Arsenal season preview

Arsenal have finished outside of the Premier League top-four in each of the last two seasons, but there’s optimism among pundits and supporters that they can finally return to the Champions League under new manager Unai Emery. According to current Toals betting offers, the Gunners are 9/5 to finish in the top-four this campaign, but it won’t be easy given the competition.

Manchester City are the defending champions and are being tipped to retain the title, let alone finish in the Champions League spots. Liverpool are being backed to come second after strong recruitment this summer has seen them sign a stellar goalkeeper, two talented midfielders and some more depth in attack.

Manchester United were runners-up in 2017/18 but haven’t recruited too well this summer so fans aren’t expecting to move mountains under Jose Mourinho. Chelsea have an outstanding head coach in Maurizio Sarri, but he may have his work cut out also after the Londoners laboured to fifth under Antonio Conte.

And as for Tottenham, the North London outfit have finished in the top-four in each of the last three seasons and haven’t lost any key players this summer. They haven’t made any notable new signings, but they should still compete in the top-four. Arsenal have a lot of work to do, but they finally have a squad that looks capable of achieving their goals.

The Gunners signed Berno Leno from Bayer Leverkusen to compete with Petr Cech for a starting place between the sticks. They signed Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner to add experience and leadership to the backline while Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi have provided much-needed bite to the midfield.

Arsenal are in much better shape than they were a number of months ago, but they have been underachieving for some time. After finishing only one point off the top-four in 2016/17, it’s worth noting that Arsenal finished 12 points behind in 2017/18, so Emery’s men will be underdogs.

Emery is a good head coach who has had lots of time to get to grips with his charges, but have Arsenal strengthened better than Manchester United and Tottenham? Are they now a superior outfit, or do they have the most ground to make up this season?

Many are suggesting the likes of Spurs can be toppled, but they’re the only side to finish in the Premier League top-three in each of the last three seasons. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have only been in the top-three once during this time, so it’s hard to pick out clear favourites this season.

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Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke). He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.

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