By Bulldog Drummond
Before the matches this weekend the story was that “If Tottenham and Chelsea both win and Arsenal don’t beat Brighton, they won’t be able to qualify for the Champions League via the league.”
As it was even the traditionally pro-Tottenham media had to back off their latest display, the Guardian noting “they were fortunate not to lose Eric Dier to another red card. Apart from two sent off they got five yellow cards.
Meanwhile, Brighton’s Premier League status was sorted yesterday as Cardiff went down. Here’s Brighton’s run…
|17 Mar||Millwall v Brighton and Hove Albion||W||2-2 (4-5)||FA Cup|
|30 Mar||Brighton and Hove v Southampton||L||0-1||Premier League|
|03 Apr||Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion||L||3-0||Premier League|
|06 Apr||Manchester City v Brighton and Hove||L||1-0||FA Cup|
|13 Apr||Brighton and Hove v Bournemouth||L||0-5||Premier League|
|16 Apr||Brighton and Hove v Cardiff City||L||0-2||Premier League|
|20 Apr||Wolverhampton v Brighton and Hove||D||0-0||Premier League|
|23 Apr||Tottenham H v Brighton and Hove||L||1-0||Premier League|
|27 Apr||Brighton and Hove v Newcastle Utd||D||1-1||Premier League|
It left them at the start of May near the foot of the table, but the failure of Cardiff came to their rescue…
|17||Brighton and Hove Albion||36||9||8||19||33||55||-22||35|
Their cares and worries over they could play free-flowing football and take us by surprise, or they could instead just be relieved and have had a drink or two too many last night.
By and large the away form of these clubs near the foot of the table reflects their form overall…
Away games only
|17||Brighton and Hove Albion||18||3||3||12||15||31||-16||12|
Arsenal’s home form, although knocked by the defeat to Crystal Palace (not wholly unexpected since Palace have a much better away record than their home record every year for the past five years), still shows the club in a strong position.
Home games only
Just the goal tallies alone show us the difference between Arsenal at home (+26) and Brighton away (-16). Put another way, they score less than one goal a game and we concede less than one goal a game. 3-0 would seem the most likely score.
Of course we need Chelsea to drop points for us to get into the top four, and Chelsea do have issues in terms of a transfer ban, plus an owner who has not been to a match for a long time, and seems to have pulled the plug on their new stadium development since finding that he couldn’t have a work visa in the UK. So there is a hope (I know, it’s a bit of a long shot) that there might be a like of focus among some players for their game.
Chelsea play before us, at home to Watford, and as we can see from the table above Chelsea’s home form, although not as good as ours is still good enough to signal a home win. But Watford away offer little to suggest they might turn matters the other way. Chelsea’s last game is away to Leicester which offers perhaps a greater chance to stumble.
Chelsea away are not as bad as we are, but they are not perfect.
Away games only
The injury news is that Koscielny should be ok – it was just fatigue that caused his substitution.
Long-term injury absentees Rob Holding, Hector Bellerín, Aaron Ramsey, Denis Suarez and Danny Welbeck all of course remain out. But having the first of those two in place for the start of next season will be a major boost. Brighton will be without Jose Izquierdo; Davy Propper has a hamstring injury, but Beram Kayal is ok.
Among other odd stats, no team from the south coast has won a Premier League at Arsenal’s ground. And we have of course lost three in a row in the league. The last time it was four was 1995. And Arsenal substitutes have scored 11 league goals this season, the joint most in the top flight along with Liverpool.
The Guardian have
Jenkinson Mustafi Sokratis Kolasinac
Mkhitaryan Ozil Iwobi
The Standard has chickened out of this one and have only published a squad list, which really is cheating since their bold as brass headline reads “Arsenal vs Brighton: Premier League 2019 prediction, lineups…”
Sky Sprouts also fails to give us a line up. So we’ll stick with that one.