By Bulldog Drummond
At the moment of writing this match is still on, with Arsenal’s touchline made up of skeletons (or to quote the Telegraph “Arsenal could host Man City with a skeleton coaching staff”) but with the way things are going, who knows what will happen.
However on the basis that we are going ahead, here goes with the preview.
The “last six match” table has been bringing us good news for several months now, reflecting as it does just how quickly and thoroughly Arsenal has recovered from the start of the season. But as of today it still incorporates our two defeats to Manchester UJniuted and Everton at the start of the month, which now drags us down…
Interestingly the form table based on the last ten shows the “big six” teams from days of yore, now re-established in the top six spots, with the upstarts Leicester from the “last six” table above replaced by Chelsea – who have not been doing so well of late.
These two tables do give us a real sense that the old order is being re-established and much of the talk about teams breaking into the “big six” group as one or more of the old timers fade away, being a bit of a wishlist from journalists seeking another easy story. “The old order fades” – we get it every year for a while.
When we look at the season for a whole what we see is West Ham still clinging on in fifth place and Tottenham outside the top six but with two games in hand. Meaning they could leapfrog Arsenal, West Ham and Manchester United. And indeed their position of second in the last six table suggests they could do it.
But back to today… and our games against the rest of the traditional big six do not lead to very many encouraging thoughts…
|22 Aug 2021||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||0-2||Premier League|
|28 Aug 2021||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||5-0||Premier League|
|26 Sep 2021||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||3-1||Premier League|
|20 Nov 2021||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-0||Premier League|
|2 Dec 2021||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||3-2||Premier League|
Manchester City have had far fewer troubles despite only having one of their big six games at home – a rather horrible affair against Arsenal.
|15 Aug 2021||Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City||L||1-0||Premier League|
|28 Aug 2021||Manchester City v Arsenal||W||5-0||Premier League|
|25 Sep 2021||Chelsea v Manchester City||W||0-1||Premier League|
|3 Oct 2021||Liverpool v Manchester City||D||2-2||Premier League|
|6 Nov 2021||Manchester United v Manchester City||W||0-2||Premier League|
So the fact is whether we look at last six, last ten, or the results between the big six, there is nothing to suggest anything other than the fact that Manchester City are indeed a very powerful team who have scored 18 goals in their last four league matches conceding three.
The one interesting thought against that is that we have scored 14 in our last four league matches conceding one. Which if Untold’s normal predictive form is maintained means it could be a goalless draw!
But there is one table where the teams are much more evenly matched, and it is not one created just for this little article! If, as we have been doing all season, we compare Arsenal at home with our visitors away, we get this…
|1||Manchester City away||10||8||1||1||20||6||14||25|
On that basis (and I stress this is not a table created just for today, but one we have run before each game this season for Arsenal and the opposition) the teams are very evenly matched, and a 1-1 or 2-2 draw looks like the most likely result. I think I’d happily take either.
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