Cardiff City have had an interesting start to their first season in the top flight since 2014. Going into the season as odds-on favourites to be relegated, they have only lost one of their first three matches. That said, they are yet to win any of their matches or even score a goal, despite playing three teams also expected to be in the relegation scrap, AFC Bournemouth, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United. Now due to face Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea in consecutive weeks, they could very well only get two points from their first six matches, only making relegation fears grow.
Arsenal notched their first win of the season last week against West Ham United. Their next seven matches are against teams outside the top six and they’ll have to do well in this stretch if they are to have any hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. They’ll have to win away from home to do so, something they’ve only done once in their last 10 away Premier League matches.
Cardiff will be without the likes of Aron Gunnarsson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, while Junior Hoilett is a slight doubt with a groin injury, according to Physioroom.com.
Laurent Koscielny, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac will miss out with long-term injuries for the Gunners. Mesut Ozil is a slight doubt with an illness, according to Physioroom.com.
Cardiff City: Josh Murphy
Cardiff are yet to get going as an attacking force this season, but Murphy has been getting shots off. He has 2.8 shots off per 90 minutes and those shots will hopefully start turning into goals soon. Cardiff haven’t had any real highlights going forward this season, but they’ll hope Murphy can start producing some soon.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal’s attack is the best part of their team, but their star striker Aubameyang has yet to get going. He has not scored in any of the first three matches this season, but he has still been getting shots off, with 2.8 per 90 minutes through the first three matches. If he continues to get good chances, he’ll start scoring soon enough and Arsenal’s attack will be fully on track.
It’s hard to overstate how poor Arsenal were away from home last season. They’re poor away form stretches back for about 18 months, so that will give Cardiff some hope, despite the clear talent gap. The talent should be enough to get Arsenal through this one though.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal