by Bulldog Drummond
First off, as ever, the injuries and here is the chart from Physioroom…
|Player||Injury||Return?||Chance v Newcastle|
|Hector Bellerin||Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – ACL Injury||30/09/2019||None|
|Alexandre Lacazette||Ankle Injury||11/08/2019||50% (see below)|
|Nicolas Pepe||Lacking Match Fitness||11/08/2019||50%|
|Rob Holding||Lacking Match Fitness||25%|
Mavropanos has been out for a very long time and we have no news of him being ready.
As for the rest the Daily Mirror of course is in hilariously insane mode as it was all last season. This time it says, “Arsenal set to be dealt injury blow for opening day of Premier League season” and then when we go looking for who is injured they tell us that “the club are “optimistic” the 28-year-old [by which they mean Lacazette, but they talk funny in the Mirror] will be available for the trip to St James’ Park on Sunday.”
And to confirm the point, they say, “Hopefully he [Lacazette] will be ready for the match against Newcastle,” said Emery.”
So what exactly is the meaning of “set to be dealt injury blow”?????????
The match fitness issues are as much a bit of guesswork as anything so Pepe and Holding’s figures could be an underestimate of their chances of playing.
Which gives us a team selected from
- Goal: Leno or Martinez
- Defence: Sokratis, Monreal, Mustafi, Chambers, Kolasinac and maybe Holding
- Midfield: Mkhitaryon, Ceballos, Ozil, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka
- Attack: Lacazette, Aubameyang, Iwobi, Pepe
We will also get our first view of how Arsenal are setting out to improve their away form – which is where all the improvement has to come from – we looked at this in yesterday’s article.
Ceballos and Pepe, if playing, will get their first full introduction to PGMO and its unique approach to football, and I suspect that no matter how much they have been told about what to expect, it will still come as a surprise.
Next we will get our first indication of just how well Ozil is being rehabilitated into the team. Is he a central player in the line up, or is he just to be used in certain games? Remember this summer the media has Ozil being sold off to Turkey with Arsenal still paying over half his salary – but he is still with us. Let’s hope everything is resolved.
And there is the case of Newcastle away.
This has been a very happy hunting ground throughout this century: just five defeats in 40 games since we stopped writing “19” at the start of the year, and two of those were at home…
|14 May 2000||Newcastle United v Arsenal||L||4-2||Premier League|
|09 Dec 2000||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||5-0||Premier League|
|15 May 2001||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|18 Dec 2001||Arsenal v Newcastle United||L||1-3||Premier League|
|02 Mar 2002||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-2||Premier League|
|09 Mar 2002||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|23 Mar 2002||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||3-0||FA Cup replay|
|09 Nov 2002||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||1-0||Premier League|
|09 Feb 2003||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|26 Sep 2003||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||3-2||Premier League|
|11 Apr 2004||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|29 Dec 2004||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|23 Jan 2005||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||1-0||Premier League|
|14 Aug 2005||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|10 Dec 2005||Newcastle United v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
|18 Nov 2006||Arsenal v Newcastle United||D||1-1||Premier League|
|09 Apr 2007||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|25 Sep 2007||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||2-0||League Cup|
|05 Dec 2007||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|26 Jan 2008||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||3-0||FA Cup|
|29 Jan 2008||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|30 Aug 2008||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|21 Mar 2009||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|27 Oct 2010||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-4||League Cup|
|07 Nov 2010||Arsenal v Newcastle United||L||0-1||Premier League|
|05 Feb 2011||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||4-4||Premier League|
|13 Aug 2011||Newcastle United v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|12 Mar 2012||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||2-1||Premier League|
|29 Dec 2012||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||7-3||Premier League|
|19 May 2013||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|29 Dec 2013||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|28 Apr 2014||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|13 Dec 2014||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||4-1||Premier League|
|21 Mar 2015||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|29 Aug 2015||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|02 Jan 2016||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||1-0||Premier League|
|16 Dec 2017||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||1-0||Premier League|
|15 Apr 2018||Newcastle United v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|15 Sep 2018||Newcastle United v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|01 Apr 2019||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||2-0||Premier League|
The last 13 matches have involved 12 wins and one defeat. We’ll look at Newcastle’s situation in the next pre-match article.
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