By Bulldog Drummond
Physioroom’s injury list has seven on the list of injured players. Three are definitely out, three are possible and one (Sokratis) is an unknown.
|Player||Reason||Further Detail||Potential Return||Condition|
|Calum Chambers||Knee Injury||Ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.”||29/08/2020||Ruled out|
|Kieran Tierney||Shoulder Injury||Aiming to be in back in full training by the end of Feb.”||07/03/2020||Ruled out|
|Cedric Soares||Knee Injury||Aiming to be in full training by the end of February.”||02/03/2020||Ruled out|
|Pablo Mari Villar||Other||“In full training following transfer from Brazilian pre-season.”||23/02/2020||25% chance|
|Lucas Torreira Di Pascua||Other||Illness||23/02/2020||75% chance|
|Mesut Ozil||Other||Attending the birth of his child||23/02/2020||75% chance|
|Sokratis Papastathopoulos||Knee Injury||Currently Being Assessed,||No Return Date||Ruled out|
For Everton Jean-Philippe Gbamin is out, Theo Walcott has only a 25% chance of playing, Fabian Delph is suspended, Bernard Anicio Caldeira Duarte and Andre Gomas are reported as ok.
As for what will happen today, there is a lot of talking up of Everton going onwards and upwards into the top five. The BBC for example says on its website, “Everton are genuine top-five candidates on the back of a five-match unbeaten run under Carlo Ancelotti,” and they particularly note the improvement in Dominic Calvert-Lewin – six league goals in eight games.
And there’s one fact that the BBC have come up with: “Arsenal have scored 107 Premier League goals versus Everton, a competition record for one club against another.” Let’s hope that continues.
There is also much made in the media about Bukayo Sako with Mike Arteta saying, “He’s a great kid and he’s very brave. He makes big decisions in the final third, he doesn’t hide and he’s got the vision and the ability to execute in spaces that are really tight, which is a big gift.”
Quite where Sako is going to end up eventually is something we will see once injured players return, but for now he seems quite happy in his job as a wing back.
Meanwhile, going back to the BBC’s website, they also come up with “The Gunners are the only side – along with runaway leaders Liverpool – who are undefeated in the Premier League in 2020.” I am not sure that indicates too much, but it’s a nice thought.
What we do know is that this has been a pretty poor Premier League season. In fact only one PL season has been worse, that of 1994-95. George Graham was manager for most of the season, and then Stewart Houston took over for the latter stages.
After 26 games in 1994/5 the situation was that we had one point fewer than we have now.
Interesting to note that half of the teams above us in February 1995 are not in the Premier League this season. Also interesting that we have actually scored more goals this season at this stage (36) than we had in our worst PL season.
In 1994/5 we finished the season in 12th. But then the improvement was rapdi. In 1996 we finished fifth, then in 1997 third, and then in 1998 we did the double and for eight years ended up either first or second and picked up three more FA Cups.
So turn arounds don’t have to take too long.
But coming back to this weekend, one interesting snippet that has cropped up is the fact that 79% of Lacazette’s total of 33 Premier League goals have come in home games. Which would suggest that he might well keep his place for this weekend’s match.
And one last one to round this off, Saka has more goal assists than any other Arsenal player this season: a grand total of nine. He is also the top assisting teenager this season in the Premier League. That would also suggest that when the squad is considered in the summer (or indeed before that when injured players return) he is going to move back into midfield.
Here is the squad’s yellow card rating for Premier League games. I’ll compare Arsenal with other club’s overall in Sunday’s preview piece.
Next up: the teams.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP