Right, today’s preview is going to be the bare minimum as, to be quite frank with you all, I’ve many other things to attend to this morning before the game kicks off. These this range from feeding two bunnies hell-bent of reaping havoc across my home the second their set free, to making a tasty breakfast or going to enjoy my morning’s ablutions.
Nothing especially exciting.
And the team news today is very much the same – can we all take a moment to appreciate just how seamless and magnificent that segue is – as we head into the fixture hosting Hull City with no fresh injury concerns. The only doubt from last week’s unceremonious defeat at Stamford Bridge is Hector Bellerin and whether or not our medical staff feel he has sufficiently recovered from a lumbering oaf cracking his skull with his forearm.
Granit Xhaka serves out the final game of his suspension and sits out the game along with Ramsey and Cazorla who still remain in the process of recovery. Our lack of options in midfield has been eased by the return of Mohamed Elneny from the AFCON, but given the length of his journey and fatigue, I’d imagine he won’t be available for selection today. I’d assume that means we’ll be seeing the ‘Coqamberlain’ axis today…
It’s not unfair to say we could really use 3 points and a good performance, especially with the trip to Bayern Munich on the horizon. We head to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening and I’d be a little less terrified if we step out on the pitch in Germany with a good, solid performance behind us.
Under Marco Silva, Hull City are a greatly improved side and their recent results against Man united suggest we will be in for a tough encounter today. Since Silva’s appointment, The Tigers have a cutting edge in attack and a toughness in defence that is jarringly noticeable by comparison to earlier in the season. They will be a tough test today.
With that in mind, we have to try to avoid starting slowly, as we often seem to do when playing at home. Against the so-called, ‘lesser’ opponents, Arsenal are guilty of taking things a little easy and gliding around the pitch operating under the assumption that the victory will simply come and doesn’t require any substantial effort. Or at the very least; that’s how it can appear to the untrained eye watching the game.
When the team drive at the opposition with verve and pace, we look threatening and dangerous. Doubtless to say, Hull will deploy a defensive approach and hope to utilise the space behind our defenders on the counter attack. Getting an early goal would be the ideal way to start. Let’s not go behind or flatter to deceive as that’ll only add fuel to an atmosphere that is becoming increasingly poisonous.
The title challenge is over. Even if Arsene seems to think it’s not. The boss said:
“It’s never over – we cannot behave like that. Even if you think it is, I don’t. We cannot even think like that.
“We look at the teams around us and we’re all in a pack that is very tight, where the fight for every position will be massive like it has always been in the Premier League, maybe even more this season than ever before.
“The way we respond to our disappointing result last Saturday is vital”
Whilst I commend him for what he says, he has little choice. Arsene has never been the type to willingly accept or admit defeat in public and whilst we’re not out of the running mathematically, I’d assume even the most staunch and ardent of Gooners would have trouble believing we’ve any realistic chance of catching Chelsea.
Our focus has to be on winning as many games as possible and securing the highest finish possible. It’s undoubtedly incredibly deflating from a supporters’ perspective to be writing off the league as early as February, but we still have two other competitions we are competing in. Okay – beating Bayern over two legs won’t be easy, but it’s certainly an exciting fixture. The season isn’t over quite yet.
So, I’m going to predict we’ll win today and win handsomely with a little vigour and showmanship thrown in for good measure. I’ll say 3-0.You can check the odds on the game and much more at LeoVegasBet.
That’s all for today, folks. I’ll be back tomorrow to discuss the game and whatever else might be happening at that time. The comments await your thoughts below. As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.