Football

Arsenal have four factors that will provide them the edge in the title race

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The two Manchester clubs are inconsistent, Liverpool are mid-table, Chelsea are nowhere to be seen, and only Leicester City sit above them in the league. Without doubt, this is Arsenal’s best chance to win their first league title since 2004.

But will it be open top parades at N7 in May or another season of missed chances and regrets for Arsene Wenger?

Can he finally silence the critics and bring the Premier League title back to North London for the first time in 12 years?

Here’s why it could be their year...

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Ozil's form

Despite what David Moyes may think, Mesut Ozil has been in scintillating form this season and appears to be finally justifying the £42.5 million transfer fee Arsenal paid for his services in 2013.

The German playmaker not only has more assists than anyone in the Premier League this campaign, he has five more than anyone in Europe’s top five leagues and looks on course to surpass the Premier League record of 20 assists, recorded by Thierry Henry in 2002/03.

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Results against the top four

While Arsenal may have dropped points against the likes of West Ham, West Brom and Norwich, they have shown great form against their fellow title rivals this season.

Wenger’s side blitzed Manchester United with three goals in 19 minutes when they defeated the Red Devils in October, and their 5-2 victory at the King Power Stadium remains Leicester City’s only defeat this season - a victory even more impressive given the Foxes incredible form this campaign.

The Gunners face Manchester City at the Emirates next Monday in what should be a fascinating game in the title race, and the home team will be looking to extend their four-game unbeaten run against Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Giroud goals

Although he may polarize opinion amongst the Arsenal fans, Olivier Giroud’s goal against Aston Villa on Sunday was his 50th Premier League strike since he joined three years ago and in the process, became only the seventh player in the Gunners history to reach that landmark - the third fastest to do so, after Ian Wright and Thierry Henry

His strike at Villa Park was also his 11th in his last 13 appearances and his 27th this calendar year. After the game, his manager hailed his fellow Frenchman as being as being “at the top of his game”.

He was a constant nuisance for the Villa back four on Sunday and is boasting more goals at this stage of the campaign than in any of his previous seasons at the Emirates.

Petr Cech

After equalling David James’s record of 169 Premier League clean sheets, Petr Cech was hailed by former Chelsea teammate Carlo Cudicini as ‘the best GK ever in PL’ - a statement difficult to argue against.

After 486 appearances, four league titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League for rivals Chelsea, the seven-time Czech footballer of the year made the move across London to the Emirates in the summer and has added some much-needed calmness and composure to Arsenal’s back-line.

David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny proved far too inconsistent for a side with aspirations of winning the title, and for the first time since Jens Lehmann’s departure, Wenger’s side have a truly world class goalkeeper. Cech has conceded just 13 league goals this season and his extensive experience of the rigours of a Premier League title race could also prove invaluable.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Arsene Wenger
Premier League
Football
Petr Cech

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