by Bulldog Drummond
According to the BBC website Arsenal don’t have a chance as they suggest, “As much as Arsenal have improved, and as good as their home record is – only Manchester City’s is better this season – there is still a huge gulf between these two sides.
“The difference is not going to be as big as it was when City beat the Gunners 5-0 at Etihad Stadium in August, but taking on the leaders is a heck of an ask for Arsenal’s young side. When I look at how City have been playing during their run of 10 straight league wins, I can only think this is going to be victory number 11. Prediction: 0-3″
WhoScored tell us that Ben White may have to play at right-back once again and that contrary to what the Mirror has been pushing of late, “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won’t be considered by Arteta until after AFCON and even then there are no assurances he will play again.”
WhoScored also make the point that “Arteta has a big decision to make between Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli on the left wing on Saturday. Smith Rowe has dropped out of the side of late but has scored off the bench in three straight appearances.”
There is also the thought that Ainsley Maitland-Niles may return to contention after recovering from Covid.
Meanwhile the BBC site continues the bashing with
- Arsenal have lost the past nine league meetings – their longest ever losing streak against a particular club.
- Manchester City are on a run of six straight away victories at the Emirates Stadium, including four in the Premier League.
- The Gunners have failed to score in their previous five top-flight games with City, one short of their longest such streak against any opponent.
So no chance at all.
But we did find one moment of solace when comparing (as we do for every home game) our home record with their away record. And what we found was not exactly an Arsenal win, but something a little bit less soul destroying…
|1||Manchester City away||10||8||1||1||20||6||14||25|
And to be fair to the BBC they have a section on their website that is slightly more positive.
- The Gunners have won their five most recent Premier League home fixtures, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last four.
- The last time they won five consecutive top-flight home matches without conceding was between January and April 1999.
- Emile Smith Rowe, 21, is vying to score in a fifth consecutive Premier League appearance – he would become the third youngest player to achieve this feat, behind only Nicolas Anelka (in 1998) and Jose Antonio Reyes (in 2004), who coincidentally both also did so while playing for Arsenal.
- The last English player to score in five successive league games for Arsenal was Ian Wright, who netted in seven straight matches in 1994.
As for the team news the Guardian goes with
White Holding Gabriel Tierney
Saka Odegaard Smith Rowe
Which is exactly the same team as Sportsmole.
Talk Sport are running the radio commentary in the UK so we can imagine what that is going to be like. They don’t give a team but do say, “As well as Arteta watching from home, defensive quartet Cedric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Calum Chambers and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will also miss out due to Covid.”
Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney
Saka Odegaard Martinelli
White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;
Saka, Partey, Xhaka, Smith Rowe;
which is at least somewhat different.
But elsewhere there is just the over-excited statement that everything we need to know is the kick off time and where it is and how you can follow the details on a particular site.
We can but hope.
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