A Look Ahead to the 2016/17 Season for Arsenal
When the new Premier League season kicks off on the weekend of 13/14th August, Arsenal can head into the weekend feeling quietly confident that they will have a strong season. The summer transfer window and its rumour mills have been dominated by other teams, notably the two Manchester clubs. United and City both have new managers in Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola respectively, but it could well be an opportunity for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to win his first Premier League title since 2004.
His main summer acquisition arrived before Euro 2016 even kicked off – Granit Xhaka signed from Borussia Monchengladbach and he will provide some real bite and tenacity to a midfield that has too often been overrun in big game. Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta both left the club at the end of their contracts but the Swiss international will bring some leadership into the spine of the squad. If Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey can remain fit and in-form then this could mark the dawn of one of the best midfield trios in the league.
One missing part of the jigsaw for the Gunners seems to be in the striking department. Olivier Giroud had a highly impressive Euros for France but there are question marks over his ability as a top-level striker who can consistently make his mark in big games – particularly as United have signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free transfer. Also, Danny Welbeck has once again succumbed to a long-term knee injury and will miss a large chunk of the early season.
This, coupled with the loss of form for Theo Walcott, means that a major attacking arrival is surely inevitable. Names such as Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata and Mauro Icardi have all been mentioned and if any of those were signed then Arsenal’s squad would be in its best shape for years.
For the new season, Betway are offering a range of football betting odds for fans. They include options such as in-play during matches, and outright bets such as the winners of the 2016/17 Premier League title – Arsenal are currently rated as third favourites at 6/1. They also offer odds on upcoming friendly games during pre-season, including the odds on both teams to score tonight.
Arsenal couldn’t face a much more difficult start to the new Premier League campaign. They host Liverpool first, who will have a point to prove under Jurgen Klopp after a disappointing end to last season saw them finish eighth place. Next up are Leicester City, the champions, away from home in what is sure to be an early season indicator of which club is most likely to win the title. Their cause is also not helped with the fact that Arsene Wenger has given extended breaks to the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil. Alexis Sanchez is still nursing the injuries he suffered playing for Chile in the Copa America.
Any success is likely to depend on whether key men can perform consistently. Mesut Ozil is on the back of his best season at the club, but the German needs to have other players performing around him. Alexis Sanchez had a relatively poor second season at the Gunners and will be looking to help the club to silverware.
With Per Mertesacker being named captain of the club, he is likely to need other senior players such as Petr Cech in order to keep unity as they battle on all fronts.
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