Morning all.

  • Brighton – Away
  • West Brom – Away
  • Crystal Palace – Home
  • Newcastle – Home
  • Southampton – Away
  • Man Utd – Home

Add in the FA Cup match against Newcastle at home and if we happen to win that one, a next round fixture too and that’s January’s fixtures for Arsenal. Not quite true really as tonight’s is still in December. Just. Lol

Six, potentially seven fixtures in one month is tough on the players but that’s why managers have squads. The only important one though is today’s, away at Brighton and Hove Albion. Mikel Arteta v Graham Potter.

As far as injuries go, Brighton are again without Arsenal linked Tariq Lamptey. Adam Lallana and Aaron Connolly are doubts too. For Arsenal, Gabriel Magalhães is self isolating after testing positive for Coronavirus and Thomas Partey hasn’t quite recovered yet. Willian or Luiz will return to the squad on New Years Eve. At least they won’t feature tonight I suppose which gives another opportunity for others to cement their place in the first team. Time to prove once again that youth, energy and a bit of good old fashion pride sometimes works.

Arsenal haven’t won an away fixture since the victory at old Trafford, mind you, they hadn’t won at home either, not since the 4th October. Brighton have faired marginally better having drawn a number of matches but recent defeats against Leicester City and Southampton, plus our victory over Chelsea has kept them below us in the table. That won’t change regardless of tonight’s result.

We need another win though, one which could see us jump to the dizzy heights of 12th place. That’s how tight the table is.

Graham Potter has described his team as being “tactically flexible, attacking, & possession-based.” He literally does switch tactics throughout a game in order to maximise the teams chances of winning, or in some cases, not losing. They press high and defend well as Liverpool found out earlier in the season and they don’t give up until the final whistle blows. Lewis Dunk needs marking properly on set pieces as he’s a threat in the air and of course, there’s Danny Welbeck who’ll want to get one over his old mates. Maupay too, the guy at the heart of the Guendouzi incident which didn’t end well for our guy. But for all their huff and puff, they’re still struggling, just as Arsenal have been.

Both clubs are facing a relegation battle if things don’t improve and stay improved. Arsenal need consistency, to build on what we saw at the weekend and maintain that level of performance. Move the ball around with pace and purpose and defend well when required. The forward players must press high, try and force defensive errors. Hopefully Ryan will start in their goal as all 6’ 6” of Sanchez will be hard to beat.

I fancy us to win this one, but then I always do.

Transfer gossip from NN. As already mentioned, Tariq Lamptey is being linked to Arsenal, a replacement for Hector Bellerin who is wanted by Barcelona. Interestingly, Tariq was at Chelsea for a number of years with Eddie Nketiah so if the right back does join us, he’ll link up with his old buddy again.

Dortmund’s Julian Brandt is another name being linked with a move to the red side of north London and finally, Diego Costa. Apparently he’s had a fall out at Atletico Madrid and wants out. Very unlikely to be true in my opinion.

See you in the comments.