Can Arsenal’s defence take them to the Premier League title this season?

Arsenal claimed a 3-1 victory over bottom of the league Burnley on Saturday afternoon, climbing to third in the table, just one point off the top after 12 games.

Leandro Trossard filled in for the injured Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, and opened the scoring just before half-time, bravely heading in a cross from Bukayo Saka at the far post.

With Trossard leading the line, the forwards look more fluid, akin to Jesus starting as they combine and swap positions more frequently to create danger. 

But even with that attacking boost, Arsenal still don’t quite look at it going forward.

On the flip side, the weekend’s results leave Arsenal with the best defence in the league, both in terms of goals conceded, joint with Liverpool at just 10, and expected goals conceded. 

While the attack still doesn’t seem to be clicking, Arteta’s defence, aided by summer signing Declan Rice, are performing well, even if they occasionally have some jittery moments.

Especially when Takehiro Tomiyasu plays at left-back, Arteta’s four central defenders with Rice and Jorginho ahead offers a solid platform for the team, looking tough to break down and limiting the opponent to few opportunities, paired with Arsenal’s suffocating play on the ball through sustained pressure. 

Even with the attack faltering at times, Arsenal’s defence is giving them a chance in most games and especially in the big games that will be key later in the season. 

At least while the team continues to find its attacking rhythm, relying on a strong defence is important in order to keep picking up points.

For a few years now, Arsenal have failed to be at the top of their game come March and April time when the games seem to mean more, and last season that was particularly costly. 

Perhaps it’s not the worst thing that Arsenal aren’t firing just yet, as long as they peak at the right time.

The Gunners now have a wait before their next Premier League game with the international break in full flow, and it’s a good chance for Arsenal’s injured players to recover before the busy winter period.