It is certainly getting down to the wire, but Arsenal must make sure they don’t get distracted by Tottenham and Chelsea and simply just focus on winning all their remaining games. Their next clash comes up against relegation bound Queens Park Rangers and although it looks like a straight-forward match, history certainly isn’t on our side.
Each time Arsenal have faced QPR in the last three clashes, they have failed to score more than one goal with the men from Loftus Road securing a 2-1 victory in the same fixture last season. The men in red have also failed to win against QPR in the Premier League era. Taking this account however, it must also be said that the Gunners are in a very rich vein of form securing 14 points in the last 6 matches, more than any other team in the Premier League. This should outweigh any historical statistics, particularly when you factor in that QPR have failed to score a goal in last 275 minutes of Premier League football.
Looking at team news, Arsene Wenger revealed that he has suffered no new casualties with both Lukasz Fabianski and Olivier Giroud the only two remaining on the sidelines. While he boasts a wide range of players to pick from, you feel that Wenger will remain with the team that has upheld Arsenal’s strong run of form since mid-March. In saying this however, when you have both Wilshere and Monreal on the bench, there is still the chance that either could be started for Rosicky and Gibbs respectively. Even if they aren’t to start, it is pretty certain that Wilshere will get a run on the pitch with Rosicky seldom completing 90 minutes.
One of the big talking points in the side is Lukas Podolski who has been confirmed by Wenger to lead the attack once again in the absence of Olivier Giroud. The German looked a bit rusty and short of match fitness last week against Manchester United, but did well to link up with his midfield compatriots. You hope however against lesser opposition he will be able to get into a position to utilise that lethal left-foot.
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It is imperative that the Gunners keep the likes of Loic Remy and Bobby Zamora in check, this could potentially stretch to Adel Taraabt who may or may not start. If the in-form Arsenal shows up however, this match should be a comfortable victory. It will only get messy, you feel, if we shoot ourselves in the foot.
on the team news…
We still have Olivier Giroud suspended so, compared to last Sunday, we have everyone else available.
on Lukasz Fabianski…
He is still unavailable. From next week onwards, he should be alright.
on the overall injury situation…
It is a good position. We have done well recently. Maybe we benefit from the fact there is only one game per week. So the squad is a bit more stable injury-wise.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
Ramsey Arteta (c)
- Arsenal have scored exactly one goal in seven of their last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with Queens Park Rangers.
- The Gunners have never won at Loftus Road in the Premier League era (D3 L2). They have played more away games against QPR without a win than any other side in the history of the competition.
- Overall, only against Manchester United (26%) do the Gunners have a lower Premier League win rate than they do against the R’s (27%).
- Arsenal had 22 shots (including blocked shots) in the reverse meeting with QPR, but only found the net once; in the 84th minute.
- QPR have now gone 275 minutes (four hours and 35 minutes) without scoring in the Premier League.
- The R’s have the worst record in Premier League London derbies this season (nine points), while only Chelsea (17) have won more points from them than Arsenal (16).
- Arsenal have won their last three away league games. They have not won four in a row on the road since November 2010.
- QPR are the only team in the Premier League this season yet to win a point with a goal in the final 10 minutes.
- Aaron Ramsey has had more shots without scoring than any other player in the Premier League (39, including blocked shots).
QPR 0 Arsenal 2