Taking the wretched luck Arsenal have with injuries into consideration, one could forgive Arsene Wenger for wishing the concept of international breaks was abolished in favour of giving his players two weeks off.
But judging from the strength with which they returned from enforced hiatuses last season, this current break could be exactly what the Gunners need to reinvigorate what’s been a humdrum campaign to date.
With just two Premier League wins so far – one courtesy of a last-ditch winner against Crystal Palace, the other coming against an Aston Villa side ravaged by illness – the north Londoners are already out of the title picture for many punters, or so their price of 20/1 to win the title indicates.
Should they navigate the forthcoming patch of games with the expertise they did when returning from international downtime last time around, that price is sure to shrivel by a few points.
Each of the four matches they played following an inter-country collision last season ended victoriously, with the Gunners embarking on a three-game winning streak after the October interval 12 months ago.
Looking at their next trio of opponents, it’s not difficult to envisage Wenger’s outfit collecting nine points once again.
An away trip to Sunderland is wedged between home fixtures against Hull and Burnley, with the two Emirates ties, in particular, more difficult not to win for a club of Arsenal’s stature.
The return to domestic action at this stage of the 2011/12 campaign saw the club string five successive triumphs together, culminating in a 5-3 toppling of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, while the season before a spoil-claiming spell of equal length was undertaken.
All things considered, it doesn’t look good for Hull in their first attempt at avenging last season’s FA Cup final loss.
Including Arsenal’s extra-time win in the Wembley showpiece, the Tigers have been slain in seven straight meetings against this opposition, making the 9/25 about a home win in their upcoming collision a bet well worth backing.