Arsenal v Dundalk: injuries, the table and a video of last week’s fun

By Bulldog Drummond

Just in case you missed the opening game in the Europas, here’s a quick summary

The injury league remains much as before with Arsenal still near the top, but not at the top.

  • Crystal Palace: 9
  • Everton: 9
  • Liverpool: 7
  • Arsenal: 6
  • Brighton and Hove: 6
  • Fulham: 5
  • Leeds United: 5
  • Manchester City: 5

I’ve done enough sarcastic pointing out of the fact that during the Wengerian Era when this happened everyone blamed him.  But now it continues to happen, two managers later, so we need to find another cause.  Why do Arsenal have so many injuries all the time?

One explanation could be that opposition players know that it is harder to get a yellow card when playing Arsenal than is normally the case, so they hack away freely.  Another could be that there is something wrong with the Emirates pitch.  Or something wrong with our training pitch – indeed I remember Mr Wenger saying that he had ordered that to be relaid in case that was the problem.

Any ideas are welcome.

Here are the injury details as provided by

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Calum Chambers Knee Injury Oct 21: “Now back in full training and progressing well towards full match fitness.” 03/12/2020 None Ruled Out
Rob Holding Thigh Injury Oct 28: “Rob has progressed well and is aiming to be back in full training within the next week.” 21/11/2020 None Ruled Out
Pablo Mari Villar Ankle/Foot Injury Oct 28: “Aiming to integrate into full training after the November international period.” 21/11/2020 None Ruled Out
David Luiz Thigh Injury Oct 28: “There is no chance he will play against Dundalk. There is a big doubt for him to play at the weekend too.” 01/11/2020 Currently Being Assessed 25%
Willian Borges Da Silva Calf/Shin/Heel Injury Oct 28: “Willian has been training with us for two days and tomorrow he might be involved in the game at some stage.” 29/10/2020 Late Fitness Test 75%
Gabriel Martinelli Knee Injury Aug 25: “Will step up his rehab with the aim of a return to full training by the end of the calendar year.” No Return Date None Ruled Out

So of the list above only Willian might play.

Group B’s table is not very exciting after one game each because the opening games both ended 2-1.  The official table seems to have decided that this means that Arsenal are second although I am not sure why.

Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Molde 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
2 Arsenal 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
3 Dundalk 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
4 Rapid Vienne 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0

I think that is misleading as Molde and Dundalk must be considered the two weaker teams, not least because of Dundalk’s poor form of late in their own league in Ireland.   Which leads to the conclusion that if we can’t beat Dundalk we really are in trouble – not an insult to them, but rather a recognition of that they are playing in a domestic league that is geared up to a lower level of football excellence than the Premier League.

In fact the one table that has given a spot of interest after just one round is Group C where

Group C

Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 1 0 0 6 2 4 3
2 Hapoel Be’er Sheva 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 3
3 Slavia Prague 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0
4 Nice 1 0 0 1 2 6 -4 0

Leverkusen are unbeaten after five games in Germany (although with three draws) while Nice are fifth in the French League having won four drawn two and lost two.  One presumes they will recover in order to qualify.

Thoughts on the team will round off our pre-match considerations in a short while…