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By Tony Attwood
Although it is quite possible that by the time you read this the details may have changed again, as I understand it at the moment, the opening three fixtures for Arsenal this season are
- Saturday 12th August: Nottingham Forest (home)
- Monday 21st August: Crystal Palace (away)
Saturday 26th August: Fulham (home)
And that is interesting because after three games last season, the table revealed Arsenal top of the league with three straight wins, while the season before (2021/2) showed Arsenal bottom of the league with three straight defeats.
Looking at those three we might be tempted to predict another top-of-the-table moment, but a certain level of caution should be added.
And I say that because I am sure that once again this season there will be people with a very limited understanding of football making predictions on the end of the season after three games. So, given that last season Arsenal were top of the league after three games and ultimately came second, while the season before Arsenal were bottom of the league after three games and came fifth, I thought it might be interesting to see if anything can be gleaned from the first three games.
So here is the league table last season after three games with a final column showing where the club ended up. (League tables derived from 11v11).
|5||Brighton and Hove Albion||3||2||1||0||4||1||3||7||6|
|20||West Ham United||3||0||0||3||0||5||-5||0||14|
As we can see, four of the ultimate top six were in the top six after three matches, and three of the final bottom six were in the bottom six after three games.
But here is an interesting point: after three games, eight of the 20 clubs were within one position of their final place in the league. Of course, knowing which eight that would be is a different matter.
But what about the season before (2021/2)…
|2||West Ham United||3||2||1||0||10||5||5||7||7|
|8||Brighton and Hove Albion||3||2||0||1||4||3||1||6||9|
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