Arsenal are in Yorkshire this afternoon to take on strugglers Huddersfield at the John Smith Stadium.
Good day one and all…
There’s not much to say about our hosts except that with 13 games left to play it already look as if the 2018/19 Premier League season has defeated them. They’re rock bottom since Boxing Day with only two wins in 25 games, haven’t won a game since the 25th November, haven’t scored a goal since 2nd January, are on a 12-match winless streak, conceded a staggering 48 goals (second most after Fulham) and scored a mere 13 goals.
I can imagine for them the end of the season can’t come quick enough so they can just close the doors, shut the blinds and switch off the lights to put an end to this dog’s misery.
But till then…
Last weekend’s defeat to Mancity was disappointing, not wholly unexpected if we are honest, and saw us slipped down to sixth on the table, but with just three points off of top-four there’s still hope of a return to Champions League football next season if we can put a good run together, starting today.
We have been lacking a bit of our early season spark of late but all signs still point to this game being more routine, yet intriguing. The Terriers can’t score a goal to save their season, we aren’t good travellers and are currently sitting on a six-game winless away run. There’s also the caveat that our hosts could have the “new manager bounce”, with this only Jan Siewert’s second game (check Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl second game for reference), but with his appointment coming at a difficult time and the first two games against Chelsea and now Arsenal, it would require something incredibly special for him to turn things around. That being said we could expect their players to leave their hearts out on the field as some of them will be playing for their futures.
In the pre-game presser Unai Emery said Koscielny and Auba was down with illness this week but are expected available, along with Mkhitaryan, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Xhaka will be subject to late fitness tests.
We got a game in Belarus on Thursday so it will be interesting to see if Emery start both Auba and Lacazette, that doesn’t mean they won’t be licking their chops going up against one of the leagues poorest defenses to get themselves and the team back on track.
In the previous meeting between these two sides it took us nearly 90 minutes to find a winner and we got a rare clean sheet. Hopefully we won’t wait that long to open the scoring today but given our shaky defense there’s a good chance they may nick a goal. However I do feel our attacking impetus may prove too much for them to handle.
*Ed, It seems Aubameyang has not traveled*