Villareal v Arsenal. Astonishing team news and the referee’s preference

By Bulldog Drummond

Of course Arsenal are going to play a game of football today, so it is time for the media to wheel out all the negativity they can find.  Including of course “Arsenal board ‘unhappy with Mikel Arteta’ and put Paulo Fonseca on replacement shortlist” from the ever wild and whacky Express.  Fonseca is the manager of Roma who are currently seventh in the Italian League.

Contrasting this there is the point that “Kaveh Solkehol has said on Sky Sports News that Stan Kroenke does want to engage with Arsenal supporters more.”  That from, well, of course, Sky Sports.

And there are a few positive memories such as Jens Lehmann saving Juan Roman Riquelme’s last-minute penalty for Villareal to take Arsenal into the Champions League final.  That was worth a few screams this end as I recall.

But HITC are still out there knocking Arsenal hour by hour.  This time the headline is “Unai Emery names three Arsenal players who are ‘top quality’, two may not be Gunners next season Those two are Ceballos and Odegaard.  I think we knew that.

Meanwhile we are waiting to have it confirmed if any of the big three injured players will play or make the beach.   There’s Aubameyang who has had malaria, Lacazette with a hamstring and Tierney with a knee problem.

Get one of those returnee sets of details wrong would seem to be a little unlucky, but for all the media to get all three wrong in predicting all three players were out for weeks to come… that is a trifle careless.  Where are they getting their information from we wonder., our usual source of data on such matters however has been much more on the ball.  Only Tierney is a real doubt, according to their information which has just been updated today.  The other players show no update from a week ago which is why they are all down for a potential return today.

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition Status
David Luiz Moreira Marinho Knee Injury Apr 21: “David is making very good progress and is hoping to integrate back into light training with the squad next week.” 29/04/2021 None 100%
Kieran Tierney Knee Injury Apr 28: “He’s been working like a beast every single day. I don’t know if he’s going to make it tomorrow but he certainly wants to be as close as possible.” 29/04/2021 Late Fitness Test 50%
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Other Apr 21: “Hoping to resume light training by the end of this week.” 29/04/2021 None 100%
Alexandre Lacazette Thigh Injury Apr 21: “He will continue to work with the medical team and will be assessed ahead of next week’s matches.” 29/04/2021 None 100%

Getting back to the football, one question is, is there any difference between Arsenal in the Premier League and Arsenal in the Europa League, when it comes to refereeing?   WhoScored offer us some help here

Tournament Apps Goals Shots pg Discipline Possession % Pass % Aerials Won Rating
Europa League 12 32 14.7 140 54.9 87.0 13.8 6.80
Premier League 33 44 12.1 435 52.4 84.8 13.8 6.65

For all our extra dominance of the Europa League matches in the group stages our possession and pass percentages are much the same in the Europa as the Premier League confirming that tactically we are approaching each game quite differently.

The referee is Artur Dias who has never refereed Arsenal before.  Here is his recent record

Competition Date Home team Away team Res Score
Yellow card
Red card
Europa League 11 March Roma Shakhtar Home 3 – 0
World cup 31 March Austria Denmark Away 0 – 4
Europa League 8 April Granada Man Utd Away 0 – 2
Portuguese Liga 11 April Braga Belenenses Draw 1 – 1
Portuguese Liga 22 April Portimonense Benfica Away 1 – 5
Portuguese Liga 25 April Braga Sporting Away 0 – 1

He does seem to like away wins!

One Reply to “Villareal v Arsenal. Astonishing team news and the referee’s preference”

  1. let’s hope Artur’s not a benfica fan
    and tomorrow, 6.55 liverpool-arsenal, youth cup!! hope patino will be available; with azeez, hutchinson, flores, taylor-hart … a hell of a bunch we got here

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