This is new territory for Unai Emery.
In his previous jobs, our head coach would be easing off for a welcome winter break. Instead, he’s trying to navigate a path through a frantic festive period.
It started well enough with that 3-1 win over Burnley but, even so, Nacho Monreal joined an injury list that has lengthened at precisely the wrong time.
While others celebrate Christmas, Unai will be deep in conversation with his players and our high performance and medical teams, figuring out who has thebest chance of getting through games - and getting us results.
So, although Lucas Torreira is a booking away from a ban, don’t be surprised to see him start at Brighton even with the Liverpool game looming large.
As Unai says, “we are going to play [with] full [commitment]… the same three points are in Brighton that are in Liverpool.”
And, lest we forget, the Amex was one of the (admittedly many) places we came unstuck last season. A win - and maybe even a clean sheet - would be another sign of progress in this transformative year.
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