Brighton v Arsenal: injuries, comparative records, and the media doom and gloom

By Bulldog Drummond reports that we have four players unavailable for tonight’s game…

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition
Gabriel Self-isolating as a precaution (Covid-19) 09/01/2021 None
Thomas Partey Thigh Injury Dec 24: “Progressing well. Working outside on close ball work, together with the continued focus on his overall fitness rehab.” 09/01/2021 None
David Luiz Moreira Marinho Illness No Return Date Currently Being Assessed
Willian Borges Da Silva Illness No Return Date Currently Being Assessed

This is not too bad a list considering where we were earlier in the season.

Brighton have five players missing according to Physioroom -Tariq Lamptey, Jose Izquierdo, Florin Andone, Aaron Connolly (who is listed as having a 25% chance of playing) and Adam Lallana.

Liverpool are top of the table with seven injuries, and Manchester United have six.  Leicester and Chelsea are at the bottom of the table with two players out.

If we take a look at the last performance table we presented (which is now one game out of date, although team comparative positions are not changing much week by week) we see that Brighton are a high tackling team, committing a lot more fouls than Arsenal, but miraculously getting away with fewer yellow cards.  It’s a clever trick and one that we ought to try and adopt.  We’ve committed 70% of the number of fouls that Brighton has, but ended up with two more yellow cards!

They have also gained two and a half times as many penalties as we have – but have conceded six penalties.  Which means the answer is to get players in the box and keep them running forward.  Martinelli and Saka should be in that box as much as they can.

Club Tackles Fouls Tackles per foul Yellow cards Fouls per yellow Penalties for Penalties against Lge pos
Arsenal 161 139 1.15 22 6.31 2 0 15
Brighton and Hove 230 175 1.31 20 8.75 5 6 17

The BBC are predicting an Arsenal win for a change – and they have been largely right with the predictions of defeats so far this season.

And here’s a change – after the months of “this is Arsenal’s worst Premier League start since the War of the Roses, or quite possibly the building of Stonehenge, we are now told that seventeen points from 15 games represents Brighton’s worst start to a Premier League season.

But then would you believe it, “their sole home win in 16 league matches in 2020 was June’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal.”  There had to be a way of knocking Arsenal somehow!

And they get hope from the notion that they are undefeated in the last six matches against other teams in the bottom half of the table!

And there is more because, “Brighton have lost their final game of a calendar year just once in seven seasons.”

It hardly seems us worth turning up.

Except that the BBC tells us that all our clean sheets have come from a using a washing machine.  No hang on there is something wrong with that.  Try again.   All our clean sheets have come in away games.  Oh and the BBC had a look at our bit of fun about comparing this season with last season. “How Arsenal’s results have improved this season compared to last season.”   But they didn’t do a like for like survey like what we done and so concluded that Arsenal “have two points fewer than at this stage last season but are 14 adrift of their 2018-19 total.”  We calculated we were a point better off.

And to kick a team when its down, our “15 goal total is their joint lowest at this stage of a Premier League campaign.”   Oh and you want more?  “Arsenal could lose their final game of a calendar year for a third straight season.”  It is just gloom, doom, and probably a zoom too.

If the BBC are doing a commentary on this match you can imagine what it is like.  Except I rather think the radio commentary in the UK will be on Talk Sprout since the match is on BT Sprout.  No relief for the straight thinking sprout in either direction.

More anon.  First I’ve got to go down the shops and get more supplies.  But no sprouts.

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