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    Arsenal gunning for second straight win

    02 September 2018 | Premier League | Preview
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    Arsenal gunning for second straight win
    daykung / Shutterstock.com

    Cardiff host Arsenal on Sunday as the Bluebirds attempt to get their season up and running. Neil Warnock’s team has obtained just two points from nine. Arsenal have had a similar start to the season. Unai Emery lost their first two matches before gaining his first win as manager last weekend against West Ham. Now, Arsenal can kickstart their season with another win and put their poor start behind them.

    Warnock is desperate to find scoring. Cardiff are the only team not to find the back of the net this season. The Bluebirds aren’t scoring, but they aren’t allowing goals either. Cardiff are just –2 in goal difference. Cardiff’s Premier League matches have featured fewer than 2.5 goals in each.

    Arsenal have scored five goals and allowed six this term. The Gunners’ haven’t been outplayed despite losing to both Manchester City and Chelsea. Emery is working hard to change the philosophy at the Emirates and it will take time. Whether he can keep his squad on his side remains to be seen. Mesut Ozil will be fit just in time for the game on Sunday. Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette has been a victim of Emery’s management and could be left on the bench for the fixture. The Frenchman has appeared in all three games but accumulated just 97 minutes. Neither he nor striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have found the back of the net.

    The biggest news out of the Emirates this week has been Emery banning fruit juice from the Gunners’ training ground.

    The last time Arsenal met Cardiff in the Premier League was in the 2013-2014 season. Arsenal won both fixtures and outscored Cardiff 5-0 over the two games. Despite their great record against Cardiff, Arsenal have lost eight of their last nine away matches in the Premier League.

    Emery has several players on the long-term injury list. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac, and Carl Jenkinson are all missing until later this season. Cardiff will be without Aron Gunnarsson due to a knee injury. However, Warnock could have Junior Hoilett back from a groin problem. Hoilett is an important player down the wing for Warnock’s direct playing Bluebirds. He can stretch Arsenal’s defence if he is healthy.

    Arsenal are a far better team on paper than Cardiff. The Gunners will pick up the win despite Cardiff’s ability to play stout defence. Emery has Arsenal playing decent football and the side will move to six points from 12.

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    OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
    1. Liverpool 34 12 11 1 0 28 10 18
    2. Leicester City 26 12 8 2 2 29 8 21
    3. Chelsea 26 12 8 2 2 27 17 10
    4. Manchester City 25 12 8 1 3 35 13 22
    5. Sheffield United 17 12 4 5 3 13 9 4
    6. Arsenal 17 12 4 5 3 16 17 -1
    7. Manchester United 16 12 4 4 4 16 12 4
    8. Wolverhampton 16 12 3 7 2 16 15 1
    9. Bournemouth 16 12 4 4 4 15 15 0
    10. Burnley 15 12 4 3 5 17 18 -1
    11. Brighton 15 12 4 3 5 15 17 -2
    12. Crystal Palace 15 12 4 3 5 10 16 -6
    13. Newcastle United 15 12 4 3 5 11 18 -7
    14. Tottenham 14 12 3 5 4 18 17 1
    15. Everton 14 12 4 2 6 13 18 -5
    16. West Ham 13 12 3 4 5 14 20 -6
    17. Aston Villa 11 12 3 2 7 17 20 -3
    18. Watford 8 12 1 5 6 8 23 -15
    19. Southampton 8 12 2 2 8 11 29 -18
    20. Norwich City 7 12 2 1 9 11 28 -17

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