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Arsenal play the Palace. Part the Second

By Tony Attwood

And a happy new year to you.

This article continues from The Palace comes to the Emirates. Arsenal v Fat Sam: the prologue.  If you want to understand the illustrations in this piece you might care to glance back there first.

On the injury front the latest list from physioroom looks like this

# TEAM TOTAL INJURIES
1 Crystal Palace 9
2 West Ham United 9
3 Sunderland 9
4 Watford 7
5 Arsenal 6
6 Everton 6
7 Hull City 6
8 Stoke City 5
9 Southampton 5
10 Manchester City 5

Our list of the injured is shown (again on physioroom) as

Player Injury Return Comments
A Oxlade-Chamberlain Hamstring Injury January 1, 2017 Late Fitness Test
K Gibbs Knee Injury January 7, 2017 Slight Doubt
T Walcott Calf Strain January 7, 2017 Slight Doubt
P Mertesacker Knee Injury January 7, 2017
M Debuchy Hamstring Injury January 14, 2017
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury February 25, 2017

The Palace list is huge although several of the players are set for late fitness tests – but on the other hand the club picks up yellow cards all over the place, even in these liberal days of refereeing, and at least one regular first teamer is banned…

That one bannee (a new word, remember you read it here first on the first day of the year) is Damien Delaney who has a one-match ban for five yellow cards (quite a feat but not to be repeated now that the Media’s Favourite Big Man is now in charge.)

James Tomkins and Pape Souare are both injured.  Joe Ledley and James McArthur have been reported as doubts having been injured on Boxing Day.  Of course Fat Sam now has our old chum and investor in alternative technology Mathieu Flamini so he could play.

Only Santi remains as our long term absentee, with Akpom now off the list, and the Ox maybe ok for this match.  Obviously Per will take a while to become fully match fit, but that is another player back and available.

We do know that Kieran Gibbs will be out for this game, although it is not clear how many more he will miss, following a knee injury in the game against the Bus Station.

Skhodran Mustafi is either ready to play or simply “back in training” after missing the last three games.  Some commentators have him back and playing, others suggest he may return in the match against Bournemouth (who following their victory over Liverpool! after being 3-1 down are clearly fighters in their own right).

So, Chuba Akpom is also back in training following his long-term back injury but Theo Walcott is out for a couple of games.  The Ox is another player who may or may not be available, depending on which reports you read.

Aaron Ramsey is back in the squad and presumably will at least be on the beach.

Very Large Sam’s first game at the Palace ended in a 1-1 draw away to Watford with Christian Benteke missing a penalty.

The previous incumbent at the Palace has now been written out of their history books, and the reason for this is their run across the last 12 games; a run which has yielded just one victory.  I have marked it below in bold italics so you can find it more easily.

Match Date Against Venue Result Pos
7 30.09.2016 Everton away D1-1 7
8 15.10.2016 State Aid United home L0-1 8
9 22.10.2016 Leicester Shirt Pull away L1-3 11
10 29.10.2016 Liverpool! home L2-4 12
11 05.11.2016 Burnley away L2-3 15
12 19.11.2016 Manchester Airport home L1-2 16
13 26.11.2016 Swansea City away L4-5 16
14 03.12.2016 Southampton home W3-0 13
15 10.12.2016 Hull City away D3-3 15
16 14.12.2016 Manchester United home L1-2 16
17 17.12.2016 Chelsea Soviet home L0-1 17
18 26.12.2016 Watford away D1-1 17

The trouble with runs like this is that although can make teams feel despondent upon letting in a goal early on, they all have to end some time, and they often end in the most unexpected fashion.

So although such runs can make teams feel despondent upon letting in a goal early on, they all have to end some time, and they often end in the most unexpected fashion.

Arsenal will need to approach them as solidly as if approaching a team much higher up the league and in a much stronger position.

We’ve currently won four and lost two of the last six, while as we can see Palace have just won one of their last 12, but we really need to be careful.  Especially as they have managed to score three more goals away from home than Chelsea, currently the media’s favourites to be champions and first team to play on the Moon.

Overall, we don’t expect Danny back yet – not even on the beach, Theo is probably out, and we don’t really know about Shkodran Mustafi: he could be out of the squad, on the beach or playing.

What we need to do is to win this and keep on winning, given that Chelsea don’t seem to be willing to stop winning any time soon. Bournemouth, Swansea, Burnley and Watford are coming up and the whole process needs to be calm, deliberate and with Alexis and Ozil on the toppeset of their topmost form, and then some.

Next, the teams and other odds and ends.

Untold Arsenal: 

8 comments to Arsenal play the Palace. Part the Second

  • Al

    So Chelsea played yesterday, while we play today, 24 hours later. But we play again Tues night while Chelsea play Wednesday. So we get a single (one) day’s rest while Chelsea gets 3 whole days… hmmmm, how is this even possible?

  • Al, what makes it worse is that Chelsea’s away journey is just a few miles, while other teams are zooming about all over the country.

  • Al

    Yes, there’s that too, Tony. Grossly unfair.

  • para

    I dont know who will play today, but whoever plays need to be 100% wanting to win. We know we can play so don’t get distracted by any thing(refs, comments etc).

    //
    Al
    If you’ve got enough money you can buy any thing in this world! Seriously, it is a litte suspect.

    //
    On another note, scouring some football sites i note the comments from fans about refs are steadily increasing. Most seem to think they are too incompetent.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Thank you very much indeed Sir, Mr Tony Attwood. I wish you the same Happy New Year! And also wish all Untolders, Arsene Wenger & all his backroom staff, all the junior & senior Gunners, the Arsenal board members and all Gooners a Happy New Year!

    Let the Gunners make no mistake about it, they MUST beat Crystal Palace later today at the Ems to move up to 3rd position in the table to redirect their title charge to the right order. And this being their first match in this new year that begins today, it has become very necessary the Gunners start the new year with a good win over Crystal Palace. For, a good start by the Gunners in this new year will be a good omen for them in their 2nd half season campaign in all competitions.

    I quiet agree with you Sir Mr Attwood, the Gunners should be careful not to get careless and not be overconfidence in their game today against the Eagles of Crystal Palace who I believe have been instructed by big Sam Allardyce to fly into high altitude(park the bus) and hit us on the counter to steal a goal and then resort to parking the bus again to frustrate the Gunners throughout the match. This is the game plan of big Sam which the Gunners MUST defuse with the deployments of their long range anti-flying object tracker missile batteries in Sanchez, Ozil & Giroud who are all equipped with what it takes to scatter the most park the bus team to find rooms in their game defending, in the case of Crystal Palace, down 4 hefty Eagles with no Gunner got picked up and flown away by any Eagle.

    Full time score: Arsenal 4-0 Crystal Palace.

  • Steve Vallins

    I’m sure Arsene commented on how the Xmas fixtures favoured certain teams it looks as no picks up on this , he’s usually too far ahead of most people especially the media

  • Al

    Para
    Agree. The sad thing is some of our fans won’t take these things into consideration when assessing our success/shortfalls end of season. The same thing happened again a few weeks ago when we played 4 matches in 10 days, between the 3rd and 13th of December.

    Unfortunately we’ll have to rotate for Bournemouth otherwise I can’t see our team managing 2 matches 48 hours apart.

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