by Bulldog Drummond
Since the run of unbeaten games ended at Southampton on 16 December Arsenal have played 14 games. Seven have been lost, six have been won and just one has been a draw.
|16 Dec 2018||Southampton v Arsenal||L||3-2||Premier League|
|19 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||L||0-2||League Cup|
|22 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Burnley||W||3-1||Premier League|
|26 Dec 2018||Brighton and Hove v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|29 Dec 2018||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||5-1||Premier League|
|01 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Fulham||W||4-1||Premier League|
|05 Jan 2019||Blackpool v Arsenal||W||0-3||FA Cup|
|12 Jan 2019||West Ham United v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
|19 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-0||Premier League|
|25 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Manchester United||L||1-3||FA Cup|
|29 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Cardiff City||W||2-1||Premier League|
|03 Feb 2019||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
|09 Feb 2019||Huddersfield Town v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|14 Feb 2019||FC BATE Borisov v Arsenal||L||1-0||Europa League|
If this had been our league record in the opening 14 games of the season we would have been seventh in the league at this point.
However we should also note that only two of the defeats have been at home, which suggests we really don’t have too much to worry about in this game – although as we have mentioned before the terrible away form of last season continues.
And given that we are out of the league cup, FA cup and the championship race, this is our chance of winning something, so there is every need to put out the strongest team we can on Thursday.
Fortunately home is where our strength is. We’re not as good as the leading two clubs in the PL, that is true, but ahead of the rest of the pack when it comes to home form…
Home matches only…
On this basis we should not have too much of a problem against BATE. Here are their most recent away games…
|Date||Competition||Home team||Score||Away team|
|21/11/18||League||Shakhtyor||3 – 0||BATE|
|02/12/18||League||Torpedo BelAZ||2 – 2||BATE|
|13/12/18||Europa||PAOK||1 – 3||BATE|
|03/02/19||Friendly||Wolfsberger AC||2 – 1||BATE|
|21/02/19||Europa||Arsenal||17 : 55||BATE|
Yes they clearly can win away, but they can also concede. And besides BATE is certainly the sort of team we should be beating easily.
In terms of the team, the one certainty is that Lacazette cannot play having had a red card. Beyond that it is a set of guesses, but because of the loss last week it would seem unlikely that any youngsters will be played – which is a great shame. They need games to be encouraged and to allow them to develop. Otherwise they too will start running their contracts down in order to go to a club where they will get games.
As for the score – the Standard has come out and predicted a 3-0 win to the Arsenal. Certainly if we can score early on that will mean that they have to come out and attack, which should give us more opportunity.
The one thing we obviously must not let them do is score, as an away goal will mean we have to get three, and that will then be against an 11 man defence. where sheer weight of numbers and an added frustration on Arsenal’s part will mean it could start to get rather tricky.
And what of the media. Well, the Daily Mirror has an article on line in which it quotes as its source Football London, which it owns. The quote, which is in fact the entire essence of the article, tells us that “It is suggested the smiles had been replaced by a look of frustration in the Borisov Arena. Fahmy is said to have shook his head in disbelief while Vekatesham sat slumped in his chair.”
Well! What on earth did the executives at the Mirror who publish this sort of tosh think? That the board members would be smiling? Now that would have been a story.
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