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Arsenal and early kickoff performance
Do Arsenal really struggle in these matches?
One of the things that I have heard recently, especially in the build-up and aftermath of the Aston Villa match, is that Arsenal do not do well in the very early time slot.
I thought this was an interesting question to look at and really see if this is true or if it is just a matter of memory having certain matches stick out and color things.
To examine this I used data from Football-Data.co.uk to look at the performances over the last 4 seasons (this season plus those going back to 2019/20) and take a look at how Arsenal have done during various kick-off times in the Premier League.
I have broken things into general 1 hour chunks to make the grouping close to the same and to make the samples a little bigger.
So now with the explanations out of the way, let’s look at the results. Do Arsenal struggle in the very early kickoffs (noon and 12:30)?
I think the answer should be a pretty clear no, they do not.
Arsenal have earned 2.00 points per match in those kickoffs over the last four seasons. They have won 11, drawn 3, and lost 4.
That is their second-best points per match performance (behind the second earliest kickoff times of 1:30 to 2:30), this is the second-best goal difference time frame and the third-best for seeing them score goals as well. Even taking the next step to look at the performance compared to implied odds from the betting lines before kickoff this is still a very good time for Arsenal. From the implied odds Arsenal were expected to earn 1.66 points per match and actually earned 2.00
So the next time Arsenal have an early kickoff it is probably not worth having any extra worry compared to when they kick off at other times. The biggest outlier for Arsenal are actually the 3pm kickoffs so maybe this weekend should be the one that concerns Arsenal fans.