It’s back! Well, kind of. The Premier League returned to our screens on Wednesday with a *raises glasses* scoreless draw and *re-raises glasses* some technology controversy.
But at least our body clock’s missing mechanism is back up and running. Even if it’s not quite what it was.
It’s like someone gave you a hundred quid but said you could only buy a hundred quid worth of sausages. Yeah, you’re delighted you’re getting something for free, but it’s also limiting and eventually you’ll get sick of the taste.
But thankfully, your friends at Paddy Power can keep them sizzling with a wide array of condiments. So here’s three to feast on when Brighton host *the* Arsenal on Saturday.
So, logically, you can say that there’s next to no home advantage anymore. All this fake crowd noise is merely there to put you off as the hosts rather than to encourage them and I’d expect it to be binned by July.
But with home advantage being not quite that anymore, are traders accounting for that in their prices? Would Arsenal have been any bigger than around 13/10 if crowds were present? Maybe 7/5 at a push, but anything around that mark is a very friendly price and it’s sizeable enough for me to be content to back it.
As is almost always the case, people overreact to performances and Arsenal post-Man City is no exception. Did anyone expect them to get anything? Not really. They didn’t – and somehow there’s furore. Yawn. Next.
There’s this idea that Arsenal playing twice in quick succession will be bad for them. I think the total opposite.
The ring rust is off now, and they’re ready to go full pelt. Their training programmes have been effective throughout the quarantine period, and when you consider the difference in medical stuff at both clubs, it’s fair to assume the Gunners will be a couple of rungs ahead of Brighton in the fitness ladder.
Mikel Arteta imposes a gorgeous brand of football on his side, and that will prevail against weaker sides, especially ones who try to play out from the back and not give Arsenal the respect they deserve simply because of that comical tag they carry with them and show off on far too many occasions.
They’ll be raring to go now, and they are already used to the surreal environment that is supporterless football grounds.
Plenty to like about this, given the fact that Brighton had failed to find the net in either of their two previous games before the pandemic – and those games were against Wolves and Crystal Palace. Let’s not beat around the bush: it’s hardly top-class opposition.
Their patterns of play have become quite muddled and unless those restrictions didn’t hamper them too much, they’re still going to be stuck in stylistic limbo for the foreseeable.
It’s perhaps the best advice anyone can give now: if a team was struggling to fully carry out their tactical assignments before the break, there’s little in the way to suggest they’ll be able to amend that immediately upon return.
Brighton fall into that category.
Brighton v Arsenal tips summary
- REVEALED: VAR officials ‘watching Eggheads’ when Sheffield United scored
- Marcus Rashford ‘can’t do anything to help David Luiz’
- Need some atmosphere for the footy? Try our digital soundboard for a PROPER matchday experience