Cape Town - Arsenal striker Theo Walcott believes the club are in a great position to challenge for the Premier League title next season, provided they can stay injury-free.
The Gunners have been in sublime form since the turn of the year and had won eight matches in a row before playing out a goalless draw against leaders Chelsea on Sunday, which left them third in the standings on goal difference, but with a game in hand.
However, the first half of their campaign was blighted by numerous injuries, with Walcott himself having only recently returned from a lengthy lay-off, while Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Mikel Arteta and Kieran Gibbs also struggled for fitness.
And, Walcott feels if they can maintain the core of the squad throughout the entire campaign, then the Premier League trophy should be well within their reach next term.
"There is a lot of competition for places, so everyone seems to lift a gear and play extremely well. It makes it a bit more difficult for people to get into the team," he told his club's official website.
"I think, especially this season, not many people thought we would be challenging for the Premier League.
"In this calendar year, we have been the best team in Europe. It is the strongest the squad has been and everyone is staying fit as well.
"There aren't many injuries in the squad, which is important. If we had an injury-free season, I think we could lift the title."