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Arsenal’s edge over Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City ahead of Premier League return


Arsenal’s edge over Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City ahead of Premier League return

Premier League football returns to our screens on Saturday after a two-week hiatus.

The October international break has been fruitful for Arsenal, with those who were not called up benefiting from extra training sessions at London Colney, which included a certain Jack Wilshere.

Meanwhile, after scoring for their respective countries on Monday, Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Nicolas Pepe should all report back this week full of confidence.

Overall, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta will not have had many complaints about the international break, which can often be a nuisance, especially with his team on a roll.

The Spaniard’s task now is to ensure Arsenal return to winning ways against Crystal Palace and go on a run that propels his team into the top half of the Premier League table ahead of the November transfer window.

Following a 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion prior to the international break, the north London club is 11th on goal difference behind Aston Villa.

Having said that, they are only four points away from a place in the Champions League and have been tipped by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher to be a surprise contender for a top-four spot this season.

“I can’t see anyone else breaking through [into the top four as things stand],” he told The Telegraph

“The team that I think is worth watching closely as the season evolves is Arsenal.

“If they can get the consistency into their young side, the lack of European football can be a massive help for Mikel Arteta as he spends more time with his players on the training ground.

“I think it is too soon for them to qualify for the Champions League, but of the chasing pack they may prove themselves best equipped to challenge.”

While a top-four finish would be a significant overachievement for Arsenal, they are still very much in contention to ensure that European football returns to the Emirates Stadium next season.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.

The Gunners’ lack of participation in Europe this season gives them a long-term advantage over Leicester City, West Ham United, and Tottenham Hotspur in the race for a top-seven finish.

Another advantage is the return of Premier League action this weekend, which is much-anticipated.

With Liverpool, both Manchester clubs, and league leaders Chelsea all playing on Saturday, Arsenal’s players will have two days more rest than others.

Of course, the Gunners aren’t considered genuine title contenders, but Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Thomas Tuchel might be envious of Arteta’s luxury after the international break.

Furthermore, Arsenal will be unaffected by the South American World Cup qualifiers for Brazil, which conclude in the early hours of Friday morning and will leave Chelsea without Thiago Silva for their trip to Brentford.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will be without Alisson Becker and Fabinho for the early game against Watford, which will be managed by Claudio Ranieri for the first time, and Guardiola may have to make do without Ederson and Gabriel Jesus when Burnley visits.

Tite’s decision to leave Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli out of his latest Brazil squad has actually worked in Arsenal’s favor, as has the Premier League fixture schedule.

As a result, the Gunners’ player availability and fatigue should be minimal when they host Crystal Palace at the Emirates.

With winnable games against Aston Villa, Leeds United (in the Carabao Cup), Leicester, and Watford on the horizon before the next international break, Arsenal must capitalize on this advantage.


Arsenal’s edge over Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City ahead of Premier League return

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