- Bournemouth v Arsenal and Tottenham’s yellow card bonanza
- The great injury conundrum: how can Arsenal cope, and how are other clubs suffering?
By Bulldog Drummond
AFC Bournemouth’s overall record against Arsenal is their second-worst in terms of Premier League games. The two sides have met 12 times overall and Bournemouth have won one, with two being draws. Only Manchester City has achieved more, having won all 12 of their games. Arsenal have scored 29 goals across those 12 games against AFC Bournemouth (2.42 per match on average).
As for the latest on the injuries according to the Mirror, “All six of Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli, Fabio Vieira and Declan Rice were touch and go as to whether they would be deemed fit enough to play. However, the trio of Saka, Saliba and Rice have travelled with the rest of the squad after being seen signing autographs for fans outside the team hotel.”
It is a bit of a contradiction to the piece which also appeared in the Mirror headlined “Inside Arsenal’s injury crisis – Six players out & growing William Saliba fears” which they published an hour earlier. But then sixty minutes is a long time in publishing. Or at least it is for the Mirror.
As for this whole issue of injury crises which seems to be affecting many clubs the Independent has an article in which Erik ten Hag has said that footballers cannot cope with the workload of an ever-greater schedule and he believes Manchester United’s injury list is because players are overworked.
Indeed Manchester Met University published an article earlier this year which proclaimed that “Post-World Cup fixture congestion could increase injury risk says research.” It does indeed seem very likely.
Anyway let’s move on from all the talk of injuries and look at the match itself. Bournemouth have played three home league games this season, drawn two of them and lost the other. But they did beat Stoke City in the league cup this week. Their track record is
|12 Aug 2023||AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United||D||1-1||Premier League|
|26 Aug 2023||AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur||L||0-2||Premier League|
|17 Sep 2023||AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea||D||0-0||Premier League|
|27 Sep 2023||AFC Bournemouth v Stoke City||W||2-0||League Cup|
Arsenal have played two league matches away and won both, played Manchester City on neutral ground and won that on penalties, and beaten Brentford away in the league cup. All that sounds good, but what is worrying is that the Community Shield was 1-1 at full time, and the other three games were all 0-1. We really do want to be knocking in a few more goals away from home.
Anyway, although it is early days we can still construct a table of home v away results for this season:
|15||AFC Bournemouth home||3||0||2||1||1||3||-2||2|
Going back a bit further we can also look at the home v away form over the last six games, which obviously includes part of last season, and once again we find a clear separation between the two clubs in terms of points, although Arsenal’s goal difference away from home in the last six games is a disappointing zero.
A more hopeful sign comes from the head-to-head comparison in which Arsenal have won 11 of the competitive games between the two clubs, two have been drawn, and Bournemouth have won one. That Bournemouth win was 2-1 in 2018, at the Vitality Stadium (previously known as Dean Court).
The ground’s capacity is 11,464 – and contrary to popular belief it isn’t the smallest stadium in the league – or at least it isn’t the smallest stadium in the league this season. That distinction goes to Luton Town whose capacity is 10,356.
So moving on to a final point: in the last seven games between the two clubs Arsenal have won six and drawn one, the last victory being the 3-2 win on 4 March this year in the league.
Which really brings us on to the team…. Latest information on that will follow shortly.
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