By Bulldog Drummond
After our array of bits and pieces about the game, we’re now on the road to the game, and here are out last bits and pieces. One interesting snip is the number of tackles by each club before this weekend’s games.
|Pos||Club||Shots so far|
|4.||West Ham United||99|
|6.||Brighton and Hove Albion||96|
I imagine the better teams have lower number of tackles because of the increased ability to intercept and hold the ball – but the fact that Manchester City had 21 fewer tackled than anyone else was a bit of a surprise. So is Bournemouth’s position. I’ve put the table in not because I am certain what it tells us, but I think it ought to tell us something.
And so onto the teams.
I can’t see that the match we saw on Thursday will make much difference to the selection of the team today. Leno is hardly likely suddenly to be promoted to 1st choice keeper, and I imagine Lichtsteiner will also go back to the beach with Bellerin coming back in. Likewise Mustafi should replace Rob Holding to play alongside Sokratis. There can’t be any doubt about Monreal – apart from the fact that he is playing well, we are in the midst of a left back crisis of mega proportions which is why he played on Thursday.
I thought Torreira was terrific on Thursday, although of course against modest opposition, but he was then injured. If he is fit I suspect he could stay in the team, but if there is any doubt he’ll be given a week off and brought back after that. But there really is no need to risk him since we have Guendouzi and Xhaka to give defensive cover.
However I suspect everyone who has seen Torreira will realise what a terrific purchase he is; a real force in the team. When he is fit he is the obvious first choice for defensive midfield.
The appearance of Ramsey on Physioroom’s injury list surprised and still bemuses me, but I suspect he’s back in the squad now which means that Ozil will go out on the wing leaving Ramsey free to play in the centre. But that means we are unlikely to have room for Henrikh Mkhitaryan despite his good showing on Thursday and the same applies to Iwobi so that Lacazette can come in.
That gives us
Bellerin Mustafi Sokratis Monreal
Ozil Ramsey Aubameyang
- Leno, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Torreira, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Welbeck
And here’s a little bit of fun: a list of leading scorers for Arsenal…
Aubameyang, Iwobi, Lacazette, Mkhitaryan, Monreal, Mustafi, Özil, Welbeck, Xhaka 1
One other bit of injury news is that Pleguezuelo got an injury during the under 23 game. That obviously keeps him off the beach, but perhaps more significantly, also means he will miss out on the league cup game.
Obviously no post-match instant report from Walter today, nor indeed from any of us, since it is one of those rare occasions when all of the Untold team plan to get together prior to a game.
And you know what’s rather nice: none of us would know each other if it were not for Untold. One of the really good outcomes of our ten and a half years of chattering about Arsenal and related stuff.
In the meanwhile please do talk among yourselves.
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