This is not a drill Arsenal fans. You are not dreaming. There is no mirage. This is for real. Your side has the look of a genuine Premier League title contender this year. Arsenal has done a complete 180 when compared to their start of last season. Gunner fans will need no reminding that last year they were rock bottom of the league. This season, however, they sit alongside the mighty Manchester City as one of only two undefeated teams after match day two in the Premier League.
It is looking very likely that Arsenal will finish this season in the top four, and thus make it back into UEFA Champions League for next season. Mikel Arteta’s young side has been complimented well by the signings of both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko. There has also been a step forward in the development of Gabriel Martinelli.
Much like their hated North London rivals Tottenham, the Gunners have an injury list that is pretty light on. So let’s keep that in mind as we check out who’s missing for Arsenal this weekend.
New signing Fabio Vieira remains a doubt with the foot injury that has seen him miss Arsenals’ opening two fixtures. He is on the improve, however, and has been spotted in first team training this week. Don’t be surprised to see the Portuguese make his EPL bow from the bench this week for Arsenal.
The other player that Gunners medical staff are dealing with is Reiss Nelson. He has suffered a significant, but mystery [to the public] muscle injury. He looks set for a long stint on the sidelines. Here is what Mikel Arteta had to say about it:
‘He felt something in training. We scanned it, and the doctor came with some bad news. It’s a muscular injury, and hopefully, he will be back soon.’
The ‘hopefully’ in that statement doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
Arsenal at Bournemouth FYIs
Kick-off: Saturday, Aug 20, 5:30 pm local, Dean Court
Google Result Probability: Bournemouth victory 13% Draw 19% Arsenal victory 68%
The Brazilian is developing into one of the most dangerous attackers in the league. And the return of William Saliba in defense has been outstanding. Saliba has been so good, that he has pushed £50m signing Ben White out of position to right back.
Stuey’s Two Cents
I was hyper-critical early on last season of both Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. Now I am on the verge of swinging too hard in the other direction regarding the Gunners this season.
They are a joy to watch, and they are winning games. If they can remain consistent, and keep injuries to a minimum, there’s no limit to how well they can go this year. Well, there is a limit. They won’t finish above Manchester City. Everyone else in the league is fair game, though, and should be on notice. Arsenal are back.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He also co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.Follow paulmbanks