Viking FK v Arsenal Line-Up: Rambo & Xhaka to feed Alexis, Akpom and Theo?

Viking FK v Arsenal Friendly – The Gunners ready to battle it out with the Vikings of Stavenger

I don’t know about you, but I am enjoying our pre-season friendlies until now. Holding is the big surprise of course, but Ox has played well too and Xhaka has been a joy to watch. Furthermore, Elneny has been in very fine form and Le Coq is fighting for his life to make the first eleven once again. Santi looked more silky than rusty against Chivas and Akpom is finding the net with some ease at the moment. It has also been good to see the youngsters knocking hard on the door and not looking out of place in our pre-season team. And our full backs are bombing forward and producing assists, and that is also music to our ears.

I don’t know much about Viking FK and would like to invite our fellow Norwegian Gooners to give us some background info.

Viking FK were founded in 1899 and are one of the best Norwegian clubs historically having won the title eight times, even though they have not won the league for about 25 years. They are in the middle of the Norwegian top league season and will be playing again on Sunday, so it remains to be seen how serious they will take the match on Friday. The good thing is we will face a fully fit team that will not find it hard to get going against us. And that is what we need if we want to test out players and key elements of our game for the coming season.

It is hard to predict who will start. I have a feeling that Wenger will play his first choice players for our last friendly game against the Northern Oilers and, therefore, will start some of the ‘second choice’ players on Friday. He will also like to give Rambo and Alexis an opportunity to get some game time but I doubt they will last more than 45 minutes. I reckon Arsene wants to combine Holding and Bielik at least one more time before our game against Pool in ten days time. Chambers at right back is a guess and another start for Gibbs is on the cards too.

The most exciting bit is who will be playing in midfield. I predict a rest for Le Coq and a start of Elneny, with Xhaka and Rambo playing slightly in front of the Egyptian. I cannot wait to see these three work together.

Our attack is another guess. Theo has asked to play on the right as much as possible from now on, which I think is a good decision. Let’s start him there which gives Arsene the opportunity to start Akpom as our CF. On the left we should expect Alexis to start, or to come on later if Wenger really wants to ease him back in – with a start for Iwobi in that case. The combination of Theo – Akpom – Alexis up-front, being fed from behind by the multi-talented midfielders of Rambo, Xhaka and Elneny is a mouthwatering prospect.

Predicted Line-Up

football formation

The game can be watched on so don’t miss it – kick off 7.30 pm on Friday 5 August.


By TotalArsenal

15 thoughts on “Viking FK v Arsenal Line-Up: Rambo & Xhaka to feed Alexis, Akpom and Theo?

  • I see two problems with that ile-up. One: Chambers lack pace and cannot be trusted at RB, two: Theo has done nothing (in play) to justify a runout. What about giving it to somebody else, say, Campbell – has he done something wrong? Or should we continue rewarding not-trying or lack of confidence or whatever. This is my view.

  • Hi TA,

    I expect Debuchy to continue in RB position, if Bells is not ready yet.
    Theo must be able to work with Debuchy or Bells to make the RW his position, if he can better Ox and Rambo.

    For now, we are not really seeing a concrete starting 11 against Liv in the defensive area. Maybe against Citeh we are able to have a better idea who Wenger will start.

    My Starting 11 for Friday’s match:
    Debuchy Holding Chambers Nacho
    Xhaka Elneny
    Rambo Akpom Alexis

    This is quite a strong lineup, and this might be the actual lineup bar a couple of spots for the PL starting game.


  • Is Gabriel still out with tonsillitis? What of Sanogo? Could he be in the team now? (Why didn’t he make the US tour? Was he injured, or just not deemed good/ready enough to go along?)

    I’m not sure who starts, but I expect you’re right, to an extent, about this being a game for the second choice players. Maybe we’ll even see Willock start. I would actually like to see Akpom start against ManCity. Should give us a better idea of where he stands and whether he should start against Liverpool. If Sanogo is available, I’d play him against Viking. If not, let Walcott continue, or play Campbell there. Especially if Alexis is going to play on the wings.

    Just two more games to go, and then we’re into the season. Can’t wait.

  • I think you are right TA, playing a side mid season who have a league game to follow, is difficult to weigh up the intensity and desire? Both sides will look to avoid injuries, so I expect full use of subs by both teams. So a starting 11 is a puzzle indeed.
    You have made a good stab at it though, and being able to watch it with the full camera angles deployed is an added attraction.
    My thoughts are these; AW has two ways of reintroducing players back into action, either a set 15-20 minutes at the end, or a 45 minute start. It depends on what they have been showing on their overall fitness level upon their return?
    I think Alexis, despite what he may think, may only make the bench as an unused sub. If I remember rightly, not only did he have a hard Copa America tournament all the way to the final, but also a serious ankle injury to boot. He was then likely to miss the opening two games?
    I say again, despite what he thinks, I don’t think the club will rush him back as it may have longer term implications …. Final 20 minutes?
    Yes, I cam see Ramsey doing the first 45, as that partnership with Xhaka, or behind the striker in the No10 role, will be key to many other decisions as the season unfolds
    …..Please JK, don’t put ‘Ramsey’ and ‘Right Wing’ in the same sentence, I beg. 😀 😀 😀

    At this moment in time it is a job to keep track of who might be available, as the tour squad list tends to be invisible on the official website, so I don’t know if Gabriel has cleared his throat yet? in fact they only name three that will not be taking part; Ozil, Giroud, and Koscielny, ergo, I assume Gabs will be available … even though we want to keep it a ‘Friendly’ :LOL:
    Which brings me to Debuchy???
    He is a bit of a loose cannon at the moment, whilst he is in the shop window, but I have noticed AW is alternating the stating line up at FB, so I think both Debuchy and Monreal to start?
    Big thing on the website with Alexis, as he is a big financial draw for the home crowd, but I still don’t think he will start, more likely against Man City?
    I think AW said Cazorla would not make the ‘Pool game either, so I can see him missing this one if there is an issue?
    No fitness concerns with Coquelin, but I think he may give way to Ramsey, partnering Elneny in front of Xhaka? For 45 mins at least. May be Chambers on the right with Gabriel, as the CBs?
    I am not saying these just to be different. These friendlies are there to test partnerships as well as fitness. Putting Chambers on the right side has not been tried yet. It also leaves the splendid Holding-Bielik pair to resume in the second half.
    I also think Theo might be left until the last 45, alternating Campbell as a starter(but not with Bellerin).
    It is hard to see Ox being left out, but I think he and Walcott will be the ‘experienced’ players coming on in the second half, and later, Alexis
    That leaves Akpom and Iwobi to fill out the front spots, and just may be Zelalem to start if Santi is not ready?
    In short, the first 45 will look like this:
    Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Monreal
    Elneny, Ramsey
    Campbell, Zelalem, Iwiobi

  • Hi all..
    Gerry.. TA.. I loved to watch Walcott at his best position.. but I don’t think tomorrow is the time.. honestly I don’t sure he will get that.. fell sad for him.
    He will play CF again, and this time will be his last chance.. I’m afraid of that..
    If he fail, then we will see Icardi next week.. hehehe..

    Gerry.. Ramsey can play wide.. hehehe..
    Yes he wasn’t a natural Winger.. but he proved us that he’s good there..
    That’s why in my last comment.. I like to see us playing 4-4-2.. So Ozil and Ramsey can playing flexibly in the middle and wide.. they both can do that..
    With Elneny and Xhaka behind them.. We can be relax about our defence.. hehehe..

    For tomorrow game.. I don’t really mind who will play.. Just wish the best for Walcott.. And wait for City’s game to see our best team.. Are they ready for the new PL or not..?? GO GUNNERS..

  • Morning guys 😀⚽️

    I am assuming Gabriel is still off sick at home, as I have not heard any other news about him.

    Shard, strange isn’t it re Sanogo…. Not a clue where he is and whether he is fit or not….

  • Total, cheese on toast with tomatoes are an absolute must when watching the Gunners on TV, washed down by a mug of tea – an Arsenal mug of course… 😃

  • Zelalem, Iwobi, Bielik,Willock, Akpom and The Jeff are in the squad for Scandinavia, along with Alexis and Ramsey

  • Ainsley Maitland Niles is also there. Just what they want, another midfielder …ha ha.

    Can they make 12 subs in a match?

    Seriously, he is probably the most experienced one of the loanees. Big problem though, he plays central or wide right, if I remember rightly? He deserves a chance to impress, at the very least.
    It will be a fun night spotting the changes?

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