Arsenal fans endured another turbulent season in 2016-17 but with manager Arsene Wenger still in place and some big moves in the transfer market promised, there is some optimism around the Emirates Stadium this summer. Will it last? Check out our Arsenal Premier League review to find out more, including the latest Arsenal betting news.
Last season, for the first time in 21 years, Arsenal finished outside the top four and this time round will line up in the Europa League, a major blow to embattled manager Arsene Wenger. The speculation over his future, and those of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez also helped to make the campaign an unsettled one, but the Gunners managed to salvage something from the season by beating Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final, securing their third FA Cup trophy in four seasons; an accumulation of silverware that has helped to shore up Wenger’s position.
With both Manchester clubs spending big and Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool all set to be competitive in 2017-18, most bookmakers are taking a pessimistic view on Arsenal’s Premier League title chances. They haven’t won the competition since 2004 – the year of the Invincibles – but if you think this could be their turn, you can back them as fifth favourites for the title at odds of 12/1 with Betfred and William Hill.
Having finished outside the top four last time there will be no Champions League action this season for the Gunners, but bookmakers seem to think they can fare well in the Europa League. They are strong favourites in the Europa League outright market at 9/1 with Ladbrokes, Unibet and Boylesports, and if you want to back them to break back into the upper echelons of English football this season, you can take the 21/20 on offer with Sporting Bet for Arsenal to finish the campaign in the top four.
What do the Punters think?
In contrast to the bookmakers’ pessimism, punters are taking a positive view of Arsenal’s chances, perhaps due to their transfer activity and to the fact that their European challenges will not be as demanding as usual this season. In fact, the Gunners have been the second most popular team in the Premier League title market this summer, and have accounted for a little under 15% of all bets in that market, according to a well-known odds comparison site.
Punters are also extremely bullish about their chances of claiming a European trophy this season. A touch under half of all bets in the Europa League winners market have been placed on Arsenal, making them by some distance the most popular pick in this market.
Weighing up which will be the key players for Arsenal this season is a tricky business, given the amount of transfer activity and speculation going on at the club. Alexandre Lacazette has been a goal scoring machine for Lyon and if he can translate that form to the Premier League, has the potential to challenge Harry Kane for the Premier League Golden Boot. You can back him at 12/1 with Ladbrokes to finish the season as Top Goalscorer.
If they do put together a title challenge, Arsenal could also have a couple of realistic contenders for the Player of the Year award, most notably Alexis Sanchez, who is 12/1 with William Hill to win the honour, and Mesut Ozil, who can be backed at 33/1 with Betway. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks an interesting bet in the Young Player of the Year award at 25/1 with Paddy Power with along with Hector Bellerin, available at the same price with BetVictor.
Arsene Wenger has been accused of a lack of urgency in the transfer market in previous summers, but that isn’t a criticism that can be made this time around. With doubts remaining over the future of stars Sanchez and Ozil, Wenger has been actively searching for forward-minded players. The signing of Lacazette was something of a coup, but it seems unlikely that the Arsenal spending will end there. Leicester star Riyad Mahrez is 7/4 with SkyBet to make the move to north London and the club are still interested in Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe, although that move appears less likely and is priced at 20/1 by Paddy Power.