By Bulldog Drummond
The always entertaining (if extraordinarily eccentric and flat-earth like) Football is Fixed website seems quite sure that matters involving Leicester also involve match fixing. Sadly their policy of not telling us how they have reached such a conclusion makes it hard to spot any reasoning or logic in their drawing of conclusions and these days the site reeks more of tin hats than anything else.
But of course with all the secrecy surrounding refereeing and the refusal of English football to acknowledge Uefa’s concerns about the unstoppable rise of match fixing, one never knows.
Back on planet earth, Leicester have been doing well. If we take league, league cup and FL Trophy matches into account they have been excellent both home and away they have won 10 and lost one (away to Liverpool) in their last 11. Just looking at league games it is six league wins and one defeat in the last seven.
They are also scoring a couple of goals a game or more (there were five against Newcastle and nine against Southampton in the match that Football is Fixed felt was indeed fixed). Matthew James is their only injury. For Arsenal, Physioroom have rather amusingly included Xhaka in the injury table, and then declared that he has no injury, while Ceballos was declared as having a small injury.
It is interesting (at least to me if not anyone else) that under Wenger Arsenal did rather better in the league than we are doing under Emery, and yet under Wenger Arsenal seemed to have a lot more injuries – so many in fact that the manager’s training techniques were blamed.
Against Leicester this century we have generally done quiet well in the league
|26 Dec 2000||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||6-1|
|20 Jan 2001||Leicester City v Arsenal||D||0-0|
|25 Aug 2001||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||4-0|
|23 Jan 2002||Leicester City v Arsenal||W||1-3|
|06 Dec 2003||Leicester City v Arsenal||D||1-1|
|15 May 2004||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||2-1|
|31 Aug 2014||Leicester City v Arsenal||D||1-1|
|10 Feb 2015||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||2-1|
|26 Sep 2015||Leicester City v Arsenal||W||2-5|
|14 Feb 2016||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||2-1|
|20 Aug 2016||Leicester City v Arsenal||D||0-0|
|26 Apr 2017||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||1-0|
|11 Aug 2017||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||4-3|
|09 May 2018||Leicester City v Arsenal||L||3-1|
|22 Oct 2018||Arsenal v Leicester City||W||3-1|
|28 Apr 2019||Leicester City v Arsenal||L||3-0|
But the two defeats in the last 16 games have in fact come in the last three, and both been away from home. And each time they have scored three. In fact in all of the last four games there have been three or more goals.
This is going to be tough. Maybe we could play a keeper, nine defenders and Martinelli on his own up front. The Stats Zone give us
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Chambers, Sokratis, David Luiz, Tierney;
Sports Mole go with
Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Tierney
Pepe, Ozil Aubaymeygang
Talk Sprot on the other hand try this rather unusual combo
Mustafi Sokratis Luiz
And here is a little thought. The Guardian leads with the statement that ” Arsenal are close to disarray, with a woeful away record,” which you might not disagree with. But the point is, when they do a preview of a Tottenham or Manchester United away game, do they also talk about a woeful away record?
I suspect not, but they should if one looks at the away table.
|15||Brighton and Hove Albion||5||1||1||3||4||8||-4||4|
It might seem a trivial point, but it is just part of the ceaseless, endlessly repetitive knocking of Arsenal, in a way which other clubs do not get subjected to. I don’t know why the Guardian and other “outlets” do it, but do it, they certainly do. All the time.
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