Arsenal v Burnley: Starts for Alexis, Coquelin, Rosicky, Elneny? Who Should Play, You Pick the Team!

Because I can’t figure it out!  In the end, it’s up to the manager but who knows what he’s thinking?

I know he’ll be thinking that we want to perform well in front of the home fans but also that we have more important matches just ahead.  On Tuesday we host Southampton in the league, a match which probably is more important given the way they beat us back on Boxing day and the fact that we’ve only taken two out of nine possible points in our last three league matches.

Wenger has said that Rosicky and Coquelin are available.  Would he think about starting them?  Elneny is the guy people want to see, with many now questioning his abilities seeing he was looked over in the two matches for which he dressed, the draw at Stoke and the home loss vs Chelsea.  The argument that, “He couldn’t be worse than Flamini” may be tested vs Burnley.

At the rear, with Mertesacker serving a one match ban, we’re bound to see changes.  But who and where?  Ospina likely comes in for Cech, Gibbs for Monreal, Gabriel for Koscielny, Chambers for the BFG, Debuchy for Bellerin?  Oh wait, Debuchy wants out and it seems likely he’ll be headed for an English team fighting relegation (Sunderland seems the latest candidate, I guess he fancies the Northeast…) or, perhaps, to a continental team.  Maybe Koscielny has to play and Gabby plays in Mertesacker’s spot with Chambers at RB.

Further forward it’s even harder to guess.  Alexis looked spry but perhaps in need of match fitness vs Chelsea.  Does he get a start? Debate rages around Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell and who should be shunted to the bench when Alexis is fully fit.  What about a #9?  Does Olivier Giroud play as our front man (was he really injured vs Chelsea–certainly he should be somewhat rested playing less than 20 minutes in that one) or might Theo or Joel get that role?  It doesn’t appear we’ll be getting the proverbial “world class striker” before the transfer deadline (let alone the match).  Danny Welbeck is back in training but has been out so long he’ll likely need a match or two with the reserves before even getting a bench seat.

What about the creative position (or positions)?  Mesut Ozil sat out the 3rd round match vs Sunderland with Alex Iwobi looking eager in his stead.  Does Iwobi start or is that the spot for our little Mozart (Tomas Rosicky)?  Ozil has been getting a lot of games off but not exactly looking his best when he has played (at Liverpool, vs Chelsea)  Does Iron-Man Ramsey get to play where he wants to?  What about Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?  If I recall correctly, vs Sunderland it was 1-1 until the double switch (Iwobi, Chambers out, Ramsey, Arteta in).  We had played nicely up until that point but bringing on the more experienced men seemed to tilt the match our way.  Jeff Reine-Adelaide came on even later for his Arsenal debut.  Might he get another chance?

I believe we’ll see A LOT of changes–8 of 11 in fact, from the Chelsea match, with it looking like this:

Subs = Macey, Monreal, Coquelin, Arteta, Rosicky, Ramsey, Walcott.

That’s just my guess, and as always, what do I know?  Others should have at it, and fill in the blanks as they see fit.  What Will Wenger do?  (Can you beat my percentages?…) What should Wenger do?  What would you do if you were manager?  Keep in mind those critical league matches coming our way, but also the fact that we probably need to get some playing time for other players as our injury crisis abates.

Burnley at home sounds like the perfect opportunity to rotate and rest and still advance.  They are, however, up to 3rd in the Championship meaning that they’re used to winning.  They’ve just signed former England #1, Paul Robinson who many Gooners will remember fondly for picking balls out of his own net with Spurs.  Might he make a debut with hopes for a bit of revenge against his old enemy?  Given that we have more players recovering from injury and reintegrating into the squad would it be OK to only draw and face a replay up in Lancashire?

Many questions, many possible answers…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

83 thoughts on “Arsenal v Burnley: Starts for Alexis, Coquelin, Rosicky, Elneny? Who Should Play, You Pick the Team!

  • Well written 17 HTI have thought about this and come to the conclusion that I have absolutely no idea which side Wenger will select. I guess it will be a balance of
    1. Who the fans want to see. Elneny, Iwobi, maybe even Jeff
    2 players returning from injury. rosicky, Le Coq. Etc
    3 Fringe players who need game time, Chambers, Gabriel etc
    4. Players a little off form needing match time , Theo, Ox
    The one thing I would caution against is making to many changes. A couple of bad league games, a defeat by Barca and the season would be more or less over. Really important that we build some winning momentum.

    Paul Robinson must qualify for a bus pass?

  • Ah yes, it’s a great chance to rest key first-team players, and to give game time to fringe players and those back from injury.

    I’d definitely play Debuchy. He needs game time and Bellerin surely needs a break. Coquelin and Rosicky should also come back, and we can help play the Ox back into form up front where his strength and shooting power can be more effective. If it doesn’t work out we could always bring Welbeck on from the bench.

    So my selection would be:

    Debuchy – Gabriel – Chambers – Gibbs
    Coquelin – Elneny
    Iwobi – Rosicky – Alexis

  • my selection will give everyone who has not been given a chance a chance so they will want to do there best to get on the first team.

  • I like the choices you made. The only adjustment to I would make would be playing Couqlin with Elnany in the center, so they get used to playing together. The other change I suggest would be having Rosicky start in front of the holding midfield players as play maker. Alexis Rosicky and Campbell in the center mean unstoppable force against any team.
    Wenger confuses the game by playing Ramsey in the middle, but he is too selfish to be a playmaker, running with the ball aimlessly confusing the opposing team as well as his own and I blame this on the coach, Wenger should have corrected this 2-3 seasons back and help him achieve his potential. On the other hand, Rosicky is a top class player and at the present time Arsenal has 3 playmakers: Ozil, Carzola, and Rosicky. Of course the magnificent Alexis could play any position in the front.

  • Great post to get into the game, 17ho. ⚽️😀💥

    I reckon Wenger will play a very strong team because a) he cares about the FA cup and b) we need to regain momentum. So agreed with Retsubster.

    My predicted line up:

    Chambers – gabriel -Koz – Gibbs
    ——Elneny – Rosicky————-

    But if I get more than eight right I’ll be happy… 😳

  • Boss has confirmed Ospina starts and hinted Elneny in his plans, my prediction;

    Bellerin, Brazilan Keown, Koz, Gibbs
    Elneny/ Welsh wizard
    Campbell/ Ozil/ Sanchez

  • Great post HT. We are all learning to think like Arsene.

    1) 7 fringe players, Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Arteta, Ox, Iwobi.
    2) 3 from the physio just about long enough, Alexis, Rosicky, Coquelin.
    3) 1 new signing, Elneny.
    4) 11 first teamers, Per and co.

    2 pts out of 9 in the last three games means we cannot afford to loose, yet we need to rest some legs. Arsene must come up with a winner cocktail from the above 4 ingredients.


    Subs: Cech, Bel, Nacho, Coq, Camp, Ozil, Theo.

    Rambo and Flam for deserved rest. Camp takes over from Roza, Theo from Alexis, le Coq from Arteta. Score 3 – 0 home victory. To score; OG, Alexis and the Ox. Man of the Match – Alexis.

  • From a very predictable team selection last week, your post really highlighs how many uncertain choises there are all of sudden. However, I don’t think that there will be as many as 8 new starting players, since we truly want to win this match and Burnley should not be underestimated.
    Given our lack of back-up center back and right full back, I don’t think that Chambers will start as we need him as a reserve for both Bellerin and Kos & Gabriel, should anyone of those get injured. Nor do I think that Rosicky is deemed to be ready to start quite yet after such a long injury. If Coq returns, neither Jeff nor Iwobi are that likely to even make the bench. Thus, my guess is:
    Bellerin Gabriel Kos Gibbs
    Coq Elneny
    Walcott Özil Alexis
    (Cech, Chambers, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell & Ox)

  • This is a great chance to build some confidence, some really good team news today, do you think Coq, Sanchez, CR7 back and Welbz close to being ready, do you guys think this is the boost we need for a title charge!

  • Swedish P, good point about Chambers being back up to so many and therefore starting on the bench, but I still think he starts as he needs the game practice.

  • Evening fellas. Yes this is a really tough one to call. I agree with TA that we will want a strong side out, to ensure we build some winning mentality, but also a side with plenty of graft in it. We will want to ease some of the returning players back in, Coq most of all, without any kind of rushing – but we will want them to be prepared for the games coming. My pick therefore:

    Chambers, Gabby, Koz, Gibbs
    Elneny, Flam
    Rosicky, Rambo/Ox, Alexis

    This is not a game for Theo in my view (though hope I’m proved wrong and he scores a hatfull), and I’d like to see the Coq coming from the bench for a stint. Elneny I’d like to see, as would most of us, but I’d rather he didn’t have to take a sole DM responsibility in his first game (esp with a makeshift back 4) and his record is as much box to box as it is DM. If we want Coq back for next week, then we don’t need to rest Flam on Saturday, so why not start him and give the newcomer some cover?

    Rosicky as a start seems a bit unlikely I guess, and there may be too many in my line up that would need to be subbed. But I’d like to see him get 60 min, and I think we would see plenty of effort as well as talent on show with this mix. I could have Ozil in place of Rambo/Ox in this arrangement – he has had more rest after all; but I’d rather have the drive that comes with Ramsey and save Ozil for higher calibre opposition. Wenger is perhaps most likely to go with Ox in the CAM role, if he wants to rest more of the top 11 at least. I’d prob prefer the Ox on the bench, with the plan to bring Coq, Iwobi and Ox on as our subs, in place of Rosicky, Alexis and one of Flam/Elneny.

    Hey who knows. But a completely changed side would worry me I confess. They never seem to gell for us; we need a solid core with a couple of fresh players who really want to make a mark.

  • I would love for both Chambers and Rosicky to get well-needed match training, but my guess is that Wenger will prioritize getting Alexis, Coq and Elneny up to speed without risking either the back-four or the midfield with three new players.

  • Hey AB, long time since you have been on again! 🙂

    Good comment and I like your thinking re starting Flam next to Elneny… Makes sense to me. Lots of people have Ox starting, but I can’t get excited about that prospect.

  • It has about 100 000 persons, which makes it about the 10th city in Sweden. It has one of Scandinavia’s biggest universities, which supports a strong hospital and fairly knowledge-intensive companies. Then Tetra Pak and Alfa Laval are two internationally leading manufacturers that are big here.

  • Ah so there are plenty of high end employment opportunities, I guess.

    One of our regulars is an American professor based in New Zealand by the way.

  • Ryan Huddart could be set to be the substitute goalkeeper…
    My guess for the starting XI;
    Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Elneny, Arteta, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Giroud…

  • Elneny’s partner tonight might be Le Coq.
    Iwobi, I am not sure if starting him just behind the striker fits him. Ozil might be the one starting this though.
    The rest of the starting 11 will most likely be the same as 17ht’s.


  • Out of so many predicted line up Arteta’s name appears only three times, PE, xantho, and allezkev. Per our best CD passer of the ball will not play. Who from the MF would be dropping back to pick the ball from the CD for passing out from the back.
    Arteta is next only to Santi in that role. Santi is out.
    Elneny is still an untested quantity there.
    Coq will be eased back slowly so expect him not to start.
    Rambo is likely to be rested, and Flamini is not a great passer.
    Wenger values passing out from the rear, and that’s why the scale might tilt for Arteta.

    Our double pivot: Arteta and Elneny.

  • Wenger describes Elneny as something of a mix of Flamini and Ramsey. That sounds to me like Arteta with plenty of agility and a hair a lot less groomed. Like a little boy I just can’t wait to see the content of my wrapped winter gift.

  • Wenger said that Petr Cech is gonna be sub goalkeeper, according to Wengers presser, so I got that wrong…

    PE, I just thought Arteta for his experience and as a steady hand to help Elneny through his expected debut.
    But yes, his passing is an important asset…

    With Southampton coming up Tuesday, and that in terms of the EPL is very important, Arsene needs to to have fresh legs and minds.
    Koeman will make things very awkward…

  • 17ht.. Good Article..
    You used to choose almost right starting eleven many time.. But I don’t like your line up.. Hehehe..

    First, as we all knew.. Wenger won’t change his team more than 4 players.. You make 7 changes.. A very un-wenger..
    Second, Wenger said he will take FA very seriously and it’s hard to win with youngsters nowaday.. It’s confirmed that he won’t change a lot..
    Third, how come you and TA put Iwobi to replaced Ozil..?? We have Ramsey and Rosicky for that..

    But I agree with you for Gabriel and Kos.. I hope Gabriel and Koscielny will play together more often.. So. They can blend one another.. I think they’re our best CB.. It’s not about FA.. But also CL.. Barca is near, we must prepare for them..
    Elneny.. Everyone eager to watch him playing.. If Coq isn’t ready yet.. Then Arteta will be perfect partner for him.. But if Ozil play, then Ramsey will play along.. And I prefered it..
    Put Walcott as our CF then he will shine again.. Moreover if Giroud was really injured..
    Last, about Ospina.. Although I wish him get more playing time.. But if we remembered Wenger put Cech for COC.. Why will he put Ospina for FA..??

    So my team will be:
    Belerin – Gabriel – Koscielny – Gibbs
    Elneny – Ramsey
    Campbell – Ozil – Sanchez

  • Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez, Giroud.

  • Good attacking line up, Alexis loves playing Burney bagged 2 in last premier meeting, Giroud love’s a cup goal, I’m positive only a matter of time before Iwobi gets his 1st goal for the Gunners. I’m well pleased that Elneny starts in box to box role, Do you guys think Iwobi will play as our number ’10’? Really strong looking bench. I’m predicting 4-1 to the good guys, scorers Alexis 2, Giroud & Iwobi (a mazzy run and slips ball under keeper. COYG🤓

  • Other observation looking at today’s lineup, obvious Debuchey is now on is way out of club, can’t understand why a international would not want to be part of making something special happen this season.

  • Hi fellas, Cheers for the comments and the line-ups… Here are the full line-ups for both teams…

    Arsenal: Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny,Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Giroud. Subs: Cech, Monreal, Bellerin, Arteta, Rosicky, Walcott, Campbell.

    Burnley: Heaton, Darikwa, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Jones, Ulvestad, Arfield, Vokes, Gray. Subs: Robinson, Duff, Kightly, Taylor, Lowton, Barton, Hennings.

    Paul Robinson only makes the bench, but so too does Joey Barton…so maybe less pressure on the ref (Roger East)…

    How’d you do? I got 10 of 11 (Le Coq starts, Campbell to the bench) and 16 of 18 (Macey and Ramsey were wrong, Cech and Bellerin will dress…) which is MUCH better than I expected…

    Enjoy the match…

  • Arsenal starting XI: Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Giroud
    Arsenal substitutes: Cech, Monreal, Bellerin, Arteta, Rosicky, Walcott, Campbell

    Interesting starting XI…
    Really strong bench…
    Wonderful to see both Alexis and Coq start…

  • Apparently Elneny is playing well…
    According to a friend watching the game, in Malta…

  • Been told the Burnley goal was due to poor marking by Chambers…
    Not seen it, so 2nd hand info…
    A headed equaliser, but we’ve created a lot more opportunities…

    Been told that Chambers and Gibbs are marking space (zonal) instead of picking up the player…

  • So, no television in the UK?… What a thing… It still boggles my mind…

    My impression is that our guys are playing well or at least to how we might ‘expect’ them to play. Elneny moves smartly and doesn’t mind a bit of one-touch football–so long as it’s on his right foot… Some real nerves at the back with CBs used to a taller keeper, maybe…

    2nd half on and Iwobi is hurt keeping out a Burnley set piece that would otherwise have made it 2-1…

    I can do a bit of live-blog if folks would enjoy it….

  • 2-1 On the counter… Alexis finishes the nice cross from Ox… Gibbs, Iwobi (twice) and Giroud with fine contributions…

  • 17, I think that the Spurs early ko was on TV and there’s a late ko on the telly around 5/530’ish.
    But no buddy, no 3pm ko’s Ln the box…
    It’s normal over here…

    I often have to rely on friends in Austrailia and Malta to tell me what’s happening a few blocks away…

    We don’t need a replay mate…

    2-1 Alexis is back 😃

  • Ooooh… (Our) corner just cleared off the line… Kos would’ve been the goal scorer…

    Ox looking buoyed by his assist…

  • Important touch there from Le Coq in our box… Ox trying a long, cross field pass cannot quite find Alexis…

  • Another goal from this group would seal it, but I think it might require some subs…

    Former So’ton boys (Ox & Chambers) win a pair of corners…

  • Le Coq (left) has his shot blocked, Elneny hits it well (right foot) but easy for the keeper to catch…

  • Gray and Boyd have their way with us down our right… Kos forced into a tough clearance. Ospina grabs the corner…

  • Alexis hauled down after a great tackle from Le Coq… It seems excellent to have them both back but they also both look not quite fit for the full 90, esp. if they want to play on Tuesday…

    Subs please…

  • Elneny moving into space fluffs his finish… Flams would’ve buried it… 😀

    Joey Barton on for Burnley…

  • Iwobi, Alexis and Giroud work a slow motion counter but the final pass from Giroud back to Alexis finds a defender…

    I would like to see subs but the group appears they could score another, maybe…

  • Sicky looks bright with his first couple of touches…

    Kos gets yellow and gives a FK 40 yards out… Barton wastes it…

    We’re in the 75th so maybe we need to go a few more (or get another goal) before we see the final sub…

  • Seems likely to me, kev…

    Oooh…Ox after a bunch of nice work, mostly with Elneny, hits his shot into Row Z…

  • Bit of a chance there for Burnley with Gabriel looking a bit BFGesque trailing Gray…The Burnley striker doesn’t hit it cleanly and didn’t play for the pen…

    Arteta AND Gibbs down hurt… Gibbs’ looks serious…

  • Time-wasting only, it appears… 2 of the 4 extra have been played… Now Giroud holding his ankle…

  • Theo and the Ox do some interesting work down the right but Elneny’s hit from the top of the box goes well wide… He’s a shooter, however…

    Joey Barton grabs Arteta in typical fashion…Didn’t grind out his ciggie in his face, at least…

    Theo, with only the keeper to beat cannot round Heaton…

    And Burnley get a small chance down our end before the whistle blows…

    Finishes 2-1, into the round of 16…

  • Looked like Kos hurt himself on that final play… Theo’s fault for not scoring at the other end…

    Anyhow, I know what I think of that one, but others can piece it together from the highlights…

    Plenty of our guys hobbling around a bit, hopefully nothing too serious ahead of So’ton on Tuesday, though the squad does seem much, much deeper with Alexis and Le Coq back in the frame…Sicky and Elneny too… Shame about the news on Jack, however…

  • 17ht.. I salute you for your accuracy guest for our starting eleven.. You seem have so many information about our team..

    So who will play for Wednesday against Soton..?? Hehehe..

  • Match Preview on Monday, most likely, Henry… Did you get to see the match?

    I’ve been watching a lot of Sherlock Holmes lately so I try to deduce things… No insider info for me… but cheers, eh…

    Anybody get to watch Barca-Atletico Madrid?

  • Hello, people! 🙂

    A solid run-out today and a replay avoided. We needed a victory and teams like Burnley tend to play a lot of physical football which is not what we like.

    Ospina – made a good save in the first half. Couldn’t do much about the goal.

    Chambers – brilliant goal but partially at fault for their goal.

    Gabriel – shares the blame for the goal with Chambers. Looked a bit unsettled next to Koscielny.

    Koscielny – he looks like he has been in some sort of depression since The Boxing Day. Made a crucial intervention in the last minute though.

    Gibbs – tackled Coquelin before their goal. Nacho can sleep tight.

    Coquelin – still rusty but it’s great to have him back.

    Elneny – he is yet to adjust to English football. He was pretty much always the second best in duels. However, he covered the pitch like a “perpetuum mobile” and doesn’t hesitate to take a shot which is a good thing. His passing game is Arsenal-esque and the way he offers his team-mates an option to pass to makes him a rather exciting prospect. He could try to use his left peg though. Also, a positive thing is that he actually played two different positions with Coquelin on the pitch and once Coquelin was substituted.

    Ox – created a goal and should have had two assists by his name had Walcott finished the counter-attack properly. He was wasteful with corners but overall, he looked better than in his previous outings.

    Iwobi – such an exciting prospect. He is far from being a finished article but his touch is so special. Maureen apparently said that he could say when Özil hit the ball only by sound of it. Iwobi has some of his uncle’s talent – Jay-Jay Okocha was a real artist with the ball. Iwobi played an important role in our winning goal but he should use his namesake’s current struggle with form as a warning.

    Alexis – MoTM, head and shoulders above any other player on the pitch. A world-class player.

    Giroud – fought a rather difficult battle with their central defenders. Things didn’t work for him, especially at set-pieces where he didn’t have 1) Özil to make a proper delivery and 2) Per to distract one of the defenders and open space for Giroud’s powerful header.

    Rosicky – I love him. It was great to see him back. Still needs match fitness to recover sharpness.

    Arteta – didn’t screw up anything and made one solid defensive action.

    Theo – well… Oh Theo. He either denied Elneny a goal on his debut or another assist for Ox. He has to improve his goal-scoring record if he wants to call himself a striker.

    Arsene – a positive game, a good rotation, good substitutions. Kudos for giving Mesut and Aaron a rest before dealing with Wanyama on Tuesday night.

  • Watched the full game last night.

    Positive game, but we still are unable to deal with teams pressing and running at us.

    Elneny is more than Rambo, some sort of a supercharged Rambo than a supercharged Arteta.

    He seemed to like the way we play, but is a little wasteful at giving balls away but overall he is good.

    Le Coq has a quiet game, but he showed glimpses of his old self. Positive but we will see.

    Kos and Gabby cannot play together. They have to rotate among themselves and paired with Per, as Per brings stability to the defense.

    Through to the next round, but i wouldwant things to be better than today.


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