Throughout the first half of the 2013-2014 Premier League season, Arsenal was king of the hill in the standings. The top spot slipped away from the Gunners over the last month as rival teams in Chelsea and Manchester City dethroned the leaders of the pack.
Today Arsenal leads Man City by one point in the standings, but trails Chelsea by two. In most seasons, February is the month when the teams that deserve to be contenders for the Premier League championship prove their worth to compete for the title. As a result, Arsenal is under enormous pressure to win their first Premier League championship in a decade.
Arsenal has a tough challenge tonight in a match against Manchester United, which is all the more difficult coming off of a disappointing 5-1 loss to Liverpool on the weekend. Playing at home tonight will help tilt the betting odds in favour of Arsenal, and the team should rely on the crowd to motivate themselves as the noise distracts the Red Devils.
A win against Man U would elevate Arsenal back above Chelsea. Positioned back at the top of the standings will be very important for the Gunners as they prepare a somewhat mild schedule over the next few weeks against less challenging opponents in Sunderland, Stoke City, and Swansea City.
The next real challenge for Arsenal begins midway through March when the team faces off against Tottenham, Chelsea, Man City, and Everton – with three of those matches played on the road. Arsenal fans are betting on the team accumulating as many points as possible before their tough run in March. Remaining within two to three points near the top of the Premier League standings will increase the odds that Arsenal could recapture the championship.