for the rest of the season.” We are aware that City has suffered defeats in the past and gone on extended winning streaks; therefore, we are unable to write them out completely; nonetheless, this will provide Arsenal with a great deal of motivation.
“I just want them to keep their cool and be a little bit more callous,” she said. There will be significant challenges ahead, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds. This season won’t be all about Manchester City, so I’m excited to see what else is in store.
Neville is absolutely true, with barely three points separating the first six clubs in the standings. Tottenham, who are currently in third place behind City and Arsenal, are also undefeated, and Liverpool, Villa, and Brighton have each won five of their first seven games. Tottenham are sandwiched between City and Arsenal.
According to Gleave, “No team has emerged as an obvious challenger to Manchester City this season as yet when comparing results this season with those achieved against the same or equivalent opponents last term.” This is based on a comparison of the results this season with those achieved against the same or equivalent opponents last term.
“As a result of these matches, Liverpool has accumulated two additional points, while Arsenal has accumulated one fewer point.”