Arsenal came agonizingly close to winning the Premier League title in the 2022/23 season. Despite beginning the season with no expectation of even competing for the title, they pushed City all of the way and even led by as much as seven points on occasion.
City has gone on to strengthen their squad this summer as they look to win a fourth successive league title. However, Arsenal have also not stood still in the transfer market, and the experience they gained last season should give them a huge boost this time around.
City are the favorites
Unsurprisingly City are the favorites to again finish top of the table at the end of the season. In online betting, City is offered at -138 to successfully defend their crown.
However, Arsenal are the second favorite at much shorter odds than they were offered last season. In sports predictions, Mikel Arteta's side are fancied to represent the strongest challengers to City in the 2023/24 campaign.
The odds demonstrate how strong City's team is and how tough they are to beat over a lengthy league campaign. However, Arsenal's position as the next fancied favorite is indicative of the progress they have made in the past year.
Arsenal's mentality as a unit will undoubtedly have benefited from the pressure City put them under last season, and they have also strengthened in terms of personnel in the transfer market. If anyone is to stop Pep Guardiola's highflyers, it will surely be Arsenal.
Community Shield winners have gone onto win the Premier League 8 times:
93/94 – 🔴 Man United
96/97 – 🔴 Man United
05/06 – 🔵 Chelsea
07/08 – 🔴 Man United
08/09 – 🔴 Man United
05/06 – 🔵 Chelsea
10/11 – 🔴 Man United
18/19 – 🌚 Man City
23/24 – 🔴 Arsenal ❓
Good omen? 🔮 pic.twitter.com/DruNHo0kxJ
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 6, 2023
Could Arteta's underdogs defy the odds this time around? They have had a practice run in 2022/23 and they are now aware that near perfection is required to down City.
Squad depth to rival City all over the pitch
One of Arsenal's key issues last campaign was a lack of quality depth in midfield and defensive areas. This summer they have addressed that with big-money signings in those areas, however, their goalkeeping addition is perhaps most intriguing.
Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign David Raya from Brentford to provide competition for Aaron Ramsdale. In all truth, the two can barely be split in terms of ability. Raya may marginally offer greater distribution, and Ramsdale perhaps offers stronger reflexes.
David Raya joins Arsenal on initial loan for £3m plus £27m buy option clause — as @TheAthleticFC reported 🔴⚪️🇪🇸
Brentford accepted this way as it helps Arsenal with Financial Fair Play.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 9, 2023
The signing of another top-class keeper is indicative of Arteta's ambitions. He is not willing to leave the team short in any area. There is now top-class depth in all of the positions, meaning there will be fierce competition for places.
Just like at City, Arsenal now has two quality players in each and every single position at a minimum. This is a level of depth that is needed to compete with Guardiola's giants.
Besides their typical starters such as Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, Arsenal can have the likes of Leonardo Trossard and Ben White available from the substitute bench.
Players that could start for most Premier League teams will often start from the bench for Arsenal – a level of depth that is needed to compete with Guardiola's team in the modern game.
The main strength of City over their years of domination has been the quality of their overall squad, rather than focusing on a star-studded eleven. But now Arsenal can match that.
This season could represent Arteta's greatest chance to upset the odds to win the title, City have lost their captain and key player Ilkay Gundogan, while Arsenal has strengthened all over the pitch.