By Bulldog Drummond
The phrase “thick and fast” as in the comment “the games are coming thick and fast” hardly bears logical scrutiny – how can games be thick, although “fast” might just about describe the fact that Arsenal are playing twice a week at the moment. And up next we have the 3rd round of the League Cup, with a home match against Brighton and Hove.
So time to start off with the usual home and away analysis which by and large tends to give a fairly good indication of what the result will be (although interestingly not an analysis that others seem to want to take notice of. Maybe we should say (c) Untold Arsenal 2022.
|5||Brighton and Hove Albion away||7||3||1||3||12||13||-1||10||1.43|
Arsenal pick up twice as many points in each home game as Brighton gain in each away game, and the difference in goal difference (if you see what I mean) is 13 in Arsenal’s favour. Our average home score is 3-1, Brighton’s average away score is a little under 2-2. A win for Brighton would be a real turn up.
It is also worth having a look at the home and away table across the last six matches just to see where the form is at the moment.
Arsenal are on a perfect home run across the last six home and away games, while Brighton are struggling with one win and two defeats away. In other words, nothing has changed in the last six games from the picture that is picked up by the complete league table.
|12||Brighton and Hove||6||1||1||1||4||2||1||0||2||4||7||-1||7|
This being the third round, and Arsenal being excused the first two rounds it’s our first league cup match of the season, while Brighton have already played one game beating Forest Green 0-2 away back in August.
Their one league triumph of late away from home was on 5 November with a 2-3 away win at Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton are 19th in the league and 19th if we just look at home games, so the Brighton victory was expected.
But hold on there, Wolverhampton are owned by a rich Chinese investment group aren’t they? So what are they doing almost bottom of the league having come 10th last season? Now that is a jolly good question and one that we shall enjoy unpicking when we play the club (although we did warn this might happen) – although a clue comes with the fact that they were punished for breaching financial rules a while back.
However, for the moment we can say that Wolverhampton are in dire straits and Brighton only winning by one goal is really not that good. Previously Brighton lost away to Fulham, Brentford and Manchester City while gaining a creditable 3-3 draw away to Liverpool.
For Arsenal it has been straight home wins all the way with the home goal scoring now reading in all competitions 19 for and five against.
Brighton lost their manager to Chelsea on 8 September. After that they lost two and drew five of their next six games, before beating Chelsea 4-1 at home and Wolverhampton 2-3 away in their last two games.
Across the years Arsenal have only played Brighton 25 times, winning 14 and losing six. Which sounds ok but our record against them in the last nine games is not what we would expect. We have won just two of those nine, lost four and drawn three. It is rather a shocking series of results – made all the worse by the fact that all the games have been in the Premier League, so there is no thought of our having put out a weakened team.
|4 Mar 2018||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|26 Dec 2018||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|05 May 2019||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion||D||1-1||Premier League|
|05 Dec 2019||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion||L||1-2||Premier League|
|20 Jun 2020||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|29 Dec 2020||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
|23 May 2021||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion||W||2-0||Premier League|
|02 Oct 2021||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|09 Apr 2022||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion||L||1-2||Premier League|
Our line up in that last game on 9 April this year was
Soares White Gabriel Xhaka
Saka Smith Rowe Lacazette Martinelli
The match came in a run of four defeats in five games. One Arsenal goal was disallowed by VAR but Odegaard’s goal just before the end of the game was a thing of magic. Otherwise it is not easy watching.
Fortunately, seven months on, that sort of result seems rather less likely.
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