Those of you that work strange hours will know that it’s often a case of blind luck whether you get to see Arsenal’s games live as they unfold. Often, I’m left keeping myself up-to-date with the happenings via a uneasy mixture of social media, the radio and various sports websites. It is a f*cking frustrating process as, in an ideal world, I’d live 2 minutes from the Emirates and have a season ticket. Alas, I do not, so I have to do the best I can with what I have…. Cue the violins.
When the game kicks-off at midday – stupid time for a football match to start – I’ll just be putting the finishing touches to an order of Beef Wellington. 12pm in a busy kitchen isn’t the most ideal time to keep up with the football, so I’ll have to be cunning and surreptitious in my endeavours, which I’m actually pretty good at.
Hopefully, I’ll only be missing a routine, relatively easy victory for Arsenal. This is one of the occasions I can’t really put forward any genuine fears of defeat. Of course, there’s always the chance we’ll do an ‘Arsenal’ and f*ck things up quite majestically, but I don’t feel it at the moment. There’s no gnawing, all-consuming sensation of absolute dread eating away at my stomach today, so we’ll assume all will be right as rain at full time. My bowels have spoken.
The team news ahead of the game hasn’t thrown up any startling revelations or surprise absentees. Alexis, Xhaka, Ramsey, Lacazette, Cech, Kolasinac, Monreal and Bellerin should all return to the starting line-up after Thursday’s trip to Belarus. Mesut Ozil has returned to training after knee problems but is considered a doubt because he is a delicate snowflake made of sticks and twine. Laurent Koscielny is rated “50/50” thanks to a troublesome Achilles.
Alex Iwobi faces a little fitness test. Should he fail, I think we could see Jack Wilshere make his first League start for Arsenal since…. we’ll, I don’t actually know and I can’t be bothered to look it up – my apologies if you’re particularly into stats. It’s a couple of years at least. It would be nice to see Jack play another game from the start and, with all respect to Brighton, it seems a good time to do so. If Mr Wislhere is going to get his career as an Arsenal player back on track, it has to start somewhere. Iwobi and Ozil not making the team today could be the start of that.
As I always say against teams we’re exacted to dispatch with minimal fuss, “If we play well, we’ll win”. And I’m a very wise man whom you should listen to at every opportunity. Okay, that part is probably a preposterously huge stretch in general terms, but in this instance I’m right. If we perform, we’ll win comfortably. If we take our opponents lightly, we could end up with egg on our faces and those folks on YouTube will have a wonderful time spewing out a bunch of dross, organising planes with banners and blowing each other in celebration of their witless, hate-filled f*ckwittery.
The latter isn’t all that pleasant, so let’s hope for the former. I thin kit’s the most likely outcome. My prediction is a comfortable 4-0 win. Lacazette will continue his good scoring record at the Emirates and Alexis will get off the mark in the Premiership. And Arsene Wenger will C-walk down the touchline before pulling a Glock on Chris Hughton.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Share them in the comments.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a review. As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
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