Through the first three weeks of this Premier League campaign, only one team have failed to score. Cardiff City have yet to put a ball into the back of an opponent’s net, and that’s not a good thing considering the club’s schedule thus far. The Bluebirds have yet to face any of the top teams in England, but they have still failed to create many real chances and opportunities for themselves. This week, they will look to break that streak when Arsenal come to town.
Don't miss the English Premier League action from Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales at 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on NBCSN.
EPL Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Cardiff City +472
Over/Under 2.5 and 3
Arsenal are still considered one of the heavyweights in the Premier League, but their status is up for review. The Gunners have just three points through the first three games of the season, and they are already well behind the other top clubs in England aside from Manchester United.
To be fair, the schedule has played a major role in the slow start. Arsenal have a new manager for the first time in 22 years in Unai Emery, and the schedule makers threw him right into the fire. The Gunners kicked off the season with a home tilt against Manchester City and a short road trip to Chelsea, and they lost both of those matches. Arsenal were unconvincing in a 2-0 loss to City, but they looked much better offensively in a 3-2 loss to Chelsea.
Last week, Arsenal finally picked up their first points of the season in a 3-1 win over West Ham. The Hammers made Arsenal fans very nervous after Marko Arnautovic scored the game’s first goal, but Nacho Monreal responded to level five minutes later. Arsenal continued to press and eventually got a go-ahead goal in the 70th before Danny Welbeck iced things two minutes into extra time.
Cardiff City need to shake things up on the offensive end and fast. The Bluebirds aren’t in trouble in terms of the standings yet, but they will be if this scoring drought continues for much longer.
They opened the season with a 2-0 loss on the road to Bournemouth, and Cardiff put just one shot on net the entire match. The Bluebirds drew 0-0 with Newcastle United in their second game, but they still managed to put a single shot on goal despite having a man advantage for the final third of the match. Last week, they put four shots on net in a 0-0 draw with Huddersfield Town, but they were still unable to score that elusive goal.
For Cardiff, midfielder Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has been ruled out for this match as he continues to deal with some swelling in his knee. Midfielder Junior Hoilett has a chance to be available, but he is listed as doubtful due to a groin injury. The big news involves skipper Aron Gunnarsson though. The Icelandic midfielder has been out for a while, but there is a chance he plays against Arsenal. That would help the Bluebirds out at the back quite a bit.
Arsenal have mostly the same injuries we have highlighted all year in this space. Carl Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny, Saed Kolasinac, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles continue to be sidelined due to injury. It looks like star midfielder Mesut Ozil will play after missing time due to an illness though.
Matchup to Watch
The combination of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan was supposed to work wonders for Arsenal. The two had great chemistry together at Borussia Dortmund, and they looked like they had a certain spark after Arsenal acquired Mkhitaryan from Manchester United last season too. However, they have underperformed a bit through the first three games of the season considering the expectations Arsenal fans had for them. This will be a great chance for these two to get going.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
This will be the game where Cardiff City finally breaks through. Arsenal’s back line has been shaky in each of the club’s first three matches, and the defense will let in a goal here. However, Arsenal will notch some goals of their own and get a win.
English Premier League Odds: Arsenal 3, Cardiff City 2
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