by Bulldog Drummond
Since playing their first leg of the current Europa League round both Arsenal and Olympiacos have won – in the case of Olympiakos it was a 0-1 away win that means that the club is top of the league at the end of the first part of the season. It also means that they are unbeaten.
From this point on, with all the legal challenges to Olympiakos’ endless dominance of the league now set aside (at least for the time being) there are the play offs in which the top six teams in the league play off to see who will be champions. It will be Olympiakos, because it is always Olympiacos.
Goal has a wonderful piece which argues that because Olympiakos has already played Tottenham the club knows all about Arsenal. Which is rather odd because their own article has a quote from the Oly manager which says, “What I saw was one team like Tottenham, with experience, with great players and I saw one team like Arsenal, with young players who were not of the same maturity.”
“Arsenal is building a new team and Tottenham is the same team that it was three or four years ago. This is a huge difference. It’s not about the quality, it’s about maturity, experience.”
But at least Goal does get it right when it says that “If Arsenal avoid defeat on Thursday night it would extend their unbeaten start to 2020 to 11 games in all competitions.”
Rather neatly that run of ten started on 1 January and here it is…
|01 Jan 2020||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|06 Jan 2020||Arsenal v Leeds United||W||1-0||FA Cup|
|11 Jan 2020||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|18 Jan 2020||Arsenal v Sheffield United||D||1-1||Premier League|
|21 Jan 2020||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||2-2||Premier League|
|27 Jan 2020||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||W||1-2||FA Cup|
|02 Feb 2020||Burnley v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|16 Feb 2020||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||4-0||Premier League|
|20 Feb 2020||Olympiakos v Arsenal||W||0-1||Europa League|
|23 Feb 2020||Arsenal v Everton||W||3-2||Premier League|
Six wins and four draws. Not too bad.
The injury list for the match is not too awful considering where it has been at times…
|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 February||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||Aiming to be available for selection for Olympiacos.||No Return Date||50%|
|Sead Kolasinac||Shoulder Injury||Suffered a significant right shoulder injury (vs Everton) on Sunday. He will undergo further specialist assessments this week.||No Return Date||Ruled Out|
So it is the same squad as we had available for the game against sticky people (sticky, toffee, Everton, geddit? Oh never mind).
- 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