Heading into Week 8 of Premier League action, Arsenal occupies position five behind all the title favorites. Last season, the Gunners finished in the same position that they currently hold, missing the Champions League competition for the first time in many years. Arsenal is one of two English participants in the UEFA Europa League.

Apart from beating Chelsea to win the FA Cup late in the season, Arsenal performance was disappointing considering that The North Londoners were the runners-up at the time that Leicester City won the crown. The sole question that many soccer pundits ask is whether Arsene Wenger can make his side relevant in Premier League this season.

Strength of Arsenal

The Londoners remain huge favorites in the league despite failing to win the trophy since season 2003/04 in which the Gunners took the title without losing a game. Arsenal is the only English side that had been consistent in finishing in Top Four in the last two decades except for last season. Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger is the most experienced coach in the league- having spent twenty years at Highbury Stadium and The Emirates Stadium. The French tactician has won three leagues for the Gunners- including the two Premier League titles. The knowledge that Wenger has about the competition can steer his side to the glory that has eluded his team for long.

The North London team is full of experienced and talented players who can blend well and produce excellence in any game.

Petr Cech, for instance, had won the Premier League on three occasions with Chelsea so he can efficiently impart championship mentality on players. Alexis Sanchez, who was on the verge of quitting Arsenal during the summer, is another player who’s talented and experienced having played for Barcelona in the past. Other experienced players in the team are Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker, Oliver Giroud and Aaron Ramsey.

Arsenal has already lost two league matches this season, and all those losses were away from home. The Gunners first suffered a shock defeat at Stoke City before being humiliated 4-0 at Liverpool. However, the Londoners remain upbeat having not lost a game this season in their backyard, and the rare 0-0 stalemate at Chelsea can instill faith and confidence among players.

Challenges Arsenal must overcome

It’s believed that the team that takes the Community Shield always has problems in the league and history has proved it right. Last season Manchester United took the Charity Cup and struggled in Premier League only managing to finish in the sixth position.

The Gunners will be worried after beating Chelsea to win this season’s Community Shield- Arsenal is already finding the race hectic with less than ten league matches played.

The Londoners should brace for the fatigue that comes with the participation in Europa League as they will be playing their European fixtures on Thursdays and then play in the league only after a two-day rest. Wenger can opt to quit the continental assignment and embark on the league title. However, Europa League may provide an avenue for the Gunners to play in Champions League if they win it but fail to finish in the top four in the league.