By Bulldog Drummond
OK here is the horror story. If we fail to score in this match against the United Arab Emirates club, this is going to be the first time since the origins of the universe that we have failed to score in four consecutive home league games against the same opponent.
Those three games were
|01 Mar 2018||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3||Premier League|
|12 Aug 2018||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-2||Premier League|
|15 Dec 2019||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-3||Premier League|
But of course we have actually scored in the last two home games against Manchester C. It is just that the BBC doesn’t want to count the FA Cup match and the League Cup match because, well, that messes up their Arsenal knocking.
Our home form of late has been an improvement on earlier in the season with three wins and two goalless draws. That gives us nine goals scored and two conceded.
|9 Jan 2021||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||2-0||FA Cup|
|14 Jan 2021||Arsenal v Crystal Palace||D||0-0||Premier League|
|18 Jan 2021||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||3-0||Premier League|
|30 Jan 2021||Arsenal v Manchester United||D||0-0||Premier League|
|14 Feb 2021||Arsenal v Leeds United||W||4-2||Premier League|
Of course that looks ok until we compare it to Manchester City’s run away from home.
|26 Jan 2021||West Bromwich A v Manchester C||W||0-5||Premier League|
|3 Feb 2021||Burnley v Manchester City||W||0-2||Premier League|
|7 Feb 2021||Liverpool v Manchester City||W||1-4||Premier League|
|10 Feb 2021||Swansea City v Manchester City||W||1-3||FA Cup|
|17 Feb 2021||Everton v Manchester City||W||1-3||Premier League|
That gives 17 goals scored and three conceded, which rather confirms what we saw in our previous look at the club. They are doing rather well at the moment, as indeed they should do with that amount of money behind them and Uefa utterly having failed to reign them in.
But the four home defeats we have had this season is equal to the worst home record we have had since moving to the new stadium. Another will make this the worst ever. So it’s doom and gloom all the way.
But (again) in July we did beat Liverpool who were top of the table, so if we do win it will be the first time since 2007 that we have won two in a row against league leaders. Last time we did it, the second game was against…. Manchester Money.
Of course there is no chance of Manchester C being unbeaten through a whole season – they are good, but not that good, having already been beaten twice, the last time being a defeat by Tott Hots last November.
Sports Bank were the first out of the blocks to give us a team
Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Gabriel, Kieran Tierney,
Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka,
Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,
The Evening Standard offer a similar lineup at the back but not at the front…
Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;
Pepe, Willian, Martinelli;
which is, if I may say, a trifle odd. But maybe they have some insight into how the manager is thinking in terms of resting players for Europa games.
Whoscored have something that to my eyes looks a little more likely
Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;
Rowe, Oedgaard, Saka
Mykhel.com who I don’t think we have noticed before has the headline Arsenal vs Manchester City Line Up and then list 33 players for Arsenal and 35 for Liverpool. I don’t think the laws of the game allow Arsenal to play that many players on the pitch at once, but if they do, then isn’t it a little bit unfair that they have two more players than us. And I am not sure about having four goalkeepers on the pitch at the same time.
After which I think I have to say we’ll leave it there, stop typing and cross my fingers. (Have you ever tried typing with fingers crossed? It is rather hard.)
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- If PGMO don’t act now, someone is going to get seriously hurt.
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- The 40 players coming to Arsenal and the 6 most predicted for this January
- Gabriel injury: why no replacement is needed