Preview: Arsenal eyeing top four, but cups offer best hope of success

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Arsenal will head into the 2019/20 Premier League season aiming to force their way back into the top four.

The Gunners made some progress under manager Unai Emery last season, but the club still has plenty of work to do if it is to kick-on next term.

Arsenal narrowly missed out on qualification for the Champions League, finishing fifth in the Premier League before being drubbed 4-1 by Chelsea in the Europa League Final.

Read on as we assess Arsenal’s chances of success next season.

Arsenal board under fire as Emery tries to improve squad

It has been a frustrating summer for Arsenal fans, with the club’s failure to back Emery in the transfer market sparking widespread dissatisfaction.

Supporters groups have accused the board of a lack of ambition, saying that Arsenal’s policy “looks uncoordinated and appears to lack in strategy”.

With young forward Gabriel Martinelli the only arrival during the summer transfer window, it appears that the fans have every right to be concerned.

However, if Arsenal can complete deals for the likes of Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos and others before the big kick-off, their odds in the football betting market for a top four finish could be slashed.

Gunners must get off to a flyer

The fixture list hasn’t been kind to Arsenal, with Emery’s side scheduled to face three of the ‘Big Six’ clubs in their opening seven matches.

Games against Newcastle United (A) and Burnley (H) give the Gunners a great opportunity to pick up six points, but things get more difficult thereafter.

Liverpool (A) and Tottenham Hotspur (H) will undoubtedly be tough tests, particularly with both those sides expected to be challenging for the title.

Further matches against Watford (A), Aston Villa (H) and Manchester United (A) also won’t be easy, but it is imperative that Arsenal get off to a flying start this term.

Cups offer the best hope of silverware

Arsenal’s squad looks a long way short of the quality needed to mount a sustained title challenge, but significant progress in one or more of the cup competitions should not be beyond them.

Defence remains a major area of concern and it is hoped that Emery can strengthen this area before the transfer window closes.

Ceballos would be an excellent addition further forward, potentially helping to soften the blow of losing Aaron Ramsey to Juventus.

With both Chelsea and Manchester United facing issues of their own Arsenal could finish in the top four, but the Europa League or Carabao Cup is likely to present their best hope of lifting a trophy.

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