Will Arsenal win the title: Opta’s view, our view, and today’s Arsenal team




By Bulldog Drummond

According to Opta the chances of Arsenal winning the league are 51.3%.  The chances of them coming second are 42.2%.  For third place it is 8.2% and fourth is 0.3%

As for Manchester City they have a 48.4% chance of winning the title, 45.2% chance of coming second, 8% chance of coming third and 0.3% chance of coming fourth.  No odds are given on the media’s near-universal pre-season prediction by the alleged super-computers of Arsenal coming fifth or sixth.

The only other club listed by Opta at the moment in terms of winning the title is Manchester United who start at 2.2% chance of winning the title.   Their range of odds is bigger than Manchester City and Arsenal going

  • 1st = 2.2%
  • 2nd = 12.2%
  • 3rd = 71.3%
  • 4th = 10.2%
  • 5th = 3.0%
  • 6th = 0.9%
  • 7th = 0.2%

Opta is of course all about giving statistical values to events on the pitch.  Untold’s approach is one that is based on the theory that everything works in wave form.   As an example of that we have often cited the fact that Arsenal tend not to lose the odd match amidst a run of wins, but rather the losses come in a sequence.   Thus the ability to cut that sequence short by immediately rebuilding the belief of the team that they can win, breaks the wave.   This is achieved by having readily available players to replace an injured man, and is, in our view far more important than expected goals etc.

Hence our start of the season projection of Arsenal coming third, based not on expected goals, but the fact that it was evident that the various runs of two and three defeats in a row followed by long spells of no defeats, could be overcome.  The “supercomputers” invented by the media predicted fifth or sixth.  I’m looking forward to some end of season crowing at Untold.  It may be childish but we have taken so much abuse from elsewhere following our continuous support for Arteta from the moment he introduced the “stock tackling” policy we feel like giving a bit back.

The BBC in its coverage of the game tell us that Thomas Partey could start his first game for three weeks.  Eddie Nketiah, was said to be limping towards the end of the Everton game so may miss out although if he plays it will be his 100th league appearance in his career.   The general view of the article is “Bournemouth always show plenty of fight and I don’t think this will be a walkover… Mikel Arteta’s side will slip up again before the end of the season, there’s no doubt about that… but not on Saturday.”  The prediction is 3-0.

So, as everyone is now joining in saying, 60 points after 25 games is just one fewer than in the unbeaten season.  But (they add) 60 points does not guarantee the title, as Arsenal found in 2007/8.

And here’s one from the BBC I missed… Since the notorious 2-0 defeat at the start of last season which led to calls for Arteta to leave, Arsenal have won the remaining eight games against promoted teams.  Their stats people are really alive to this stuff – it is a shame the media commentators can’t learn how to see a blip and not interpret it as the end of the world.   Them and their imaginary friends (the alleged but non-existent supercomputers).


Date Match Result Score Competition
13 Aug 2021 Brentford v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
11 Sep 2021 Arsenal v Norwich City W 1-0 Premier League
7 Nov 2021 Arsenal v Watford W 1-0 Premier League
26 Dec 2021 Norwich City v Arsenal W 0-5 Premier League
19 Feb 2022 Arsenal v Brentford W 2-1 Premier League
6 Mar 2022 Watford v Arsenal W 2-3 Premier League
20 Aug 2022 AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal W 0-3 Premier League
27 Aug 2022 Arsenal v Fulham W 2-1 Premier League
30 Oct 2022 Arsenal v Nottingham Forest W 5-0 Premier League

As for the team The Standard offer up..

    • Ramsdale;
      White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
      Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka;
      Saka, Trossard, Martinelli.

Tom Canton of Football.London suggests a different midfield.  The Express, with its website mucking around a bit seem to be offering the same.

White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Partey, Vieira, Odegaard;
Saka, Trossard, Martinelli

Sports Mole however bring back Tierney

White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney;
Xhaka, Partey;
Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;

Radio Times gives the same, so as ever, once we hit several all saying the same thing, we stop.

So that’s it.   Arsenal v Bournemouth: a solid Arsenal win is predicted.    And one good reason for that is that the last time Bournemouth won consecutive away games was in October 2018 beating Watford and Fulham.    On 18 February (their last away game) they beat Wolverhampton 0-1 – a win that came after seven defeats and two draws in league and cup games.

16 Replies to “Will Arsenal win the title: Opta’s view, our view, and today’s Arsenal team”

  1. Just watching City-Newcastle and I must state I am bored to coma.
    To me the referee is a home referee, front and center and City can get away with whateve they want.
    As for the game itself…well the ‘boring Arsenal’ should now be ‘boring City’ and ‘boring Newcastle’.
    I mean City who are supposedly the most expensive team in the galaxy – maybe not anymore since Chelsea went on a spree – with the absolute best manager, well…all that money for such a poor performance ?

    With a little bit of luck for Arsenal, they’ll screw up once more before the end of the game and Newcastle can tie the game.

  2. Thinking the same Chris, but alas it’s about scoring goals.

    We absolutely battered Newcastle, way more so than City today, but we just had one of those days when the keeper has a blinder, the referee a nightmare and our finishing was off.

    Watching us and watching City is chalk and cheese.

    Apparently City are adding a tier to our stadium, did I say our stadium, I mean City’s stadium. I thought they had trouble filling it as it is?

    Alas they won’t drop points today but the more I see the more I think we actually are the better team. Only time will tell.

  3. some historical perspective

    This is only the first game since Mr Wenger took the manager job 27 years ago that no player on the pitch has been involved with him…. Xhaka is not playing.

  4. Even the Richard guy on Bein states Arsenal were robbed 2 penalties by VAR….
    2 actions that the TV did not really show in detail druing the first half but then were shown on bein at half-time

  5. And to make the saturday all the much sweeter…Sp*rs lost….

    That said, i’m so happy for Reiss-Nelson. And I felt he made quite a difference coming on.

  6. Happy for the 3 points but this kind of sluggish, indifferent defending can’t continue. Even if they pull it out, like v. Villa, it’s not sustainable. An Arsenal “B” side should put Bournemouth to the sword. Maybe it’s youth but this team hasn’t learned to apply themselves the same in every match. That will make the title more difficult than it already is. Just being realistic.
    I’m not down on the team, quite the opposite. I love these guys and the grit and determination they show. They can’t give these bottom feeder sides so many chances. The scoreline could have been quite different. I know all the handballs weren’t called but I’m looking at the lazy defending. Even Ramsdale gave the ball away with a lazy pass. They’d be punished severely against a decent side if they play like that. But, breathing a sigh of relief like every other supporter.

  7. Quite a match to watch. I had turned away and missed the first goal. So…some are making a bit about the Cherries’ wingers having stepped over the half line before the ball was kidked. Is that a thing? I mean, back when we had to touch the ball forward the second player was always over the line…anyway… Seems, Partey fell asleep on the second because that was as free a header as you will ever see.

    In fairness to Bournemouth, there wasn’t a great deal of time wasting. I thought for sure they would use up more time with their free kicks and throw ins.

    Great result! Happy for Nelson…he has become a forgotten man with all the good feelings for Saka, Martinelli et. al.

  8. @goonersince72,

    I fully agree. There have been lapses in the past games that should have not been.
    No idea why, but I can’t remember that it did happen before the WC break.

    Then from a ‘watchability’ perspective, that game was a real thriller compared to the lame City-Newcastle boring representation.
    And we discovered the first premises of a new football rule that allows use of hands in the box. My bet is that these live trials will be repeated with Arsenal as the main guinea pig team.

    I mean, even Dick Keys on Bein from all the way back in the gulf petrol states was admitting there should have been 2 if not 3 penalties called for Arsenal. If he says so, it must be quite worse then that !

  9. But Andy Gray was questioning the amount of added time. I carefully watched the clock as the ball went in to the net and the clock read 96:59. We were awarded 6 min extra time and then Smith fell over which added another 30 s. But Andy Gray had to whinge about the time.

  10. Of the penalty shouts, I would have given us the handball when the ball was coming down and landed on Mepham’s outstretched arm. The other two…one was turning his back and the other was hands in front of his body…meh. The kick on Tomiyasu’s foot in the box, though…penalty for sure. So that’s two more errors for the VAR road show.

  11. @GGG,

    yeah on bein, same remarks, and as the replay was being shown, the clock was still ticking, so it was showing 98:xx
    But they did have the argument if it was over extratime. None were talking about the Bournmouth player wo was almost dying in the added time (1 minute a least) by the way.

    So in the end we got Arteta time…. good for us.

  12. @ Chris

    I too was watching the clock during added time. I reckon Bournemouth deliberately wasted nearer two minutes. Andy Gray is a bigoted idiot.

  13. @Mikey,

    I don’t care about the idiots. And felt it funny that even the Dick guy in the Gulf was mentionning penalties not awarded to Arsenal. Or weird….

    But in the end, I’m having the fun of the century watching our young Gunners and when I watch City, Chelsea, Newcastle, Spurs I just get bored. Which makes watching Arsenal the more so fascinating and fun.

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