The mood in the Arsenal’s camp was definitely lifted following the comfortable 3-0 home win over Bournemouth last Saturday.
The fact that Manchester United and Liverpool dropped points on the same day made the weekend even better for the club fans. As things stand, the Gunners are just four points off the top, but they can’t afford to let that gap increase anymore this early in the season.
One positive aspect for the Gunners this season is that they would be able to prioritize league football over the European football. Ahead of the Gunners’ Europa League clash against Cologne, manager Arsene Wenger admitted that his main priority would be the league this season.
If the French manager can keep his key players fresh during the first half of the season then that can certainly help them in the league. Over the next two-three months, the likes of United, City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool will have to divert their resources towards Champions League. Meanwhile, Wenger, who has a large squad at his disposal, will hope to navigate the group stages of Europa League without involving his key players.
Leicester City and Chelsea took advantage of the lack of European football on their way to league titles during the past two seasons, and Wenger would be hoping to achieve something similar to that effect this season.
Following their game against Cologne, Arsenal have a crucial league trip to champions Chelsea on Sunday and they can’t afford to lose this one after losing their last two away games.
The Blues have a Champions League game against Qarabag on Wednesday, and most of their key players would be involved in the game. The Gunners find themselves as the least favourites among the favourites to win the title this season, and you would find it hard to find someone who is ready to take a punt on them this season.
However, if Wenger’s side want people to take them seriously this season then they won’t find a better occasion than the trip to Stamford Bridge to make their claim in the league race.