West Ham v Arsenal: the injuries and yet more augers pointing in Arsenal’s favour

by Bulldog Drummond

As we have seen, Arsenal’s injuries stay at a very low level, with just two players marked down to miss this game (Tierney and Partey).  Worst hit in the league at the moment are

  • Manchester United: 9 players out
  • Everton: 8 players out
  • Brentford: 7 players out.

(figures from Premier League injuries)

This means that Takehiro Tomiyasu will probably be on the bench, and could well be ready to take his place in the starting XI for the last few games of the season after this one.

For West Ham Craig Dawson is out following a red card in the game against Chelsea.   And the pair of centre-backs Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna are still both injured.  To lose one centre back might be bad luck, but to lose two seems a little like carelessness.

There is talk on the BBC website that “As I’ve been saying all season, West Ham don’t have the biggest squad and they will almost certainly make some changes here.”   That is from Mark Lawrenson, but the official record does show that West Ham registered 24 players in their 25 man squad when the season began, as opposed to 21 for Arsenal.

So while it is indeed true that “West Ham don’t have the biggest squad” that really ought to be “it is technically true that there are some bigger.  But if we are talking about the officially listed squad with its maximum of 25, it seems an utterly irrelevant statement about West Ham.”

However, the pundit reckons on an Arsenal win, not least because as we have been mentioning, West Ham’s collective mind will be on their second leg match in Europe (having so carelessly lost the first leg).

And to do credit to the BBC they do once again mention that Lacazette has an involvement with six of Arsenal’s last seven goals, showing that his inclusion in the team when fit is not just because someone has to be the big man up front.

Back with West Ham and we can see that they not only have had a very poor run against Arsenal as we mentioned previously, but that “very poor” hardly does it justice.  One win in the last 22 games between the two clubs (one of whom paid for its stadium and one of whom didn’t).  But WHAM are unbeaten in the last six home league games – something we missed in ploughing through the figures.

And as ever the BBC site does pick up statistics that not only Untold, but seemingly virtually everyone else misses.  Such as Arsenal having “scored a league-high 37 Premier League goals by players aged 23 or under in this campaign.”

And as if that were not enough, “Arsenal’s record of 50 Premier League victories in May is the most of any club,” and “They also have the best win rate in May, triumphing in 59% of their fixtures (50 of 85).”

And finally to round off the sentences starting with “And” Arsenal have, “have won six of their last eight top-flight away matches, losing the other two.”

So add that lot to the other stats we found in our previous articles on this match…

and we really ought to sail through this one.

One more piece to go in the series, which will report on the teams that are predicted.  But I suspect there will be few surprises.

On the Arsenal History Society site today: 1 May 1953: Arsenal win the league on goal average


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