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Pundits tip Arsenal to finish outside the top-4

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LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, applauds their fans after the final whistle of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal FC at Selhurst Park on August 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, applauds their fans after the final whistle of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal FC at Selhurst Park on August 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, applauds their fans after the final whistle of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal FC at Selhurst Park on August 05, 2022. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Arsenal got their new Premier League season off to a good start on Friday, with a 2-0 win away to Crystal Palace, but BBC pundits weren’t so confident about the Gunners ahead of that opening game.

Going into the campaign, Arsenal had a strong pre-season schedule, thrashing Premier League and Champions League clubs like Chelsea and Sevilla.

That had the fans full of confidence for the season, and an opening-day win will have done nothing to dull their spirits. Supporters can bet on Arsenal with bitcoin to put money on their club this year.

Yet the BBC’s punditry team aren’t so sure about Arsenal’s chances.

Of the 23 TV and radio pundits to give their top-four predictions, only eight of them believed Arsenal would make it in. None of them predicted Arsenal to finish any higher than fourth, nor to finish above Spurs.

  Ranking Arsenal's 7 most influential managers

The only big-six team to receive a more pessimistic prediction was Manchester United, who were only picked to finish in the top-four by three pundits.

Though even United had one pundit putting them higher than fourth, with Rob Green selecting them for third.

The BBC’s overall predicted ranking expects Arsenal to finish fifth this season, with Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea ahead of them – in that order.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal comes on for Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal as Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal FC at Selhurst Park on August 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal comes on for Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal as Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal FC at Selhurst Park on August 05, 2022. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

It’s a similar story with the bookies after the opening weekend, with Manchester City obviously the favourites to finish in the top four, followed by Liverpool. Though most oddsmakers have Chelsea in third ahead of Spurs at this stage.

  Lyon not ruling out Paqueta departure

Arsenal come in at fifth, predicted to miss out on Champions League football once again.

From a Gunners perspective, it feels like the neutrals are being overly cynical about Arsenal’s chances.

Gabriel Jesus has given the team a big boost in attack, just as William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko have done in defence.

Arsenal still have Takehiro Tomiyasu and Fabio Vieira to return from injury, both of whom could have a significant chance of breaking into the starting lineup this season.

The club may not be done with their transfer business either, as David Ornstein reports they’d still like a winger and could perhaps look to bring in Youri Tielemans, depending on outgoings.

  Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal's transfer window not finished

For a team that came so close to finishing in the top-four last season, a young squad with another year of experience under their belts, a top-four finish seems very possible.

I've been a freelance web developer and blogger for a while now and have a passion for both. Like most men, I'm a football lover; I prefer playing to watching matches.Personally, I believe with dedication there's no limit to what we can achieve. Yes, we all have the power and ability to do that.

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Arsenal loanee keeps his 4th clean sheet

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Arsenal loanee keeps his 4th clean sheet

Arthur Okonkwo saving a penalty for Arsenal against Plymouth Argyle (Photo via Arete on Twitter)Crewe Alexandra came out on top against Kevin Betsy’s Crawley Town on Saturday, with the former Arsenal academy coach unable to find a way past his old goalkeeper, Arthur Okonkwo.
Okonkwo kept his fourth clean sheet of the season in Saturday’s 1-0 win, making it nine goals conceded in nine games.
It’s a very solid start for the young Gunner, who celebrated his 21st birthday earlier this month.
Just as encouraging as his performances is the fact Okonkwo has been featuring so consistently so far. The goalkeeper is yet to miss a minute of his side’s League Two campaign.
Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo warming up before the UEFA Europa League match at Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal. Copyright: Focus ImagesGoalkeeper loans can be a bit hit and miss, as it’s often hard to break in if you don’t make the starting lineup immediately.
Conversely, if you can nail down your place in the early stages of the loan, it sets you up well to play regularly all year.
So far, it doesn’t appear that Okonkwo is going to have much trouble earning minutes with Crewe.

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Referee gets life ban for holding VAR review on fan’s mobile phone

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Serbian referee Stefan Lazovic who used footage on a fan’s mobile phone for VAR review to overturn an offside decision has been banned for life.

Lazovic went viral after pictures emerged of his VAR check in one of Serbia’s lower-tier competitions earlier this week.

He had originally ruled out a goal for offside before studying the spectator’s video, eventually deciding that the player was in fact onside.

And the Sun reports that Serbian chiefs were not impressed by the decision and have since stripped Lazovic of his duties.

Lazovic’s alleged dismissal sparked outrage on social media, as fans stood in support of the referee.

  Ranking Arsenal's 7 most influential managers

Former Manchester United and Chelsea star Nemanja Matic commented on an Instagram post supporting Lazovic with a two raised hands emoji.

The original comment written by ftbl.serbia read: “Support for Stefan Lazovic! Why should only he suffer, why such a rigorous sentence, why a lifetime ban from trial?

“How is it possible that there is no penalty for the delegate and all other authorities from the responsible FS of that district?

“How could the match be allowed to be played without one assistant referee?! Who is responsible here? Why does Stefan’s spear break?

“At the end of the day, the fact that he watched the video and changed the decision, just shows that he wanted everything to be FAIR!

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“He talks about the fact that he was not a slave to his vanity, but he admitted and corrected his mistake.

“Well, this video went around the world and now millions of people have heard about the ‘over there’ football clubs Popovic and Apollon, as well as the village of Vrnjci!

“In short, we appeal to the judges’ organisation and the competent authorities – now you CHANGE the decision! Let the VAR system work for you too and cancel the penalty. Correct the ERROR!

“SUPPORT FOR STEFAN LAZOVIC!”

  Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal's transfer window not finished

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Dani Alves claims European football ‘full of racists’ after Vinicius Jnr slur

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Dani Alves, admitted in an interview with 'The Guardian' that he did not like the way Barcelona handled his farewell. Nor does he believe that the treatment of other legends, leaving him aside, has been appropriate. Even so, he feels grateful to Joan Laporta and Xavi Hernandez.

Dani Alves has claimed that the European football is “full of racists” as he responded to the racist abuse Vinicius Jnr was targeted with in Spain.

Real Madrid’s 22-year-old forward was targeted with a racist slur by agent Pedro Bravo, who said during an El Chiringuito discussion of the Brazil international that “in Spain, you have to respect rivals and stop playing the monkey”.

Following a backlash alleging that this was a racist stereotype, Bravo has subsequently apologised on social media by claiming that he misused a metaphor. It has opened a discussion across Spain and further afield of the language and attitude applied towards footballers with racial undertones.

Vinicius Junior has vowed to keep his goal dancing celebrations as they show “the happiness of a black Brazilian in Europe”, with his celebrations similar to those of his fellow Brazilian stars over the years – including international teammate Neymar.

  Ranking Arsenal's 7 most influential managers

Indeed, the Paris Saint-Germain star took to Twitter to defend his Vinicius: “Dribble, dance and be you! Happy just the way you are. Go for it my boy, next goal we dance.” Meanwhile, Brazil legend Pele added: “Football is joy. It’s a dance. It’s a real party. Although racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile.”

However, Alves has now gone further in his reaction to the fallout from Bravo’s comments in Spain by hitting out at the culture within European football. The right-back – who is currently playing for Mexican club Pumas having joined from Barcelona earlier this year – has stated that he experienced elements of racism everywhere he went on the continent.

  Lyon not ruling out Paqueta departure

Alves wrote on Twitter: “It is serious that there are idiots who continue to think that the dances are the problem. Gentlemen, the real problem is that Europe is full of RACISTs and they do not accept that other nationalities stand out in their country more than they do. I experienced that in almost every place there.”

A statement from Real Madrid added that they condemned “regrettable and unfortunate comments made against our player” and would take legal action against anyone making racist comments towards members of their squad. The Brazilian Football Federation called for “dancing, dribbling and above all respect” in a statement of solidarity.

  Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal's transfer window not finished

Brazil’s legendary striker Ronaldo, formerly of Real Madrid, joined in the condemnation of the abuse directed at Vinicius: “Your dances do not disrespect anyone, racism does: it disrespects, excludes, hurts and kills.”

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