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By Bulldog Drummond
Now the team news about Arsenal is not that sensational for as we will see in a moment the various all-knowing publications all come up with the same line up.
But before that there is a bit of information that might be of interest. “Arsenal had 16 players away on international duty and all have returned unscathed. Thomas Partey is their only absentee because of an ongoing groin injury.”
That extraordinary fact is taken from the BBC website, and it will strike you as extraordinary if you think back to the days when Arsenal had injury after injury, and international managers were compared by Arsene Wenger to car thieves who would take your car, race it around, wreck it and return it to you with instructions to have it ready for the next international catastrophe (or “break” as the media insist on calling it.
But onto the game and the team, and the BBC do themselves proud by noting that Everton are on the edge of their longest ever home-win streak against Arsenal since 1910 to 1913. So with the help of the Arsenal History Society we thought we would look, and here it is…
|05 Feb 1910||Everton v Woolwich Arsenal||L||5-0||FA Cup|
|07 Mar 1910||Everton v Woolwich Arsenal||L||1-0||League Division One|
|05 Nov 1910||Everton v Woolwich Arsenal||L||2-0||League Division One|
|27 Mar 1912||Everton v Woolwich Arsenal||L||1-0||League Division One|
|22 Mar 1913||Everton v Woolwich Arsenal||L||3-0||League Division One|
And yes of course you can prove anything with history – especially when ignoring the fact that Arsenal went bust in 1910, and almost out of existence, before moving to Highbury at the end of the 1912/13 season. But then again, when one has so little history to hang onto every snippet is worth noting I guess.
What we could do instead is look back to the 14 match seqeucne from December 2007 to March 2014 in which Arsenal and Everton played each other 14 times with the result: Arsenal wins nine, draws, five, Everton wins, err…. zero.
But to be fair, they do mention that Everton had a six match winless run at the start of 2022-23. That doesn’t get mentioned that often, but you might compare and contrast with the depth of media coverage of the first three league games of 2021/22. And I say “league” games since although everyone focussed on the three defeats at the start of that season, they ignore the league cup win that came in the midst of that. 0-6 away to West Brom as I recall.
Everton’s records however are not so wonderful. If they do lose four league of the first five games in a row at the start of a season, this will not be the first time. They did that in 1994 and 2005. Oh yes and they have scored more than one goal at home just once in the last 21 games.
And what of the Arsenal I hear you cry (well, not literally but you know…) Arsenal have (according to the BBC and I am grateful for this one as it is another one I have missed) had 11 games without conceding in their last 20 away league games.
As for the teams, our regular sources all have the same team, all accepting that Gabriel Jesus is not yet ready to start another game.
Here’s the line up suggestions. Sports Mole go with
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Odegaard, Rice, Havertz;
Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
Racing Post goes further and suggests exactly the same team but with a bench as well, which involves…Trossard, Nketiah, Smith Rowe, Jorginho, Vieira, Kiwior, Tomiyasu, Nelson.
The Standard offers exactly the same again, at which point it is probably best to stop and say there is general agreement.
So there we are. Have fun.
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