Are Arsenal’s title hopes hanging by a thread already?

Date published: Tuesday 10th January 2017 2:23

Olivier Giroud: Celebrates his late equaliser

Olivier Giroud: Celebrates his late equaliser

Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes hang by a thread, a fact underscored across online betting sites.

Arsenal’s odds to be crowned domestic champions are set to quadruple digits, at odds-against of 1400 or thereabouts depending on your choice book; well adrift of top contenders Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

With such prices on offer one could argue the Gunners are a long shot bet. To put it into betting perspective for those soccer enthusiasts: Arsenal’s odds are twice as large as Man City, whose odds range between 650 to700 at the sports betting exchange. All the while Pep Guardiola’s side are sat pretty in fourth-place and a measly point ahead of Arsenal in the table.

If that’s not a telling indication about the perceived disparity between these clubs, what is?

Yet, there are those that would maintain the Gunners are still in the title race despite the markets. And not just ardent Arsenal loyalists but also press-worthy Mesut Ozil, who’s been at the centre of media focus for various reasons in recent weeks – from taking criticism about his meagre performance in a 2-1 loss to Man City to the bout of illness that side-lined him and overall speculation about his future with the club.

To be fair, the German midfielder has been a favourite subject of UK’s non sycophantic media since his acquisition a few years back. So it’s almost fitting he should be amongst those contributing to the narrative, weighing in on Arsenal’s chances to win the Premier League from an intimate, insider’s perspective.

In interviews with media outlets Ozil insists Arsenal could very well turn things around, needing nothing more than a good run of results to close the gap on Chelsea and, in turn, turn the embittered online betting market outlook on its head.

At face value, there’s nothing outlandish about his claim at all. Running the table is something many athletes across all sports often revert to. It’s de rigueur. It harks back to the essence of competition, rising to the challenge so to speak.

Arsene Wenger: Not concerned

Arsenal are sat pretty in fifth place in the table, eight points off London rivals Chelsea but only four points off second-placed Liverpool. A soft spot (if it can be called that without meaning any disrespect to their opponents) in the schedule looms with dates against Swansea City (away) and Burnley and Watford (both at home) before the Gunners collide with Chelsea (away). Rounding out this portion (match day 21 to 25 for those looking to bet on Premier League at online betting sites of their choosing) is Hull City.

One assumes Arsenal can ill-afford to leak any points before that pivotal clash with Antonio Conte’s soaring Blues. Never mind if Ozil’s claims are to be in hindsight visionary.

However, there’s also the fact Arsenal are looking ahead to Champions League action while Chelsea have naught to do but focus on reclaiming domestic glory. That could prove a deciding difference unless Arsenal are dumped out of Europe’s top-flight come February.

That’s not such a long shot either. Consider Arsenal’s bout in the R16 involves Bayern Munich, an established thorn in Arsene Wenger’s side these past few seasons, it’s quite possible the Gunners might well be out at this first hurdle.  As it is, it might be the best-case scenario for Arsenal’s domestic aspirations.

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