Rambo Nr10, Xhaka/Elneny in DM Pivot, Akpom CF, Iwobi/Alexis on Wings: Preview and Line-Up

Arsenal v Man City Friendly

We played an eclectic lot of pre-season friendly teams until now, but today we will face one of the key competitors for the PL title. As such, this is one to look forward to even though it is just a friendly. Let’s face it, Wenger and Guardiola have more respect for each other than Ant and Dec, and there is every chance this game will finish in an amical draw.

However, this is of course not about the score but about the key battles, and against a Guardiola team the battle of battles takes part in midfield. As such, I am looking forward to how our boys will manage now that they will face very tough midfield opposition. No doubt our makeshift defence will be tested too and our attackers will have to find a much needed sharpness, but this is all about winning the midfield battle.

There is a big chance Coq will be partnered with Xhaka to form a formidable defensive wall from which the Swiss Uber-Passer can deliver his deadly through-balls and diagonal pitch slicers.  I am hoping to see Elneny start in this one, though, as the partnership between him and Xhaka is the one I want to see tested the most.

I have a feeling that Rambo will be given an opportunity to shine in the hole, and that would be something to look forward to. It would be nice for Wenger to try him out behind the striker in a free role, with two fast and furious, technically gifted attackers on each side of him. Let’s play Iwobi and Sanchez on the wings to support our full backs and also provide a real threat going forward. Up top I would be happy to see Theo start in this one, but I have a feeling Akpom will get a fine chance to show what he is capable of.

arsenal v MC friendly

Predicting line-ups for friendlies is of course really hard, so I went more for the one I would go for than what Wenger might opt for.

Let the battle of the midfield commence!

By TotalArsenal.

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9 Responses to Rambo Nr10, Xhaka/Elneny in DM Pivot, Akpom CF, Iwobi/Alexis on Wings: Preview and Line-Up

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Game will commence at 6pm, and can be watched on Arsenal.com and ITV.

  2. shrillex says:

    Finally a game we can use to judge the team. Honestly not convinced by our preseason performances so far, we were conceding far too many chances that might have proved costly in a PL game albeit us not having a full strength starting 11. With current performances, Im expecting us to lose this game tbh. But we’re the Arsenal, so I’m gonna go against my gut to say we’ll win. And Rambo at no.10 would be an interesting sight to behold.

    TA, out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on Iwobi at striker? My friend suggested that to me and it seemed like an interesting prospect.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Shrillex

    I reckon we mainly gave away chances when we were pushing up high and wanted a free for all on goal. But yes, defensively we need to improve and I reckon we will once Gabriel is back to full fitness (he always seems to need a few games to get going) and Koz joins him. We will also want to see our DMs playing closer to the defence today, which I am sure will be the case.

    Iwobi is a great talent and quite Henryesque in style and physical and technical abilities. I reckon he can play anywhere and be effective and I would hope he will play a big part in our coming season. As CF he appears the wrong type for Arsene’s style of play for us but who what will happen in the future. 🙂

  4. Gerry says:

    Following on from the previous post, on who fits where, and some ….as this one is for real.
    So we may get some clues as to how we stand, and it does not cost us points?.
    You are really in the groove TA, keep it up!

    Rather than guess what AW will do, I’ll put my thoughts towards what this test might reveal, good or bad. Then add just a little of what AW has been doing up to now.
    With Cech in goal, I think the Holding-Bielik pair may start, so he gets to see if the latter can handle it?
    Again, the midfield could look different using the same players. But I would have Iwobi and Elneny on the right, but the latter paired with Xahka, and the Iwobi, Ramsey, Alexis trio behind the striker.
    However, the pattern has been to have one experienced guy kept back for the second half, and I think this will be Alexis. Therefore replace him with Campbell in the first half, or probably an hour? This would mean either Walcott or Akpom switching at half time?
    Personally I would like to see Ox, Akpom, and Alexis combination, prompted by Cazorla, just to see if that could be a workable and fluid line up?
    I am guessing that the likes Willock and Zelalem will get less time in this game as we work towards a blueprint for the opener? It will be interesting if Jeff R-A gets more time than that pair, say replacing Ramsey at HT? Particularly if Ramsey is on a slow burner after coming back off a lay-off?

    Unfortunately, Pep might use his subs to try and win the game, whereas AW will stick to a pre-planned format, barring injuries? I will happily concede bragging rights if it helps sort out combinations that that work. But if they work well enough, we may get the bragging rights as well?
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Good one, Gerry, and all those players and combinations would be welcome to me. I reckon that when we play a tougher team in a friendly, Arsene likes to start strong and then do subs in the second half. It is the sort of the game in which the first half is the most important and the second half is more experimental. But we will see and all practice is of course welcome. COYG!!

    And come on you Foxes 😉

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Holding, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Iwobi; Alexis

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    9/11 not bad. Looks like Ramsey will play in the hole behind Alexis as CF…. with the Ox and Iwobi on the wings. Coq and Xhaka to provide the steel, and back five as predicted! COYGs 🙂

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    New post ⚽️

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