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Arsenal v Southampton: the comparisons and the injuries…

by Bulldog Drummond

In more normal times this would be a home win banker, but now… what with Southampton being near the top and Arsenal near the bottom, and with away wins being more common than home wins this seems less and less likely.

A look at the statistics chart shows us what sort of game we will have

Club Tackles Fouls Tackles per foul Yellow cards Fouls per yellow Penalties for Penalties against Lge pos
Arsenal 144 117 1.23 18 6.50 1 0 15
Southampton 229 150 1.53 16 9.38 2 2 4

Southampton will tackle, tackle and tackle nearly 60% more times than Arsenal during the course of the game, and will commit more fouls – but not in proportion.  Indeed because they get away with more fouls per yellow card than Arsenal, we’ll end up with the yellows, while they foul away.  Where teams can get away with it, it is a handy tactic to have.  And although it doesn’t result in great football, given our current position, it looks like a route we ought to be following.

We are currently doing better at home than Manchester United are, but that’s about all that can be said for our home form.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 6 6 0 0 18 6 12 18
2 Southampton 6 4 0 2 13 8 5 12
3 Chelsea 6 3 2 1 14 7 7 11
4 Tottenham Hotspur 6 3 2 1 10 6 4 11
5 Manchester City 5 3 1 1 11 6 5 10
6 Everton 6 3 1 2 13 10 3 10
7 West Ham United 6 3 1 2 9 7 2 10
8 Leicester City 6 3 0 3 9 8 1 9
9 Newcastle United 6 3 0 3 8 12 -4 9
10 Crystal Palace 6 2 2 2 8 7 1 8
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 8
12 Aston Villa 5 2 0 3 12 11 1 6
13 Arsenal 6 2 0 4 5 9 -4 6
14 Leeds United 6 1 2 3 7 11 -4 5
15 West Bromwich Albion 6 1 2 3 5 12 -7 5
16 Manchester United 6 1 2 3 3 10 -7 5

I can’t imagine when the last time was we had six points from six home games.  Probably during Bertie Mee’s era.

Southampton away are a different proposition…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester United 5 5 0 0 16 7 9 15
2 Leicester City 6 5 0 1 15 7 8 15
3 Tottenham Hotspur 6 4 2 0 14 4 10 14
4 Aston Villa 5 4 0 1 9 2 7 12
5 Chelsea 6 3 2 1 11 5 6 11
6 Southampton 6 3 2 1 11 9 2 11

Only one defeat for them away from home so far and they have scored more than twice as many goals away as we have at home.

Despite the Guardian infamously telling us that the away advantage has evaporated this is certainly not the case in the Premier League.  Out of 117 games, 50 have been away wins, 22 have been draws, and 45 home wins.  In percentages that is

  • 43% away wins
  • 38% home wins
  • 19% draws

So the away wins are still out in front, but the gap is narrowing, although the figures are still nothing like the times when the crowd is present, because as the LSE research shows, referees are influenced by the crowd.

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But with Southampton’s position in the league, and Arsenal’s problems that could be seen in the last game, this could be a difficult match.

We are not helped by the injury situation either..  Figures are from physioroom.com (although they are showing eight men missing, I think it is seven…)

  • Liverpool: 9
  • Aston Villa: 8
  • Arsenal: 7
  • Newcastle United: 6
  • Crystal Palace: 5
  • Everton: 5
  • Leicester City: 5
  • West Bromwich Albion: 5

As ever the question returns – if Arsenal’s injuries in the past were caused by Wenger’s terrible training methods, how come we are still at the top of the list?  No one wants to answer that it seems, but there were so many people who were so certain that it was all his fault.   Like that wretched S. Robson for one.

However to be fair, three of our missing men are out for disciplinary issues….

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
Granit Xhaka Suspended Sending Off – Red Card 26/12/2020 Currently Being Assessed Ruled Out
Hector Bellerin Suspended 5 Yellow Cards 19/12/2020 None Ruled Out
David Luiz Moreira Marinho Head/Face Injury Dec 11: “We will have to assess him today and tomorrow to see how he is feeling and whether his is able to compete or not.” 16/12/2020 None 50%
Reiss Nelson Head/Face Injury Head Injury 16/12/2020 None 50%
Sead Kolasinac Other Undisclosed 16/12/2020 None 25%
Thomas Partey Thigh Injury Dec 11: “Thomas will be out for a few games. It is the same area where he got injured previously, we will have to see how long it is going to take to heal.” No Return Date None Ruled Out
Gabriel Martinelli Other Dec 11: “Played his first 45 minutes for a long time [U21s vs AFC Wimbledon], he came through the game and felt really good.” No Return Date Currently Being Assessed 50%

According to Physioroom Southampton seem to have no injuries at all.

More on the match anon.

3 comments to Arsenal v Southampton: the comparisons and the injuries…

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    To be fore-informed ahead of time is to be fore-prepared to deal with the likely problem that could arisen.

    In this wise, and now that this AU article posting has made the Gunners to become aware of what the Saints will likely commit against them in the PL match at Ems tomorrow has called for a positive action be taken by Mikel Arteta and the Gunners that will lead to Arsenal averting a possible defeat to Southampton in the match,

    As Southampton could twice commit many bookable tackling offences twice in number to those committed against them in the match by Arsenal.

    But yet, Arsenal could get booked for the less unbookable tackling offences they commit in the math as against those many bookable tackling offences committed by Southampton but allowed to get away with them unbooked by the match officiating PGMO referee refereeing the match.

    But what are Arsenal going to do to stall the seemingly PGMO dirty tactics bookings or red card brandishing in the game which care is not taken by Arsenal could cleverly be directed against them imputing many unwarranted bookings to the Gunners in the game?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Comes tomorrow night at the Ems when Arsenal play host to Southampton in the PL, I think since every game don’t have the same complexion, and despite Arsenal having in recent weeks suffered 4 consecutive loses at home in the PL, but nevertheless,
    the Gunners can beat the Saints and collect all the 3 maximum points at stake in the match. And as a result ease the tension which has built up on Mikel Arteta the Gunners manager and the Gunners themselves that they are currently going through in the PL campaign this season.

    To this end of Arsenal achieving a win over Southampton in PL tomorrow, Mikel Arsenal will do better by listening to us Gooners cries to him to change some of his senior team players with some youth players for the Saints match. Who have been playing very well for Arsenal in their Europa League matches this season. I believe if Arteta makes these highly necessary changes to his team that will play against Southampton tomorrow, Arsenal will unequivocally beat them.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am hoping that we use our speed in the breakaways to hit them hard. And to stop that mucking around our box.
    Also hoping for some luck for PEA to restart his goal scoring . He does need some luck now.
    Up the Gunners !