A major chunk of the 2018-19 Premier League season has whizzed past us as only a quarter remains. Several interesting sub-plots have developed over the course of the term with the title tussle, the relegation scrap and the battle for the top four all going down to the wire.
At this juncture, four teams are fighting tooth and nail to lay their hands on those two elusive Champions League slots. Arsenal sit third, a couple of points ahead of Tottenham in fourth and Manchester United in fifth. Chelsea are a further point adrift of the Red Devils in sixth.
Thus, we can expect a grandstand finish as far as the shootout for the top four is concerned.
Yet, like many a time before, there always seems to be a team or two who boast of a significant advantage on paper to achieve their targets at the expense of others.
Hence, courtesy the lens of this article, we analyse three reasons why Arsenal seem to be in pole position to land one of the top four spots.
Here is a look at them:
#3. Arsenal are building up a head of steam
The start of March was extremely torrid for the Gunners as they let slip a victory against Tottenham in the dying stages and also went down to Rennes in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie. Inevitably, the alarm bells started ringing with many fearing another spectacular unravelling of their season.
However, since the defeat to the French side, Unai Emery’s men have gotten their act in order and have strung together three vital victories. The loss in the Europa League was quickly followed by an accomplished performance against Manchester United. Additionally, they dispatched Newcastle United on Monday night with ease.
In the game against the Red Devils, Arsenal dented them early and superbly controlled the game. Though the away side could well have gotten a goal back before the controversial penalty, the Gunners’ resolute defending was refreshing to watch.
The second leg against Rennes was next and Arsenal ensured they turned around the two-goal deficit with ease. The Gunners’ effervescent attack came to the fore as they blew the French side away in the opening twenty minutes.
As for the Newcastle game, the Gunners barely broke into a sweat as they strolled to a 3-0 victory.
Yet, the most impressive aspect of those victories was Arsenal’s ability to keep things tight at the back. Throughout the season, the Gunners’ rear-guard has looked capable of conceding at the drop of the hat. Thus, the new-found defensive stability at the business end of the season could end up tilting the top four contest their way.
While Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea certainly aren’t pushovers, one just gets the feeling that the head of steam generated by Arsenal recently would be able to carry them across the line.