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April 2021
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Molde V Arsenal: injuries reach a new height and playing in front of a crowd

By Bulldog Drummond

While Arsenal appear to be challenging for the longest period without a league goal from open play, Molde have been getting on with the business, in their

Date Comp Home Score Away Res
01/11/20 League Mjøndalen 1 – 3 Molde W
05/11/20 Europa Arsenal 4 – 1 Molde L
08/11/20 League Molde 2 – 2 Kristiansund D
21/11/20 League Stabæk 0 – 3 Molde W

And they remain resolutely second in the 16 team league in Norway with just one game to go before the end of the season.  It is as we can see a very unevenly matched league with Bodø / Glimt way out in front – they being a team promoted from the second tier in 2017.   Here’s the table.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 25 22 2 1 85 28 +57 68
2 25 16 2 7 62 30 +32 50
3 25 13 7 5 42 29 +13 46
4 25 13 6 6 45 28 +17 45
5 25 13 3 9 45 37 +8 42

This compares with Arsenal of late

Date Game Res Score Competition
05 Nov 2020 Arsenal v Molde W 4-1 Europa League
08 Nov 2020 Arsenal v Aston Villa L 0-3 Premier League
10 Nov 2020 Gillingham v Arsenal D 1-1 Football League Trophy
22 Nov 2020 Leeds United v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League

Molde play in a stadium with a capacity of 11,800 but because of the pandemic they are playing to crowds limited to 300 – with of course every match sold out.

The BBC tell us that the temperature during the game will be about 4 degrees, with around a 15% chance of rain.

Arsenal have taken a number of junior players to the match including Miguel Azeez, Ben Cottrell, and Folarin Balogun (who played in the win over Dundalk).

On the “unavailable players” front we have now leaped to the top of the league table.

  • Arsenal: 8
  • Aston Villa: 8
  • Brighton and Hove Albion 8
  • Liverpool: 8
  • Manchester United: 7
  • Newcastle United: 7
  • Crystal Palace: 6

So that moment of respite as we slipped right down the injury table has vanished alongside our form.  Although of course some senior players would have been excused the trip to Norway anyway, here’s the full list of men down or otherwise unavailable.  The figures are as ever from physioroom.com

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Nicolas Pepe Suspended Sending Off – Red Card 14/12/2020 None Ruled Out
Pablo Mari Villar Ankle/Foot Injury Ankle Surgery 03/12/2020 None Ruled Out
Bukayo Saka Thigh Injury Dead Leg 29/11/2020 None 25%
Willian Borges Da Silva Calf/Shin/Heel Injury Calf Injury 29/11/2020 Currently Being Assessed 50%
Calum Chambers Other Lacking Match Fitness Currently Being Assessed 25%
Mohamed Elneny Other Coronavirus caught on international duty Currently Being Assessed Ruled Out
Sead Kolasinac Other Coronavirus caught on international duty Currently Being Assessed Ruled Out
Gabriel Martinelli Knee Injury Meniscus Tear In training Ruled Out

Arsenal are one of just four teams who have a 100% record half way through the group stages of the Europa league, the others being Leicester City, Hoffenheim and Villareal.  So while our group looks pretty well sorted before part two of the campaign, some are anything but. Zagreb for example top group nine with just five points.   In Tottenham’s group three teams are on six points.

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Here’s our group:

P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal FC
3 3 0 0 9 2 7 9
Molde FK
3 2 0 1 4 5 -1 6
SK Rapid Wien
3 1 0 2 5 6 -1 3
Dundalk FC
3 0 0 3 4 9 -5 0

One more win would see us qualify with two games spare, meaning we could really give the youngsters even more of a chance in the remaining two matches.

Team news shortly…

1 comment to Molde V Arsenal: injuries reach a new height and playing in front of a crowd

  • Nitram,

    8 would be a bit worrying if it were all injuries, but it isn’t, because as you say the 8 refers to ‘unavailable, and given that 2 are COVID and 1 a suspicion, 5 isn’t so bad, especially as even out of those 5, 1 seems to be over his injurie but just lacking match fitness, and 2 seem relatively minor, even having a slim chance of playing. That leaves our 2 long term injuries.

    So with any luck that 8 could, in a relatively short time, be down to 2 ! So not all bad.

    Just call me a glass half full kinda guy 😉