Apologies for the lack of a preview yesterday, but sometimes life gets in the way of these things. Anyway, here we are, about to welcome Freddie Ljungberg to the Emirates touchline for the first time as manager. He’s had a few more days to work with the squad, so everything should be 180 degrees different today, right?
Well, no. That’s not how this works. Arsenal still have a lot of issues to correct, and they’ll take time to get better. But that process has started, and hopefully today Arsenal will be able to do what they’ve struggled to do recently, put bad teams to the sword. Top four is a rapidly receding possibility - I haven’t done the math in a couple games, but as of a week or so ago, Arsenal would have to win at a 2.25ish points per game pace from here on out to get to a points total that would have been top four in the last few seasons.
Is that possible? No. But what is possible is that Arsenal beat up on these lower teams and hope that Chelsea and Manchester United slip up over the course of the season as well, which would make fourth place a competition again and mean Arsenal wouldn’t have to rely on the Europa League to get back to the Champions League.
That starts today. Brighton are currently 16th, one point above the relegation zone - but the Premier League is so tight right now that they’re also only four points behind 10th placed Arsenal. Brighton, thus, will come to the Emirates motivated and ready to perpetuate Arsenal’s misery unless the Gunners show up ready to roll. Freddie has a lot of work to do, and hopefully today some of the work he’s done since Sunday will show up on the pitch.
Arsenal v. Brighton & Hove Albion
Thursday, December 5, 2019
12.15PM PT/3.15PM ET/8.15PM BT
Emirates Stadium, London
US TV: NBCSN
US Streaming: NBC Sports
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Three changes from Sunday— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 5, 2019
Bellerin and Sokratis return
Torreira comes in
Laca partners Auba#ARSBHA
Here’s how Albion take to the field against @Arsenal tonight.— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) December 5, 2019
Matchday Live is presented by @SnickersUKCom.#BHAFC ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/1es1fHx3RZ