By a contrite Bulldog Drummond
The form table (below) makes interesting reading. Nottingham Forest should be noted because they were tipped as favourites to go down before the season started and in the early months. But they really have turned themselves around seemingly through buying lots of players.
However, the proof that this doesn’t always work is reflected in the positions of Newcastle and Chelsea. Liverpool remain an oddity; no matter what, they just can’t get it together to rise up the table to where all the pundits said they should be. But Chelsea have, as we have so often noted, spent more than the rest of Europe put together, and in the last six games are still languishing.
Thus in the table made up of the last six games Manchester City are 1st, Manchester United are 4th, Arsenal 6th, Tottenham 8th, Newcastle 11th, Liverpool 13th and Chelsea 15th. Not much of a word on this combination of decline from the pundits though.
In their last six home league games Leicester have won but two and have a goal difference of zero, although to be fair to them they are still in the FA Cup having beaten Walsall in the last round. But away from home it is Arsenal who remain supreme both overall and in the last six…
|3||Brighton & Hove||6||3||2||1||14||10||4||11|
But of course none of this hides Arsenal’s comparatively poor run of recent form overall with three defeats in the last five, if we include the FA Cup, a home draw with Brentford and just that one win last time out against Aston Villa away. To continue at the top of the league Arsenal really do need to shake off the current form and build on that Villa result.
Leicester’s League form doesn’t look so good of late either, but the current fixture list is not being very kind to them. In a run of nine league games they have had (including today) Newcastle, Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal. Add to that Brighton and Hove who are currently in seventh,and that is quite a set of games to play.
Although for Leicester the result against the media’s favourites, Tottenham Hotspur, must have been very pleasing, and since that was at home, they might well be hoping for more of the same. Add in the fact that they scored eight goes in the win over Aston Villa and Tottenham Hots and one can see why the defeat to Manchester United in their most recent league game was such an annoyance.
|26 Dec 2022||Leicester City v Newcastle United||L||0-3|
|30 Dec 2022||Liverpool v Leicester City||L||2-1|
|03 Jan 2023||Leicester City v Fulham||L||0-1|
|14 Jan 2023||Nottingham Forest v Leicester City||L||2-0|
|21 Jan 2023||Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion||D||2-2|
|04 Feb 2023||Aston Villa v Leicester City||W||2-4|
|11 Feb 2023||Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur||W||4-1|
|19 Feb 2023||Manchester United v Leicester City||L||3-0|
And although the recent seasons have been the greatest in Leicester’s history, what with appearances in the Europa Conference semi-final in 2021/2, winning the FA Cup in 2021 and the league in 2016, the league form since that win has seen them finish in 5th twice, ninth twice, and 12th once. Thus their current league position of 14th suggests they are still in a downward trend, caused by unsustainable investment.
And let us not forget that this season Leicester have conceded almost double the number of goals that Arsenal have (41 for Leicester, 23 for Arsenal).
Indeed the headline stories from the BBC’s preview of the game give a good indication of how things stand as they point out that “Leicester could lose five consecutive league games against Arsenal for the first time in 91 years.” while “Arsenal are vying to win three consecutive away league fixtures against the Foxes for the first time since 1925.”
As for the last ten games between the two Arsenal have won six (including the last four in a row, with a goal difference of 11-3) and Leicester City have won three. So as long as we remember where the game is played, it should be an enjoyable afternoon out.
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