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Are Arsenal title contenders?

Despite Arsenal having to wait until the third gameweek to register their first win, they have registered 6 wins on the bounce in order to climb to second in the table, just three points off of leaders, Chelsea.

The Gunners did not start the season in glory on the pitch as they suffered a shock home defeat at the start of the season to Liverpool which was followed by a draw away to Manchester United. This seemed to be a reflection on their form towards the end of the 2022/2023 WSL season too in which they suffered back to back defeats in their last two games of the season last year ending the season in third place, eleven points behind the league leaders, Chelsea.

A main reason for this drop in form was the disastrous injuries in which Arsenal had suffered throughout the season. In November 2022, Arsenal winger and pivotal player Beth Mead suffered a torn ACL which kept her out of action all the way until October 2023; an 11 month lay-off. Throughout the season, there were more injuries to crucial players for Arsenal with ACL injuries, much like the one Mead had gotten. These players include striker Vivienne Miedema, the Arsenal captain Leah Williamson and Laura Wienrother.

With most of these players out come the start of the WSL season, the Arsenal team seemed to be a lot weaker than a team that manager Jonas Eidevall would have preferred to put out with these crucial names sidelined from the starting squad. This led to their sloppy performance at home against Liverpool in which they lost 1-0 despite controlling the game with 61% possession of the ball. They were clearly missing their more decisive and clinical players on the day as they had 18 shots at goal throughout the match with only 3 shots on target.

Arsenal's first win came against an Aston Villa team who at that point were 11th in the league and having suffered 2 defeats on the bounce prior to their trip to the Emirates. A late comeback saw a win for the gunners, but it was not the major talking point about the team after the 90 minutes. Winger Beth Mead made her return to the pitch in the dying embers of the match which included Arsenal's late comeback in the 2-1 victory.

With Beth Mead integrated back into the first team, Arsenal have won 6 games in a row with 18 goals in their last six, as they are finding their high-flying form once again which made them title contenders in 2021/2022, finishing just one point behind winners Chelsea and losing only once.

With an early elimination from the UEFA Women's Champions League, Arsenal's players now have the time to rest and heal before each game, perhaps strengthening their results. Time will tell whether they can clinch the WSL title for the first time since 2018/2019.

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