In recent years Arsenal have struggled a bit when we have had to play in the early slot on a Saturday after a midweek Champions League of domestic cup game, especially if that game has been on a Wednesday and especially if the midweek match was away from home in another country.
So thanks a lot Premier League guys and TV scheduling folk for making us kick off at 12.45 on Saturday after Arsenal have struggled at the hardest possible away day in Europe at Barcelona. There is no point in crying about it though, so Arsene Wenger and the players just need to give it their best shot and actually I think that the circumstances could well be just what we need.
For one thing, I reckon that the possibility of tired legs should make Wenger try to ensure that we play on the front foot, as it is harder to chase the ball than to knock it around. Easier said than done, of course, and in order to dominate possession you need to be confident and in good form, and to do that it helps if you can play with freedom.
And I think we can, because the two clubs above us in the league are far enough in front for us to think we have nothing to lose. At the same time, though, we could be caught up with concern about the teams below us catching up, so the rest of the weekend fixtures are a big help. Man City host Man United so either one or both of them will drop points and West Ham face Chelsea who are starting to look like their old selves.
All this means that the Gunners should be able to play with the freedom to express ourselves and that normally means a good performance and a win. Could this be the start of a run?