Opposition Profile: Arsenal
Nickname: The Gunners
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Captain: Mikel Arteta
Ground: Emirates Stadium
Current Position: 4th
Season So Far…
Arsenal have had an excellent start to the season as look to push on to try and win their first title since 2004, as they sit 4th in the League on 45 points.
The Gunners have become a solid unit this season as they are the Barclays Premier League club that boasts the most impressive clean sheet record with 14 shut outs. Their home form this season has been crucial to their success, managing impressive wins against rivals Manchester United and Manchester City. Their only disappointments at the Emirates would be the home defeats to London rivals West Ham and Chelsea, however both defeats have been followed by wins showcasing the fight in Arsene Wenger’s Team.
Their form on the road has been mixed with six away wins from 12, including a 5-2 win over title rivals Leicester City which saw Alexis Sanchez bag a hat-trick.
Leading the line for Arsenal is top goal scorer, with 12 league goals, Oliver Giroud. The tall forward joined the club in 2012, after being crowned top goal scorer in the French Ligue 1, and has scored an impressive 53 goals during his 4-year stint.
In midfield is arguably one of the players of the season in Mesut Ozil, as he has managed to score three goals and assist an astonishing 16 goals already this season in the Barclays Premier League. After completing his big money move from Real Madrid in 2013, his passing ability and great vision continues to make him one of Arsenal’s stand out performers.
Arsene Wenger is the leagues longest serving manager, as he has managed Arsenal for 20 years and has won many trophies in that time including 3 Premier League trophies.
He joined the club in 1996 after a successful spell at Monaco and some time managing in Japan, during his long time at the club he has created arguably the best team in the Premier League era with the Invincibles, overseen the move to the Emirates Stadium, and made Arsenal a team which constantly competes within the Champions League.
Last Time Out…
It took and inspired performance from Fraser Forster to earn Southampton a point in Arsenal's last Premier League which finished 0-0. The game would mark Alexis Sanchez's first start in the League after returning from injury, and he was heavily involved in the Gunners' attacking impetus.
First he played a long ball over the top of the Southampton defence into the feet of Ozil who couldn’t slot the ball past Forster. The England international made a series of top saves to keep the Saints in it, before James Ward-Prowse blocked a late Sanchez strike off the line.
• The club gained their nickname of The Gunners when they were formed by a group of cannon makers in 1886
• Current Manager Arsene Wenger became the first foreign manager to lift the Premier League, when the won the trophy in 1998
• Arsenal is the only existing team that has never been relegated from top flight English football
• Arsenals match against Sheffield United in 1927 was the first English League game to ever by broadcast on British radio
• After Arsenals ‘Invincible’ unbeaten record of 26 wins and 12 draws in the 2003/04 season the Premier League rewarded them with a commemorative Gold trophy to celebrate the achievement
Most Likely Line-up…
Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud.
By Thomas Fisher