Arsenal v Cardiff; the form, the injuries, the psychology, the predictions

Arsenal at home have remained a very solid team, exactly as they were last season…

Home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 11 10 1 0 31 6 25 31
3 Arsenal 12 9 2 1 26 10 16 29
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 11 7 3 1 23 14 9 24

Cardiff away look to be in a desparate situation

Away games only

17 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 2 2 8 10 20 -10 8
18 Huddersfield Town 11 1 3 7 8 21 -13 6
19 Cardiff City 11 1 2 8 6 21 -15 5
20 Fulham 12 0 2 10 8 30 -22 2

When we look at recent form however Arsenal in January have two defeats

01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3

Cardiff in January however have no wins

01 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-3
05 Jan 2019 Gillingham v Cardiff City FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City L 3-0
The FA Cup defeat of both teams has very different meanings – Arsenal were poor but playing a PL team in form.   Cardiff lost to Gillingham of League One.

Three wins two defeats for Arsenal and no wins three defeats and a drew to Cardiff tell Arsenal that no matter what they might feel about their poor performance against Manchester United they certainly are not in as bad a run of form as Cardiff.

Injuries show that Arsenal are now near the top of the league…

8

Liverpool

7

West Ham United

6

Arsenal

5

Newcastle United

Arsenal’s list of injuries prepared by Physioroom shows

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN NEWS
Sokratis Ankle Injury March 2, 2019 “Left ankle. Expected to return to full training by the end of February.”
L Koscielny Facial Injury No Return Date “Bruising and soft tissue swelling to face and jaw. Being reviewed on a daily basis.”
H Bellerin ACL Knee Injury No Return Date “Hector will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days. The rehab process is expected to take between 6-9 nine months.”
H Mkhitaryan Metatarsal Fracture January 29, 2019 “Expected to return to full training in the next week.”
R Holding ACL Knee Injury No Return Date “He will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days. The rehab process is expected to take between six to nine months” from the date of injury
D Welbeck Ankle Injury Out all season

So there is only one of those players possible to be available for the next game.

Cardiff  however have just tree players out but two could be back in the squad.

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN NEWS
S Morrison Appendicitis No Return Date “He had a procedure on Monday. I don’t think [he will play tomorrow], but if there’s any doubt I won’t play him anyway. We can’t gamble on anyone.”
H Arter Groin Strain January 29, 2019 “He tweaked his groin and we’re not sure what it is. It was one of them, although you want to play him, with 10 days until the next game you want to make sure you don’t aggravate anything.”
K Zohore Thigh Muscle Strain January 29, 2019 “He’ll be struggling to get back for next weekend. He might get on the bench.”

The psychology

Cardiff have had the humiliation of losing to a third tier team in the cup and they know they have to play well to get themselves out of trouble.  Arsenal might not be a top four team at the moment, but they are one of the six elite European clubs and even with multiple injuries can put up a fight.

Cardiff will try to deliver an early knock out blow to get the crowd with them.   Failing that it looks like Arsenal all the way.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 23 19 3 1 54 13 41 60
2 Manchester City 23 18 2 3 62 17 45 56
3 Tottenham Hotspur 23 17 0 6 48 23 25 51
4 Chelsea 23 14 5 4 40 19 21 47
5 Arsenal 23 13 5 5 48 32 16 44
6 Manchester United 23 13 5 5 46 33 13 44
7 Watford 23 9 6 8 32 32 0 33
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 9 5 9 27 31 -4 32
9 Leicester City 23 9 4 10 29 29 0 31
10 West Ham United 23 9 4 10 30 34 -4 31
11 Everton 23 8 6 9 34 33 1 30
12 AFC Bournemouth 23 9 3 11 33 42 -9 30
13 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 7 5 11 25 32 -7 26
14 Crystal Palace 23 6 4 13 23 32 -9 22
15 Southampton 23 5 7 11 25 40 -15 22
16 Burnley 23 6 4 13 23 43 -20 22
17 Newcastle United 23 5 6 12 19 31 -12 21
18 Cardiff City 23 5 4 14 19 44 -25 19
19 Fulham 23 3 5 15 21 51 -30 14
20 Huddersfield Town 23 2 5 16 13 40 -27 11

If Arsenal hold on through the first half they could knock up another of their 4-1 wins.

One comment

  • jjgsol

    This game is ripe for over-confidence and a disastrous start.

    Cardiff will also be “Playing for Sala”, so our boys will need to take it very seriously.

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