Three questions Arsenal must answer to stay at Premier League summit

Arsenal swept past Aston Villa 2-0 on Sunday to climb to the top of the Premier League table. But can they stay there? Here are the key question marks around the Gunners’ title challenge.

Three questions Arsenal must answer to stay at Premier League summit

Can Arsene Wenger continue to ride out the worrying injury glut?

Arsenal will hope that a quick return to full fitness after hamstring trouble for Alexis Sanchez can start to spell better news on the injury front. The Gunners’ backroom staff continue to search for answers in their quest to end a consistent spate of soft-tissue injuries, but, in the meantime, a cleaner bill of health would do wonders to Wenger’s resources.

While Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere will still not be featuring soon, Mikel Arteta could be another back in action shortly. Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky are also still sidelined, underscoring the strain on Arsenal’s squad. Wenger has managed to shuffle his pack to good effect so far, but could yet be tempted into the January transfer window in a bid to offset the injury problems.

Can the Premier League be won without a top-class holding midfielder?

Wenger’s reluctance or inability to sign a first-rate midfield linchpin continues to concern pundits and Arsenal fans alike. While the likes of Francis Coquelin can offer adequate cover, Arsenal still crave a successor to Patrick Vieira. Add an extra layer of steel to some eye-pleasing possession football, and Wenger’s men could be well set.

Do Arsenal have the firepower to go the distance?

Demanding Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud maintain their current form across an entire season is a tall order. Arsenal will need both men fit and in something nearing top form for the Gunners to stay the Premier League title course.

Ozil currently tops the European-wide assist charts having laid on 13 goals for Arsenal so far this term. Striker Giroud adds a direct edge to Arsenal’s fleet-footed passing play, with his 14 goals in all competitions so far crucial to his side’s progress. Both men are bound to lag through either injury or fatigue across the campaign, leaving Wenger needing to plug those gaps shrewdly if Arsenal are to maintain their title fight.

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