By Bulldog Drummond
The last time we did lose to a bottom three club at home was with a 1-0 loss to West Ham way way way back in April 2007. And to make this sound even better we have won the last 27 home league matches against sides in the drop zone since a 4-4 draw with Tottenham in 2008. But they always were a bit pesky, even when looking like relegation material.
And aside from all the facts and figures given previously if we look at the six games Burnley have played at the Arsenal Stadium they have lost by an average score of 3-0 or 3-1 (it is actually 0.5 goals per game that Burnley score at our ground). They did however beat us at Highbury in 1974 – the season that at least until March looked as if we were going to go down, just four years after the double.
However we played the pesky fellas on 7 September 1974 in front of 23,586 and lost 0-1 (that crowd total should be a reminder to those who claim that anything under 55,000 at Arsenal Stadium is a disgrace).
The team for that defeat was
Rice, Storey, Blockley, Nelson
Matthews, Brady, George, Armstrong
Simpson came on as a sub for Rice. The manager was Bertie Mee who seemed completely unable to understand that having won the double, the management of the players needed to change, and that his military techniques no longer worked on players who were now stars the world over. He never got it, even when he was finally persuaded to retire.
Anyway, moving on, we have managed to lose just two home games in the league in 2018 – both of them against Manchester City, so this isn’t time to be thinking of defeat. True we did lose the first two league games of the season, but we’ll have no more talk of that!
The same old same old stories however still apply like the fact that we have not actually been in the lead in any of the 17 Premier League games this season (although the fact is that we have been level in 13 games and behind in just four).
And since there are no points awarded for being in front at half time only the final score really matters. Unai Emery has made 15 substitutions before the start of the second half, no one else comes even close. I rather like that.
Plus there is the fact that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 90% of our goals in the Premier League this season – so let us hope he plays the 90 minutes this time.
Burnley on the other hand have got just six points out of their last 11 away games and have faailed to score in seven of those games. Last season around this time they were seventh, which is where they finished up, which suggests that if they end the year in the relegation places they might well move from Europa League to relegation in one season.
And just as we have won so many games against team in the relegation places so they have lost all eight of their games against teams not just in the top six positions but in the top half of the table this season. The average score is about 3-0.
They did beat Chelsea 3-2 on the first day of last season but that’s about it. And here is another interesting factoid – they did not have a single shot on target against the Tiny Totts in their last game. But they have scored more goals in the last 10 minutes than any other team!
And for their supporters one even more depressing thought: they have not won any of their last 23 games in the Premier League or Division 1 in December since beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in 1969. Now there’s a thought!
So to the teams. We are told Shkodran Mustafi is out, but some people are tipping him to play, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a doubt, and Sead Kolasinac might just make it.
As for cards, no one who watched Southampton in our match against them will be surprised to see that they have the most yellow cards in the PL – the only surprise is that the number is so small being 36, one ahead of Manchester United. Arsenal have had 33 and Burnley 32.
Here is a possible line up…
Lichsteiner Sokratis Mustafi Monreal
Mkhitaryan Ozil Aubameyang
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- Arsenal v Newcastle: the team and league positons AFTER the game.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: injuries, yellow cards and recent form