Finding a way to walk away with three points when the attack isn’t converting and overcoming adversity. The crucial element towards creating a positive run in the Premier League in that all-important race for fourth place. With the title race seemingly resolved, and lacking entertainment, much of the focus in the coming months will be centered on 4th place (and 17th).
Even with a frustrating January, Arsenal is in a great position in the league. Thanks to some fortunate results from their rivals, the Gunners are back in control. Positive stats and a young squad could set Arsenal up for a great finish to the season and start of a new European era.
Points Per Game (PPG):
Of the four clubs battling for fourth place, Arsenal has the best PPG to date.
A major factor in this run-in will be each team’s ability to keep clean sheets. It is especially important for Arsenal at the moment as the side is struggling to rediscover its goalscoring form. Of the four contenders, the Gunners have the best clean sheet percentage.
- Arsenal: 50% (of their league matches)
- Tottenham: 38%
- West Ham: 25%
- Manchester United: 22%
Expected Goals For (xGF):
Arsenal also lead this quartet in the number of expected goals so far in league play. Converting and creating are two different things, but at least the chances are there.
- Arsenal: 1.72
- Tottenham: 1.54
- West Ham: 1.60
- Manchester United: 1.69
The League Form Table:
With multiple Cup competitions and rounds taking place alongside the international break, recalling the league form table is quite difficult. However, over the last six Premier League matches Arsenal is near the top of the league.
- Arsenal: 2nd place (13 points)
- West Ham: 4th place (12 points)
- Manchester United: 6th place (11 points)
- Tottenham: 9th place (10 points)
Goal Differential (last 6 matches):
Over that stretch of games, Arsenal also has the best goal difference. In fact, they have a better tally than Manchester City thanks to the Gunners’ sound defense.
- Arsenal: 1st place (+10)
- West Ham: 4th place (+5)
- Manchester United: 5th place (+4)
- Tottenham: 10th place (+2)
Thanks for a few rescheduled matches waiting for a new date, Arsenal has a quite manageable schedule coming up.
West Ham: Leicester City (A), Newcastle (H), Wolves (H), Liverpool (A), & Aston Villa (H).
Tottenham: Wolves (H), Manchester City (A), Burnley (A), Leeds United (A), & Everton (H).
Manchester United: Southampton (H), Brighton (H), Leeds United (A), Watford (H), Manchester City (A).
Arsenal has just one focus now. As long as they can stay healthy (and on the pitch) and the defense keeps up this current form, Mikel Arteta just may land Arsenal in 4th place this season. Given where the club was in recent years, the squad turnover in the past 12-18 months, and the recent run of red cards, that would be an incredible achievement. For now, the focus is squarely on Brentford and hopefully a returning Takehiro Tomiyasu.