- Bournemouth v Arsenal and Tottenham’s yellow card bonanza
- Bournemouth v Arsenal injury update and the record between the clubs
By Bulldog Drummond
One of the key things to remember concerning this game is that it is not just Arsenal that has the injury worries. As the BBC website tells us, “Bournemouth will make a late decision on the fitness of Dominic Solanke, who injured his ankle in midweek. Chris Mepham, Lloyd Kelly, Alex Scott and Emiliano Marcondes are still absent but fit-again summer signing Tyler Adams might make his league debut.”
They also point out something we missed in the earlier articles, which is that Bournemouth have not won any of their last ten Premier League matches (seven of which have been defeats), and it seems this is the longest current winless run in the Premier League. For Bournemouth, their previous worst record was eight games in 1994, at which time they were in the third tier.
That news sent me scurrying back to last season to look at how badly some other teams had done at home in the Premier League for 2022/23. The bottom six were, in terms of home games at the end of the season were…
Interestingly, Everton are still in the bottom three this season for home games, and they are the only team to have a worse home record than Bournemouth. But the way things are going the three promoted teams from last season could be going straight back down – something that hasn’t happened for a few years (although I can’t quite remember when it did happen).
One of the problems that Bournemouth faces is that it keeps getting ahead in games, and then either drawing or losing. They do that more than any other club it seems.
As for Arsenal the BBC point out that if Arsenal do win today it will be the third time in a PL season that the opening three away games have been won by the club (2004-05 and 2013-14 being the others), and the first time since 2007 that the first seven fixtures have passed by without defeat since 2007/8.
In that season the first defeat of any kind came in the Champions League with a 3-1 away loss to Sevilla on 27 November and the first league defeat away to Middlesbrough on 9 December. In the end there were three league defeats and Arsenal finished the season in third place.
But to return to the more positive issues, none of the clubs Arsenal have played in the last three away games has actually scored a goal.
However, this is the English media and positivity never lasts for long, so we are also told that “Since moving to the Premier League in January 2017, Gabriel Jesus has underperformed his expected goals figure by 15, scoring 70 goals from an xG of 85. Neal Maupay (14.9) and Christian Benteke (12.5) are the only other players with a negative differential of more than 10 in this period.”
I always knew Expected Goals was a rubbish statistic.
Football London says “Mikel Arteta could have the luxury of welcoming back several key players for Arsenal’s trip to Bournemouth. If this is the case, then it will have major implications for the Gunners manager’s team selection.” They note as does everyone else that “Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and Leandro Trossard” might return “after they missed the Carabao Cup win over Brentford through injury…. The hope is all four will be available for selection.”
Then after a lot of humming and hawing FoLo goes with a team of…
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Jorginho, Vieira, Odegaard;
Jesus, Havertz, Nelson.
Although a second writer for the same website (which is owned by the group that owns the Daily Mirror) suggests the team will be
White, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Jorginho, Havertz, Odegaard;
Vieira, Jesus, Nelson.
The Evening Standard however offers
White, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Odegaard, Rice, Havertz;
Saka, Jesus, Nelson
And let us finish as usual with Sports Mole, not least because they do offer a score prediction – this time it being 0-2 to the Arsenal.
Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Odegaard, Jorginho, Havertz;
Nelson, Nketiah, Jesus
As the old-timers often say, “Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice.”
Profound words indeed.
Next up, our preview of the Women’s game.
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