By Bulldog Drummond
The general feeling is that the injured list consists of Ceballos, Holding, Xhaka, and Tierney. In addition there are doubts about Bellerin and Pepe.
Both sides include a currently top rated scorer (these figures and others below calculated before this weekend’s games).
But where Manchester City do beat us is with assists. We don’t have anyone in the top 20.
|1.||Kevin De Bruyne||9|
Ederson in goal for City has kept five clean sheets, while we have just two. But on the plus side neither club has any players in the top 20 in the Premier League for yellow cards. Bournemouth who (at least until yesterday) were falling apart in the league under their manager once tipped to be the next Arsenal top man, are the current dirtiest side by a mile, having in Billing and Lerma the two of the top three collectors of the yellows this season.
Rodrigo is Manchester City’s top passer of the ball with 967 passes – putting him in 12th position in the league for passing. Matteo Guendouzi is our top passer in 15th position with 905. Top of that particular table is Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk with 1,190 passes.
But if you really want to know what it is that Liverpool are doing that keeps them at the top, it is touching the ball. Three of the top four players measured by the number of touches in PL games this season are with Liverpool. Guendouzi, is our top passer, which once again, given his low cost and the obscurity of his position before he came to us, shows me what a staggering buy he was.
The Statszone give us this line up for the game…
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Chambers, Kolasinac;
Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli;
The Evening Standard says that “Hector Bellerin withdrew from the side to face West Ham because of a tight hamstring in the warm-up, but may be back, and Shkodran Mustafi is available having been suspended in the Europa League.”
Their line up – which is identical to that published in the Guardian’s website on Saturday afternoon, is much the same but with a variation in the back four
Bellerin, Chambers, Sokratis, Kolasinac;
Pepe, Ozil, Martinelli,
Squwaka goes with the same line up except with a back four of Chambers, Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac.
Currently (after Saturday’s matches but before Sunday’s games) our position is ninth, 24 points behind the leaders, seven points off the nearest relegation spot.
One year ago after 16 games our position was fifth, eight points behind the leaders, 24 points off the nearest relegation spot.
Two years ago we were also fifth, although 15 points behind the leaders in Mr Wenger’s last year, 16 points off the nearest relegation spot.
I am not sure that losing two managers has given us much progress but it seemed to be what some people wanted. Indeed as we have mentioned before, what has happened to Arsenal since the removal of the managers is what happens to most Premier League teams who change managers. Things get worse. That’s how it goes.
The Guardian adds,
“Freddie Ljungberg oversees his fifth game as Arsenal’s interim head coach and the scalp of Manchester City would present a compelling argument for him to be offered the role on a longer basis.”
Meanwhile Talksprout says,
“Arsenal plan Nuno talks after speaking to Roberto Martinez about taking over”
but don’t worry – it was only Talksprout.
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