As Tottenham’s top four challenge slowly falls apart, with injuries and poor form destroying them, and Chelsea continue to suffer with a busy schedule, Arsenal seem to be strolling towards Champions League qualification for next season.
It all seemed so unlikely two months ago.
This is down to one key element: they have a fresh, fit squad who have only had the Premier League to play for since February. While their defeats to Bradford, Blackburn and Bayern Munich in the three major cup competitions were met with anger by Arsenal fans all over the world, they now appear to be benefiting greatly from those losses.
While their two London rivals are playing two games a week at the moment, resulting in fatigue and increased number of injuries, Arsene Wenger’s side are enjoying a full week between games to prepare for the next one. This has resulted in an awesome spell of form from them, winning six of their last seven Premier League games. Many of those wins have been in tough games too.
Even without their MVP Jack Wilshere they are winning games for fun; something they were simply not achieving when they were participating in all four competitions earlier in the season.
So, here’s a message to all the Arsenal fans out there: although it’s nine years without a trophy for your team, Arsenal’s poor cup form looks like it’s going to earn you a place in the top four of the Premier League rankings.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.