Arsenal face their stiffest test yet

Arsenal’s biggest test if they are to mount a serious title challenge must be this weekend’s fixture against title-holders Manchester City. But can they turn the tables following last year’s defeat?

Arsene Wenger’s men go to the Etihad Stadium looking to reverse last year’s meet, with City’s 1-0 victory proving vital in pipping rivals Manchester United to the title.

After their Champions League victory against Montpellier midweek, Arsenal go into the game with three straight victories under their belt, and are only one of five remaining Premier League teams to yet experience defeat. Last year’s winners Man City will be looking to leapfrog Arsenal for position, and with Robin Van Persie and Alex Song departing the Gunners this summer, will feel a repeat performance of last season is a must.

Arsenal’s latest victory came against French side Montpellier, with much discussion revolving around misfiring forward Olivier Giroud. Whilst he failed to score against his former club, one striker who did was Lukas Podolski, who has proved already to be a great signing by Wenger going into just the fifth Premier League game week. His allegiance with his new club is already tightly-knit it seems, after he announced that with the way things are going at the club, it won’t be long until his temptation to tattoo an Arsenal ode onto his body becomes reality.

The striker, alongside playmaker Santi Cazorla, has already gone some way in filling the hole left by club legend Van Persie, and he wasn’t shy in admitting his delight at the ease of fitting into the new set-up. As well as thanking the backroom staff, the facilities, and his teammates for the warm atmosphere around the club, his tally of three goals already this season will fuel his confidence no end. Another against Manchester City will not only be his fourth, but also one of his most important if it helps his side take a point at the very least against a team who finished 19 points ahead of them last season.

After two goalless draws against Sunderland and Stoke, Arsenal have kick-started their season with three impressive wins on the trot in no small way thanks to their lethal strike force. Scoring eleven yet conceding just two goals, they haven’t done much wrong. Going into their toughest game yet, this could well prove defining.

Do you rate Arsenal’s title-challenging chances this season?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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