30 January 2019
Desperate to post back-to-back Premier League triumphs for the first time since early December, Arsenal welcome a struggling Cardiff City side to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s drop off in form has seen them allowing Manchester United to close the gap, as the two giants now trail fourth-placed Chelsea by three points. Although the Gunners have lately been failing to deliver the same performance from the majority of the first half of the season, they are still one of the best home teams in the English top tier (W9, D2, L1). Unai Emery’s men come into the encounter with a five-game PL home winning run, during which they’ve scored 13 goals while conceding just four in the process. Much more aggressive and dangerous in the second half, Emery’s players have been regularly moving up a gear in the second period. As much as 32 goals of 48 the Gunners have scored this campaign have arrived after the halftime break.
On the other hand, the visitors are still trying to escape the relegation zone, but their recent form suggests it won’t be a simple task. A poor haul of just one point in their last three Premier League games (D1, L2) has seen the Bluebirds conceding six goals while failing to hit the back of the net in the process. Far more comfortable at home, Neil Warnock’s players have secured only one victory on 11 PL road trips this campaign (W1, D2, L8). What’s more, their tally of just six goals scored away from home is a league low, with the Bluebirds failing to find the net in six PL road clashes so far. A defense that has already allowed 21 goals on the road can hardly encourage Warnock, especially considering the fact they’ve conceded nine goals on three visits to the top-five PL sides.
Provisional line-up – Arsenal:
Gk: Leno Defense: Kolasinac – Sokratis – Koscielny – Maitland-Niles Midfield: Granit Xhaka – Guendouzi – Torreira – Ramsey Attack: Lacazette – Aubameyang
Provisional line-up – Cardiff City:
Gk: Etheridge Defense: Bennett – Bamba – Ecuele Manga – Peltier Midfield: Camarasa – Joe Ralls – Hoilett Attack: Paterson – Mendez-Laing – Oumar Niasse
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