Injuries ahead of the Man U v Arsenal game

By Bulldog Drummond

One of the benefits of the move away from tackling which was introduced by Mr Arteta at the start of last season is that it tends to reduce the number of injuries gained while making ungainly tackles. 

What’s more when one team is clattering away at the opponents and the other isn’t, it is apparent to everyone (even a PGMO referee) how things are going and the refs seem to become more inclined to punish the free-kicking opposition.   

As a result, Arsenal have persistently been in the lower reaches of the injury table in recent times, and that trend is continuing.   Below is the current list of men down as reported by Premier League Injuries

In our eternal quest for links between events in football (such as the obvious links between tackles, fouls and injuries) we thought there might just be a link between tackles and injuries.   That is the more a club tackles the more its players get injured – either because the tackles are mistimed or because the opposition retaliates. 

Injury Pos Club Injuries Tackles position Tackles
1 West Ham United 2 13 204
1 Brighton and Hove 2 6 237
3 Arsenal  3 16 193
3 Aston Villa 3 15 195
3 Burnley 3 17 173
3 Crystal Palace 3 4 242
3 Leeds United 3 1 274
3 Norwich City 3 8 230
3 Tottenham Hots 3 11 211
10 Leicester City 4 3 243
11 Liverpool 5 18 175
11 Manchester United 5 20 173
11 Newcastle United 5 7 234
11 Southampton 5 10 213
15 Chelsea 6 12 207
15 Everton 6 2 255
17 Manchester City 7 19 174
17 Wolverhampton Wands 7 5 238
19 Brentford 8 9 222
20 Watford 10 14 199

But no, that one turns out to be a false approach.  There is a very slight tendency toward that but it is so slight it could easily be by chance.  But one has to do such analyses just in case: if you don’t create the table, you really don’t know.

On the injury front we do have some potentially bad news

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Condition
Sead Kolasinac Ankle/Foot Injury Nov 25: “Sead is progressing well in the early stages of his rehab with the current aim to be back in full training in January.” 22/01/2022 None
Granit Xhaka Knee Injury Nov 25: “Granit has progressed his recovery to running outside, with the aim to now be back in full training in December.” 26/12/2021 None
Bukayo Saka Other Nov 27: “It was an action where he said he felt something and wasn’t comfortable to continue. We’ll have to assess him tomorrow and probably scan him.” No Return Date Currently Being Assessed

The Saka injury is still one on which we are awaiting news.

So let’s move onto something else – the relative merits of the clubs in terms of the league positions

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
5 Arsenal 13 7 2 4 15 17 -2 23
8 Manchester United 13 5 3 5 21 22 -1 18

A very similar goal difference but Arsenal are five points ahead.   But now if we compare home and away figures we get this

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
11 Arsenal away 6 2 1 3 3 11 -8 7
15 Manchester United home 6 2 1 3 10 11 -1 7

Arsenal seem less than happy away and Manchester United less than happy at home which might suggest a goalless draw.

The big worry of course is the Arsenal goalscoring record away from home.  Here are the results…

Date Match Result Score Competition
13 Aug 2021 Brentford v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
28 Aug 2021 Manchester City v Arsenal L 5-0 Premier League
18 Sep 2021 Burnley v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
02 Oct 2021 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
30 Oct 2021 Leicester City v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
20 Nov 2021 Liverpool v Arsenal L 4-0 Premier League

The moment when it all went right of course was against Leicester City and that is the form we need to see again tomorrow night.  If Manchester U supporters turn on their own team that could make life a lot easier for Arsenal.  An early goal by Arsenal will certainly help our cause.