By Bulldog Drummond
The Physioroom league table of injuries shows Arsenal in the lower reaches of the table, along with Chelsea. Top of the tree and out there on their own is West Ham on nine players injured. After that comes Newcastle on seven, Liverpool and Cardiff on six, Tottenham and Southampton on five, Bournemouth and Watford on four, and then on three we have Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Brighton, Huddersfield, Manchester United, Burnley, and Crystal Palace. The remaining three clubs are on two.
I rather imagine the nutters who used to go around saying that Mr Wenger was the sole cause of Arsenal’s injuries because of his crazy training methods are now claiming this table is proof; remove Wenger and the injuries stop!
Our three players out are the long term three: Mkhitaryan, Welbeck and Holding. There seems to be a general consensus that Welbeck will not be seen playing for Arsenal again and that he will be released at the end of June as his contract ends.
Mkhitaryan is apparently expected to be back in training next week.
Morata is said to be a slight doubt for Chelsea, while Loftus Cheek and Ginkel are long term injuries Fabregas has now of course gone to play for Monaco with Thierry Henry.
In the media all the injury talk of course is about Tottenham with Kane and Son missing. It will be interesting to see how the the Tiny Totts get on without them.
In terms of the home form, at the start of the season I speculated that if we could maintain our home form of last season and get our away form back to what it used to be, we’d be able to make the top four this time around. Although the away form has improved, sadly so has everyone else’s form and we need to work on that further. But the home form has been very decent.
Home games only
Just the one home defeat and that at the very start of the season. Incidentally we also predicted right back at the start of the campaign that Tottenham’s home form would be their problem. Of course then we didn’t know that “home” would not be the much heralded and trumpeted New White Hart Lane (Newhl) but Wembley in Middlesex, the club’s ancestral home. But still, it is hard to get everything right.
So for us, played 11, eight wins, two draws and one defeat. Third best home scoring record, third best defensive record.
However when we look at the away form we can see the Chelsea are no slouches. Our position of eighth is an improvement on last season, but as noted, not enough.
But the point this weekend is Chelsea, and Chelsea have done well away from home with just two defeats, scoring fractionally under two a game while conceding under one a game. On this basis if we are going to win it is going to be by the single goal.
And what we could do with is the ability to take the lead, rather than going behind and then having to throw everything at the opposition in the second half. Quite why we can’t do this I don’t really know. Surely it can’t be a tactic? If it is, is a very dangerous one and doesn’t do anything for my blood pressure.
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