Another game week, another “big weekend”.
In the title race, every weekend becomes a big one, so it becomes a bit repetitive mentioning it in every pre-game blog.
We are at home to Bournemouth whilst Manchester City host Newcastle.
By the time we kick off, we will already know the results of that game. I do wonder if players get told the results of games earlier in the day. Would you want to know?
As someone in a WhatsApp group pointed out this week: Focus on ourselves, one game at a time.
And that is how we will win the league.
There is no point getting ahead of ourselves, looking at those April games with fear. We should only focus on the next game. Todays game. Bournemouth.
I would only expect one change from the team that beat Everton mid week – Thomas Partey in for Jorginho.
The Italian (or is he Brazilian? I can’t keep up) has proved his worth in the least couple of games covering Partey, but we need to try and play our best XI as often as possible.
Jorginho’s place in Arsenal’s starting XI between now and the end of the season will be in the mid-week Europa League squad. Weekends will be Partey time.
Eddie Nketiah limped off at the final whistle against Everton, I expect Leandro Trossard to remain up front.
Nketiah has been class covering for Gabriel Jesus, but we have missed the way the Brazilian (or is he Italian?) drifts across the front line and creates space for others.
Eddie tends to remain central, which results in Bukayo Saka staying right and Gabriel Martinelli staying on the left, with Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka in behind. It can make us predictable.
When Jesus plays, he drifts left, right and deep. The space he leaves is then taken up by a team mate, leaving opponents not sure whether to follow Jesus or pick up the new man.
Trossard is similar, dropping deep and drifting out wide. It is no surprise that Martinelli has returned to goal scoring form with Trossard in the team.
Martinelli loves drifting central, but he can only do that if our striker has drifted out left. Trossard does that, Nketiah doesn’t.
Like with Everton, and every game between now and the end of the season, it will be about scoring first and scoring early.
We do that and it will be 4 or 5. We struggle to break them down and it will only become tougher as the 90 goes on.
Expect Bournemouth to follow in the footsteps of Everton, Villa, Newcastle and others and try and slow the game down at every opportunity.
We the fans need to ensure we do not get frustrated, as that frustration can filter down to the team.
Keep behind the team and we win.
Up the Arsenal.