The odds have turned on their heads following Arsenal’s succession of dropped points. The momentum has completely shifted towards Manchester City who are now being deemed the favourites to lift the Premier League trophy once again.
Mere days away from the highly awaited “title decider” against City at Etihad, Arsenal must be fully aware of how high the stakes are heading into the fixture.
The squad’s morale isn’t at its highest, and with less than a week remaining before the hugely anticipated clash against City, Arsenal fans are clinging to the tiniest beacon of hope they find in search of some tranquillity. One such paradigm is the game’s referee, Michael Oliver.
The Good Luck Charm?
As confirmed by Premier League, the 38-year-old Englishman Michael Oliver has been appointed to serve the refereeing duties for the clash between Premier League’s two best teams. A referee in the Premier League since 2010, Oliver received a promotion to the UEFA Elite Group of Referees in 2018.
Following the announcement, Arsenal supporters came up with an interesting stat that backs the Gunners going into the matchup.
Michael Oliver has overseen four of Arsenal’s matches so far this season as a referee, and the London outfit has come out victorious in all four.
The four matches include Arsenal’s win 3-2 win over Liverpool, a convincing 1-0 victory over derby rivals Chelsea, the 3-1 win versus West Ham United, and a dominating 4-0 triumph over Everton.
The presence of Michael Oliver as the referee in every Arsenal fixture has turned out to be convincingly lucky for the Gunners, and the supporters of Mikel Arteta’s side send their prayers in hopes of that being the case once again.
Lucky Much, Arsenal Fans?
After taking a glance at the hype surrounding the referee’s appointment, we turned the pages of record books and came up with some interesting statistics.
To our surprise, Arsenal are among the clubs with one of the worst Premier League record when playing under Michael Oliver as the referee.
The Gunners have suffered 16 losses with the 38-year-old in charge, which is the fourth-highest number in the Premier League behind West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Aston Villa.
In contrast, Manchester City have won the most games which have featured Oliver as the referee. The Cityzens have secured 31 victories, 8 more than the second-placed Liverpool.
As a matter of fact, Oliver’s last game refereeing Manchester City saw both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden register hattricks in the same match. City beat United 6-3 in that game.
As it turns out, the “good luck referee” isn’t that lucky for Arsenal after all.
With the majority of the season now in rearview, it remains to be seen who walks out of the midweek clash with their head held high. Arsenal currently maintains a four-point lead over City, while the latter have a game in hand.