Arsenal received the Group Defend, however that could be a foul omen for his or her EPL title hopes. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A tough-fought consequence
Arsenal defeated Manchester Metropolis within the Group Defend 1-1 (4-1) only a week earlier than the beginning of the 2023-24 English Premier League (EPL) season. But when the previous is any indication, that’s not an indication of future success for the Gunners.
have struggled to various levels of their home campaigns
Current winners of the Group Defend, which pits the holders of the FA Cup in opposition to the EPL champs, have struggled to various levels of their home campaigns. Arsenal completed second within the EPL final season and is the betting favourite to take action once more, nevertheless it should now overcome a harrowing precedent.
Let’s check out the problem that awaits the Gunners, and why their Group Defend win could also be a web optimistic for his or her closest rivals.
Group Defend winners wrestle within the EPL
Arsenal was solely 5 factors behind Metropolis within the league final season and sat atop the desk by Match Week 33. They equaled their highest-ever win complete (26) and are +500 to win the league, behind solely Metropolis (-140).
Final yr, Liverpool defeated Metropolis 3-1. The Reds then went on to complete fifth and outdoors of Champions League qualification for the primary time because the 2015-16 season. The yr earlier than, Leicester Metropolis beat Man Metropolis 1-0 however ended the yr eighth after ending fifth for 2 straight seasons.
the one time up to now six seasons that it didn’t declare the title
Leicester was solely following the footsteps of Arsenal the yr earlier than when it beat Liverpool on penalties however ended the season eighth within the desk. And in 2019, Man Metropolis received the Group Defend however misplaced the league to Liverpool, marking the one time up to now six seasons that it didn’t declare the title.
2018 is the one latest “regular” yr, one by which Man Metropolis received the Group Defend and the EPL with 98 factors (forward of Liverpool’s 97). In 2017, Arsenal received the Group Defend over then-league champions Chelsea however solely managed a sixth-place end within the league.
2016 Group Defend winners Manchester United additionally completed sixth. That was nonetheless much less devastating than the destiny that met the 2015 winners, Arsenal, who completed second to the league’s largest underdog winner ever, Leicester Metropolis. The Foxes opened the yr at 5000-1 to win the title, however managed to do exactly that.
One more nice upset that got here on the expense of the Group Defend winners occurred in 2011-12 when Manchester Metropolis scored twice in stoppage time in opposition to QPR on the ultimate day of the season to equal Manchester United’s factors complete and win their first-ever league title on purpose distinction.
Combating in opposition to historical past
The Group Defend winner has gone on to win the league title simply as soon as because the 2010-11 marketing campaign. The winners even have a mean ending place of simply 4.8 within the league desk over the previous ten seasons, together with a mean of seventh over the previous three seasons.
Arsenal, notably, has received the Group Defend 4 occasions up to now ten years (5 together with final weekend’s triumph). They’ve completed second, third, sixth, and eighth in these seasons, and (clearly) haven’t been in a position to win their first league title since 2003-04.
fashionable historical past is just not on the aspect of the Gunners
Clearly, fashionable historical past is just not on the aspect of the Gunners. However does that imply they’re utterly doomed, or are they nonetheless alive with an opportunity on the title in 2023-24?
The Gunners exceeded expectations with their second-place end final season, however additionally they set a really unlucky report by turning into the primary workforce to have as many factors as they did (43) on New Yr’s Day and never win the title that season.
Mikel Arteta has already spent €231.6m ($253.8m) on transfers for Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurriën Timber this summer season to assist push his squad excessive. Metropolis, in the meantime, misplaced Riyad Mahrez and İlkay Gündoğan however signed Joško Gvardiol and Mateo Kovačić to assist maintain its title ambitions.
In keeping with FanDuel sportsbook, Liverpool (+650), Manchester United (+900), Chelsea (+1600), and Newcastle (+1800) are the groups subsequent in line for a shot on the title if neither Metropolis nor Arsenal wins the EPL.