Arsenal grabbed their first win of the season by beating West Ham at the Emirates, and tomorrow they’ll have a chance to start improving their record away from home.
The Gunners have been slowly finding their feet and getting used to Unai Emery’s new system, and despite a sloppily conceded goal, they finally put it together against West Ham. Now they need to keep it together as they travel to Wales, and if they keep improving at the rate that they have so far—big if, but there’s still lots of room for improvement—then they should return to London with three more points.
We haven’t had a smooth ride with this Arsenal team in a long time, though, and based on their results so far, Cardiff City’s defense is nothing to scoff at. Cardiff have yet to score a goal this season, but they have managed two scoreless draws—weirdly, both involving a red card for their opponents. Arsenal did a better job of stringing their passes together against West Ham, and going forward they’ll need to do that consistently, especially against teams liable to pack all eleven players behind the ball.
Arsenal last played Cardiff in the Premier League in January of 2014, a match that they won 2-0, and the Welsh club spent the next four seasons in the Championship. Aaron Ramsey, likely to start tomorrow, came to Arsenal from Cardiff in 2008.
As expected, Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are still out with their respective injuries, but Mesut Özil is feeling better and will probably be back in the lineup. Meanwhile, Cardiff will be missing midfielder Aron Gunnarsson, who played for Iceland at the World Cup, and forward Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.
WHAT: Arsenal at Cardiff City
WHERE: Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
WHEN: Sunday, September 2nd, 1:30PM BT | 8:30AM ET | 5:30AM PT
US TV: NBCSN
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