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Forest v The Arsenal: Injuries in the PL are getting utterly out of control

By Bulldog Drummond

Injury and absence levels among the Premier League clubs are getting out of control.  Here is the latest list of players missing across the Premier League as of lunchtime today.

  1. Leicester City: 17
  2. Newcastle United: 12
  3. Watford: 12
  4. Liverpool: 11
  5. Norwich City: 11
  6. Brentford: 10
  7. Leeds United: 10
  8. Southampton: 10
  9. Chelsea: 9
  10. Aston Villa: 8
  11. Everton: 8
  12. Manchester United: 7
  13. Burnley: 6
  14. Crystal Palace: 6
  15. Manchester City: 6
  16. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 6
  17. Tottenham Hotspur: 5
  18. West Ham United: 5
  19. Brighton and Hove Albion: 3

The cause is of course the combination of covid isolations, players going off to Africa, plus the normal number of injuries we would expect to see at this time of year.

Although in Leicester’s case the number is still insane.  They don’t specify who has had covid or any other illness, but they have lost three players to the African Cup, have two players listed under illness and one other who is currently being assessed.

Liverpool who managed to wheedle their way out of having to play Arsenal this week are showing three illness cases and three Africa Cup, which really doesn’t seem to amount to a good reason to have the game called off.

So to the Arsenal injured or missing in action…

Sead Kolasinac is expected back in training this month and is said to be possibly ready to play by the end of this month.

Gabriel is suspended following two yellow cards – except that cards only count in the competition they were picked up in so he can play in the League Cup even though he was sent off for two yellows in the League.  At least that is what the Sun’s website says.

Chambers and Aubameyang have covid, but Chambers might well be clear to play against Forest, if he can get through the covid test and show he is fit enough.

Partey, Elneny and Pepe have jumped ship and are playing for their countries.

The website SportsGambler shows Forest as having Alex Mighten, Max Lowe and Loic Mbe Soh as all out injured, but I’ve no real way of validating that.

So in summary, although seven Arsenal players out, looks rather shocking, compared to what is going on in some other Premier League clubs it is not too bad.  Although I am slightly surprised that the manager let Maitland-Niles go.  He could have been useful in this game.  But Gabriel could play, as I understand it.

Moving on the Nottingham Forest’s form, they have scored nine goals in the last eight games and four of those came in one match against Swansea.   Looking at Arsenal, if we take out the Sunderland game, which was obviously against fairly weak opposition and just consider the league games we have scored 20 goals in the last eight Premier League games which suggests we should not have too much difficulty knocking in a few, even without those in Africa.

Here’s a list of our players who have scored more than one goal this season, including both league and league cup matches…

No. Player Position Games Sub Goals Pens
10 Emile Smith Rowe Midfielder 15 6 9
14 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang* Forward 13 2 7
7 Bukayo Saka Defender/Midfielder 19 3 7
9 Alexandre Lacazette Forward 11 7 5 2
30 Eddie Nketiah Forward 3 3 5
35 Gabriel Martinelli Forward 11 6 4
8 Martin Odegaard Midfielder 16 4 4
6 Gabriel Defender 17 1 2
19 Nicolas Pépé* Midfielder/Forward 8 4 2

*Players unavailable

This strongly suggests to me that Smith Rowe needs to play – he’s been a sub of late and still knocking them in, so putting him on from the start to get a goal or two and build up his stamina (if that is why he is only a sub otherwise) would seem a good game.

Arsenal have scored 33 goals in 20 league games (the fifth highest in the league) despite not calling upon our leading goalscorer of recent years for most of the season.  1.65 goals per game

Forest have scored 32 goals in 25 league games (also the fifth highest in their league – I bet no one else brings you information like this!)  1.28 per game.

So given the recent postponement of the Liverpool game and the chance of postponements of other games (given that the whole notion of having 13 players plus a keeper is now clearly abandoned for clubs with the ear of the league – as Liverpool obviously had many more available), I think we ought to go out with a strong team, put a few goals away, and then let other players that we want to give time to, come on and enjoy the ride.

The story so far…

Nottingham F v Arsenal: Different lives in different leagues

Forest v The Arsenal. Home and away form and who played in the last round

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