Arsenal injuries ‘piling up’ but ‘huge boost’ means Premier League title in bag
‘Trouble is brewing’ at Arsenal, who will be forced to play the same XI that battered Palace. But then a man is in pain, which is a ‘huge boost’…
Huge blow job
As we enter the dark days of international fortnight, the national media loves nothing more than an injury crisis. Never mind that no sane person actually knows who England are playing over the next two weeks and why (is it a qualifier? Is it the Nations League? Is it another tournament pulled out of UEFA’s arse?), England are facing an injury crisis and it’s back-page news.
MIRROR SPORT: Out #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/FUSwkdwqxH
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) March 21, 2023
Yes, it’s quite the ‘Southgate shocker’ that literally every member of the England XI that lost to France in the World Cup quarter-finals three months ago is available. Every single one.
It’s not a ‘huge blow’ to lose Marcus Rashford because 13-goal Manchester City forward Phil Foden will probably play instead. Oh and he’s not even an ‘in-form striker’; that would be 23-goal Harry Kane.
Over on the back page of the Daily Express, it’s a ‘big blow’ and a ‘headache’ for Gareth Southgate as he ‘loses red-hot striker for two Euro qualifiers’ (so at least we know what they are now). It’s not ideal but it’s neither a ‘big blow’ nor a ‘headache’; he will probably just field the side that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in December.
But if you think England have problems, just wait until you hear what is happening at Arsenal. Over to MailOnline:
‘Who will win this THRILLING title race? Arsenal have injuries piling up but can now focus solely on the Premier League, while Manchester City have a fully-fit squad but face a jam-packed schedule’
It might be mildly thrilling but we’re not sure it’s THRILLING; Arsenal are literally eight points clear with ten games to go. It’s certainly no 2019.
But never mind that, what are these ‘injuries piling up’ that could derail their title bid?
It’s worse than that, says Daniel Matthews: ‘Trouble is brewing again.’
Oh bloody hell. Not again. Hit us with it.
‘William Saliba has a back problem. Takehiro Tomiyasu is out with a serious knee injury, leaving Arteta with only one right back, Ben White. It is a thin squad – at least compared to City.’
So that’s two (sorry, this is MailOnline, TWO) injuries, one of whom is the second-choice right-back.
So at this rate, Arsenal will be forced to play the same XI that struggled so disastrously to beat Crystal Palace 4-1 on Sunday. And only had internationals Gabriel Jesus, Jorginho, Jakub Kiwior, Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney to come off the bench. Basically, they’re f***ed. What chance do they have with all those injuries ‘piling up’.
They think it’s all Haal over
But what’s this? Just when you think Arsenal have been screwed out of this title race by a spate of injuries, along comes a ‘huge Premier League title race boost as Erling Haaland suffers major injury blow’.
Now Mediawatch is a tad uncomfortable with any injury being described as a ‘huge boost’ to anybody else because we are wokey snowflakes but if you are a Trends Writer for football.London, an injury to Haaland is indeed a ‘huge boost’. If not to Arsenal then definitely to Trends Writers.
But what is this ‘major injury blow’?
‘The Norwegian FA confirmed that Haaland has been withdrawn from the squad for the upcoming friendlies against Spain and Georgia due to a groin problem. A statement from the Norwegian Football Federation read: “Erling Braut Haaland had some pain in his groin after the match against Burnley.
‘”We hoped that this was just a familiarity that would carry over to Saturday. After doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it to the games against Spain and Georgia.”‘
It sounds minor. It doesn’t sound like a ‘major injury blow’. But maybe football.London know different.
‘It remains to be seen how long Haaland is out for with this groin problem, but he could be absent for City’s crucial game against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, April 1.’
‘This could see Guardiola’s side drop points without their main goal threat in the team…’
It absolutely could.
‘…and potentially see Arsenal move even further ahead at the top of the table as they chase down a first Premier League title since 2004.’
This is so confusing. Just when we thought Arsenal would be derailed by their injury problems ‘piling up’, they receive the ‘huge boost’ that a man is in pain. This really is a THRILLING title race.
But why are we even wasting time speculating about the effects of injuries on this title race when we can just consult a supercomputer.
Thankfully, football.London have access to a supercomputer. Or at least they have access to e-mails from betting companies, which is definitely cheaper than buying your own.
‘BETSiE’s projections predict Arsenal to end their 19-year wait for a Premier League title, with City set to finish second. The prediction has the Gunners winning the league with 87.8 points, ahead of City on 83.8 points.’
Phew. Glad that’s sorted.
Sh*thousing of the day
‘Wayne Rooney snaps up Premier League star in shock loan move weeks after transfer window slammed shut’ – The Sun.
Lewis O’Brien. Six Premier League starts. ‘Star’.