Arsenal vs. Brighton
Premier League Preview
Sunday 1st October 2017
Our goodly manager is on the third of the games he complained (rightly so in my mind) about.
We welcome the Seagulls to our stadium, and it’s nice to see new teams in the Premier League, especially those we don’t play in the league that often. We’ve played Brighton in the FA Cup twice in recent years, though we won both of these games at their place. This game however will be different, and we cannot use those necessarily as gauges.
The BATE Borisov and WBA games were pleasing in parts, though our defending was poor in both matches. We played some of the youth in Borisov, amidst some experienced players, though we should expect the big guns back here.
Brighton has some injury/suspension concerns, which play in our favour naturally. Nevertheless, it won’t be easy. No Premier League team at any level can survive without being meticulous and prepared, and surely manager Chris Hughton will have his players in this frame of mind. He is ex-Spurs, so this adds some incentive to him. Hemed is suspended for them, though Hughton will surely devise some kind of plan here. It would be negligent not to, given their circumstances.
As for us, will Ozil come back? It’s possible. Though it’s possible that he is injured. Is Wenger protecting him for some reason? Who knows? If he is injured, then the exact nature of it has not been fully disclosed.
Alexis most likely will return, as will Lacazette, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kos, Cech, Bellerin, and Kolasinac. I believe Monreal and Mustafi may play again, though Mustafi was average in Belarus (neither rubbish nor brilliant).
I don’t believe the time difference between games this week will be consequential. Not many players will play all three games, and our large squad (despite departures this summer) should compensate for the Europa League games. With the big guns back, it should be about how we apply ourselves and our application in this context. If we can, and try and limit the defensive issues, then we can win this.
Other issues are:
Will Elneny play again? I’ve always liked him, but lately he’s been better, and has looked more assured on the ball. However, Ramsey’s form of late has also been pleasing, so this presents some dilemma in this game.
Will Ozil start? Maybe. Though I think he may be a sub again.
Ramsey may play in a more advanced position again, though it would be interesting to see if he can score as much as provide chances and control the midfield.
Cech should be looking to keep another clean sheet. No reason why he cannot add another Golden Glove this season, even though HART of all keepers has as many as he does. de Gea, Lloris, Courtois, and Mignolet have not been better this season.
Will Kos/Monreal continue their good form? I hope so, both have been top not just of late, but in their Arsenal careers in general.
ARSENAL 2-0 BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
If we’re committed and resolute, we can get a result. Another win can help us challenge Liverpool, Chelsea, and that lot just south of Edmonton for the top four places.