By Bulldog Drummond
Arsenal.com seem a little reluctant to run the PL2 league table following the under 21s draw with Brighton yesterday, so I thought I would slot it into this final piece before today’s first team outing.
And it is is rather encouraging given that here, as with the first team, we are top of the league.
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||4||0||2||2||5||8||-3||2|
|14||West Ham United||3||0||0||3||4||9||-5||0|
It is interesting that not only are Arsenal top of the Premier League before today’s matches, but also top of the PL2 table at the start of today. But more than that there are other similarities. West Ham are bottom, Manchester United are lowly placed… I am not sure if this really signifies anything, but it might be interesting to see how the two tables run in comparison with each other.
But to go back to Fulham – we have played them 59 times in senior competitive matches with over two-thirds of the games being won by Arsenal (40 wins to us, eight to them, 11 draws).
Interestingly, the first ever league game was a resounding defeat for Arsenal (6-1 in Division two in 1913), and that remains the highest win ever for either side. Arsenal have knocked in five on three occasions, and Fulham have done that once. And we’ve never lost at home to Fulham.
Across the last 15 games between the two, Fulham have won just one, there have been five draws, and nine Arsenal wins. In fact in the last seven we have won six and there has just been that one draw that happened in April last year.
Last season however Fulham won the Championship quite convincingly scoring 106 goals in 46 games (2.3 goals a game compared with Arsenal’s 1.61 goals a game.
And what of the injuries?
Fulham have three players out. Harry Wilson is out for a couple of months with a knee injury, Neeskens Kebano is due a late fitness test but looks doubtful and Manor Solomon (also with a knee injury) is due to have surgery, or perhaps has already had it.
For Arsenal Reiss Nelson picked up a muscular injury in training and so is out of the squad, but obviously was not likely to be playing in this game. But he will be hoping for some outings in the League Cup and Europa League group rounds.
The BBC has picked up an interesting stat that we missed, saying. “The Gunners are unbeaten in their last 33 Premier League home games against newly promoted sides (W28, D5) since a 1-0 loss to Newcastle in November 2010.”
What we did know, however (and which the BBC don’t report) is that this is the 100th PL league match for Arteta as Arsenal manager and his 135th first team game in all. And his win percentage is now finally ahead of the man he replaced: Unai Emery. The win percentages read…
- Arsene Wenger: 57.25%
- Unai Emery:55.13%
- Miikel Arteta: 55.22%
And of course, we must mention that Bernd Leno will be in goal for Fulham. But speaking of that we might point out the difference in goal difference (if you see what I mean). We are on +7 and they are on +1. So that is a difference of +2 a game in Arsenal’s favour, which means we will win 2-0 or 3-1.
The Standard suggests this line up
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko,
Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka,
Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
The Hard Tackle comes in with the same players but a different shape, which to me looks much more likely
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;
And Sports Mole likewise go with the same.
And here one more time, just because we rather like looking at it, is the league table before today’s games…
|5||Brighton and Hove Albion||3||2||1||0||4||1||3||7|
We may have a disrupted service here tomorrow, as a few members of Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (including of course the scribblers for Untold Arsenal) who are interested in the club’s history are travelling to Plumstead to take a look at the locations where Arsenal played in their early days south of the river. That means for Untold an early morning departure.
But if you are interested in historical matters you might like to look at the Arsenal History Society site which recently published three series of pictures of the old sites, as they look today.
- Pictures from Plumstead: the Arsenal pubs and clubs from the 19th century
- Arsenal’s stadia before Highbury. What do they look like now?
- The maps showing Arsenal’s historic sites before the club moved north
And of course we also have
Hopefully, more tomorrow.
- What the media doesn’t tell you, part 6. There’s a financial problem…
- The Big 7 clubs, how much they spent and what good is it doing?
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal