What would be a good haul of points for Arsenal at the end of the first round of Premier League fixtures? by SE
Arsenal, having garnered just 11 points from their first 8 Premier League games, look like a side that has its task cutout to finish in the top 4 at the end of 2014/15 Premier League season. Draws against Leicester City and at home to Hull City would have hurt Wenger’s wizards badly, and results in those two games could still be costly in the final analysis of the campaign that hasn’t yet got going. With injuries to key players impeding Arsenal during the first round of Premier League fixtures, what would be a good haul of points come the 28th of December, when Arsenal play their 19th Premier League fixture at Boleyn Ground against West Ham United?
You are in business for a top 4 finish if, over 38 games, you’ve done well to bag 75 points, and it would be no different in Arsenal’s case this time around. The North Londoners, in such a scenario, would then require 64 points of a possible 90 from here on. Wenger’s men have finished playing Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, securing 3 points from a possible 12 in those four fixtures. With Manchester United and Liverpool still to play at home and away, respectively, in the first round of fixtures, the Gunners are posed with a number of winnable games apart from the aforementioned marquee fixtures against the Red Devils and Scousers.
Taking into account the absence of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, and Mathieu Debuchy — who are expected to be out of action at least until the turn of the year — Arsenal would do very good to secure a minimum of 24 points from the next 11 games, taking the points tally to 35 from 19 games, which would still keep them adrift of averaging 2 points/game. And, even to win those enviable 24 points from a possible 33 in the next 11 fixtures, Arsenal would have to play out of their skins to keep them within touching distance of 3rd or 4th spots in the Premier League. Aaron Ramsey returned to action with a substitute appearance in the home draw against Hull City last weekend, and he would be pivotal to Arsenal’s scheme of things during the upcoming weekends. It would not be sensible to expect the returning Theo Walcott to fire on all cylinders from the word go, as the Englishman will be returning after 9 months on the sidelines, and would want time to get into the thick of things once again.
If Arsenal can finish with 35 points or more come the 28th of December with an away fixture against the Hammers, Wenger’s men would have given themselves a good chance of finishing in the top 4 at the end of the 2014/15 Premier League season. The Gunners, however, aren’t in the best of nicks in the Premier League, as was highlighted during those two inefficient displays against Leicester City and Hull City and, going forward, Arsenal cannot afford such results if they’ve got their sights firmly set on a top 4 finish.