Arsenal’s opening five games: the results predicted.

By Tony Attwood

So as we get ready to have another bash at winning a silver pot, I thought I’d cast my mind back to recent openers, just to get ready for the big day.

Last season 2018

This was of course Mr Emery’s opener, and what a tough one to have, with Manchester City at home.  We lost 0-2, which in a way was almost a relief.  A defeat is not welcome, but given the shortness of time he had had to reform the team in his own image, I wondered just how difficult that first game might be.

We lined up with

Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis
Maitland Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka
Ozil, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan

Arsenal next lost away to Chelsea admist talk of when the last time was Arsenal lost three in a row at the start of the season, with much glee expressed by the gloom and doom gangs in the national newspapers and negativity blogs.  Predictions of dropping out of the top six were rife.

But we won our third game, and Arsenal were then undefeated in league, Europa and league cup matches until 16 December.  It was a very good run that stabilised the club.


Going back to 2017, we opened against Chelsea in the Community Shield on 6 August at Wembley and drew 1-1, winning 4-1 on penalties, as Mr Wenger started what was to be his final season.  The opening league game was a 4-3 win over Leicester.

Against Leicester in that opening game the team was

Čech, Bellerin, Holding, Monreal, Kolašinac, Elneny, Özil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Lacazette, Welbeck

We then lost the next two games, conceding five and scoring none.  After that Arsenal then went 14 games in the league unbeaten.


In 2016 we lost to Liverpool in the opening match 3-4, at home.

We then went on a 19 match unbeaten run in all competitions, before losing a league cup game.  After that we had three more wins before consecutive league defeats in December.

Our opening game team that season was 

Čech, Bellerin, Holding, Monreal, Chambers, Coquelin, Elneny, Ramsey, Iwobi, Sánchez, Walcott


Having beaten Chelsea 1-0 in the Community Shield we then lost at home to West Ham in the opening league match to the unbridled delight of the mass media who suddenly all turned out to be WHU fans.

After the defeat to WHU Arsenal were undefeated in the next four league games, winning three and drawing one. After that Arsenal were unbeaten in seven before losing a Champs League game to Borussia Dortmund but remained unbeaten in the league until a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on 5 October.

So there is a real pattern here.  An early defeat or two followed by a long run unbeaten.  I have rather enjoyed these long runs as they keep me warm as autumn closes in, but if we could have one this year without the early defeats that would be good.

This season our first five league games are as below, with last season’s results written next to each one followed by a prediction, which I know is rash and stupid, but well, nothing changes…

Opposition Venue Result Prediction
Newcastle away Won 1-2 Win 1-3
Burnley home Won 3-1 Win 3-1
Liverpool away Lost 5-1 Lose 1-2
Tottenham home Won 4-2 Win 2-1
Watford away Won 0-1 Win 1-2

This set of results would give us an improvement on last season after five games, when the table showed this…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 5 5 0 0 14 4 10 15
2 Liverpool 5 5 0 0 11 2 9 15
3 Manchester City 5 4 1 0 14 3 11 13
4 Watford 5 4 0 1 10 5 5 12
5 AFC Bournemouth 5 3 1 1 10 7 3 10
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5 3 0 2 10 6 4 9
7 Arsenal 5 3 0 2 10 9 1 9

I can’t work out a table for all the clubs this year, it would take too long and I don’t have access to the infamous super computer to work out each result, but on the basis of my predictions we would of course have 12 points, with a goal tally of 11 for and five against, or +6 in contemporary currency.   So three points more than by that time last year and a goal difference that has gone up by +5.

We shall see, and I have no doubt that I shall reminded of my foolish ways as the weeks roll by.

7 Replies to “Arsenal’s opening five games: the results predicted.”

  1. I would give us a draw vs pool as we are an all round better team then last time and more suited to Emery’s tactics

  2. emery has no tactics but at least he won’t play guendouzi and elneny in the same midfield once more (i think). we have enough firepower to beat pool so anything can happen.

  3. Not the easiest of starts to the season! With a bit of luck, we’ll have banished our away day blues… seeing as Anfield is on the horizon. Thinking about that fixture, brings me out in a cold sweat… it’s about time we went there & got a result!!
    Looking forward to Sunday & hoping to see Pepe at some point!
    Come on Arsenal, please bag all 3 points

  4. You’ve got the results right but the scores show our defence in poor light. We will not concede from open play.

    The Liverpool game correctly shows an Arsenal victory.

  5. Mikeinatlanta…….Go on and watch Adrian Clarke’s excellent forecasts for 2019-2020….then come back and say Emery doesn’t do tactics.

  6. Predictions make me uneasy, patterns make more sense. In a worst-case scenario the security problems facing Ozil and Kos might be a door being opened, an unknown future rushing in, the EPL the matrix for wealth/vendetta/racism/envy/history/celebrity/language/camera angles, football transmuting, the actual result the last thing anyone gets entertained by.

    But, trust in the best. There will be a moment this season where Ozil, Aub, Pepe, Lac, combine and a goal of beauty is created in an instant and football breathes the dream.

  7. That 😈 Mike Riley and PGMO have published their manifesto about VAR. They think they have found a way to manipulate the system, so that they can continue to warp results.

    I suspect that part of what the VAR referee will do, is to choose the best “point of view” to promote the PGMO perspective, as opposed to the best point of view to show what happened. And in the event of TV replays later on, those will only show the view the PGMO feels “best represents” their interests.

    But, a number of stadia (Arsenal is among them) will be getting fancy cameras and processing associated with Intel; that can recreate the scene on the field from _ANY_ point of view. So, how long before people with access to that data, start showing how PGMO is doing things?

    Zedsaunt, I sure hope that we get to see some very creative goals from Arsenal this season. Patterns are sort of like finding the maxima and minima in correlations. Predictions are like finding causation. Not that I think many people are looking at how useful their correlation are (medicine calls this efficacy).

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