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Arsenal v Leicester: a shocking home and away comparison, and excellent injury news

By Bulldog Drummond

The very early indications on injuries that we have for the game tomorrow is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was not seriously injured in the cup semi-final and that Lucas Perez has now recovered from his injury that kept him out of the weekend game and is back in full training.

Whether the Ox plays or not might give a clue as to Mr Wenger’s thinking about the chances of climbing the table to take a top four finish.  Here’s the table

There’s a seven point gap to Manchester City with just one game in hand and a nine point gap to Liverpool with three in hand.   It is of course possible to catch Liverpool by winning the three in hand, while catching up the goal difference, but we’ll still have to keep going with the other matches as well.   Tough – given that minds will also be on the FA Cup Final, but nonetheless possible.

But that fourth spot depends not only on catching Liverpool, but also one of Manchester United and Manchester City slipping to make way for us.

However all we can do is “take each game as it comes” as they used to say.  And first it is Leicester…

After a run of five successive league defeats in January and February in which they didn’t score a single goal Leicester then went on a run of five successive league victories which took them from 17th to 10th in the league.  A defeat and a draw in the last two dropped them down a couple of places.

But, in that run of five successive wins, only one was away – that was a 3-2 win over West Ham.  All the rest were at home.

Indeed their away form looks pretty horrible throughout the season.  Here are the last six away games

Game Date Opposition Venue Result Pos
22 22.01.2017 Southampton away L0-3 15
23 31.01.2017 Burnley away L0-1 16
25 12.02.2017 Swansea City away L0-2 17
29 18.03.2017 West Ham United away W3-2 15
32 09.04.2017 Everton away L2-4 11
33 15.04.2017 Crystal Palace away D2-2 12

In those six games Leicester have scored seven and let in 14.  They have their one win, one draw and four defeats.

Our home record over the last six reads

Game Date Opposition Venue Result Pos
19 01.01.2017 Crystal Palace home W2-0 3
22 22.01.2017 Burnley home W2-1 2
23 31.01.2017 Watford home L1-2 3
25 11.02.2017 Hull City home W2-0 3
30 02.04.2017 Manchester City home D2-2 6
31 05.04.2017 West Ham United home W3-0 5

So four wins for us, one draw and that one defeat to Watford.  12 goals for us, and five conceded.

Indeed if we look at the tables the contrast is one of the most extraordinary we have seen all season

But we are now distracted by the FA Cup so nothing is certain.

Meanwhile the physioroom league table of injuries shows Arsenal and Leicester one injury apart

# TEAM TOTAL INJURIES LATEST PLAYER INJURED INJURY
1 Manchester United 8 A Herrera Ankle Injury
2 Liverpool 8 D Sturridge hip flexor strain
3 Manchester City 7 Fernandinho Muscle Injury
4 West Ham United 7 S Feghouli Knock
5 Everton 6 M Besic Fitness
6 Swansea City 6 L Fer Dead Leg
7 Southampton 5 S McQueen Groin Strain
8 Hull City 5 D Meyler MCL Knee Ligament Injury
9 Arsenal 5 A Oxlade-Chamberlain Ankle Injury
10 Sunderland 5 B Jones Concussion
11 Watford 5 C Cathcart Knee Injury
12 Bournemouth 5 D Gosling Calf Injury
13 Crystal Palace 4 J Tomkins Ankle Injury
14 Tottenham Hotspur 4 M Vorm Knee Injury
15 Burnley 4 S Arfield Knee Injury
16 Leicester City 4 W Morgan Hamstring Injury

Manchester United are top of the league, but I have not heard any ravings on Talk Sport about how inept their training regime is, for some reason.  Can’t understand why.

Our injured players are…

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN AVAILABLE?
A Oxlade-Chamberlain Ankle Injury April 25, 2017
S Mustafi Thigh April 30, 2017 Major Doubt
D Ospina Back Injury April 25, 2017 Major Doubt
L Perez Thigh Strain April 25, 2017
S Cazorla Plantaris Injury July 1, 2017 Major Doubt

This table confirms that not only Lucas and the Ox will be ready to play but so might be Ospina – although obviously as the backup keeper.  But I wonder if Ospina might come back and claim his place for the Cup Final.

The Physioroom logic often escapes me – as here we have Ospina recovered by simultaneously a major doubt.  Hard to see how he can be both, but I suspect he will not be beached tomorrow, but instead sitting in the comfy chair.

More thoughts tomorrow.

An anniversary highlight

25 April 1979:  Nine days after beating Chelsea 5-2 Arsenal lost 1-5 to Villa.  In between we lost 0-2 to Derby.  In total Arsenal played nine games in 33 days ahead of the Manchester United cup final.

All the anniversaries appear on the home page each day.  Except when they don’t.

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6 comments to Arsenal v Leicester: a shocking home and away comparison, and excellent injury news

  • colario

    As ever hope springs eternal. Can we beat the PGMO?I hope so.
    If it is depressing for us to watch the PGMO at work, think what it must be like for the players. But hope springs eternal as it did on Sunday even though we feared the worst.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think they’ll(PIGMOB) be taking a break for now. We may not be able to distort their intended plans for the top finishes. Maybe they’ll have to spring back to action when things go awry later on .
    After all,even considering that, ‘All the well laid plans of man and mice …’ , they still have to contend with the Spuds ‘ propensity to f*uck things up spectacularly !

  • ob1977

    We need to do our job today, remember the refereeing in this fixture last season and try to give no chance to be scre*ed, if we do our part we can then sit back and enjoy the Manchester derby tomorrow…

    And without getting ahead of ourselves finish off Spurs season at the weekend…

    Small mercies and all that…

  • Jammy J

    Really need a win in both the Spurs and Man U (and don’t forget Chelsea FA cup final), so we’ve got a very tough run of games coming up. Let’s just hope that the players can get some kind of momentum going and, of course, a lot depends on how hard “the powers that be” will be pushing to get Man U that coveted Champions League spot.

  • Menace

    But Jammy J that 4th place is not a trophy!! Man U only play for trophies.

  • United need that trophy fourt or Europa, it’s money not football!

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