Ozil, Theo, Alexis behind Giroud | Koz back | Xhaka/Elneny DMs: Big Guns to blow the Foxes Away

After a week of navel gazing,  dreaming of new signings and analysing the Liverpool defeat to death, it is time to look forward to the next game. In the end there are 111 points to play for, yet some make you believe it is already doom and gloom with Arsenal. There is no doubt in my mind that we will learn from last Sunday’s game and that the team will also sooner or later accept that they were simply blitzed in a short period of time. This sometimes happens in the game and overanalysing the, in the end, narrow defeat does nobody any good.

Upwards and onwards, and time to get the big guns out and make a statement.

The Foxes have two players it appears we have been interested in, and they both decided to stay with their club. An admirable decision in many ways as loyalty is such a rare thing nowadays, but it is now up to our boys to show them once and for all what they have missed out on.

I am all for giving players a rest, but after seeing the BFG get badly injured after a whole summer of no football, we have to conclude that avoiding injury is no hard science. We often rest players for a long time and then they still get injured almost as soon as they appear on the pitch.

What we do not want to do is send out a team that has confidence issues, and we need to give a strong performance on Saturday evening as well – and ideally come away with three points – so it is time to bring out the big Euros’ Guns and fire from all cylinders at the Foxes.

This would be my team for Saturday: 

submit football lineup

It is time to re-establish the Nacho-Koz partnership on our left hand side, as it was there where we were penetrated at will and which cost us very badly. Of course, I am worried that Koz might get injured but, as per above, there is no guarantee that he will not get injured straightaway if we rest him one or two more weeks.

On the right hand sight, I would keep Holding as he seems more assured and stronger in the air than Chambers. I also feel that the former Southampton man is struggling to make it at Arsenal and the next game is not one to grand him for gaining more confidence and form. I would also be happy to start Debuchy next to Koz, and this may well happen.

In front of the defence I would opt for the wall of Elneny and Xhaka, with the latter playing deepest and Elneny giving us extra protection whilst supporting our attackers as much as possible. Wenger may well opt to play Coquelin again, but I would love to see Granit start and spread his diagonal balls with the finest Swiss precision.

Up front it is time for Sanchez – Ozil – Theo and to put Giroud back as our holding CF. From a fitness point of view this might not be our strongest eleven to start with, but it would give the whole team a psychological lift from the start. And that is what we need more than anything else. After 45 or 60 minutes we can take off Ozil and Giroud and replace them with either Akpom, Campbell or Santi (moving Theo central); and if Koz gets tired we can bring on Gibbs and move Monreal into the left CB position.

That is what I would do, but I am not sure Arsene will go down the same path. However, I don’t think I will be far off.

What would your first eleven be for Saturday’s crunch game against the Foxes?

By TotalArsenal

This entry was posted in Attacking football, match preview, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Ozil, Theo, Alexis behind Giroud | Koz back | Xhaka/Elneny DMs: Big Guns to blow the Foxes Away

  1. AwayGunner says:

    Love it TA, I would hope we set up exactly as you’ve suggested. If so, I’m confident we will beat LCFC by 2 goals and it should go a long way to returning some positivity. The interesting part will be how the press will still find an underlying negative.. Ugh.

    Hope you all had a nice summer

    Cheers

    AG

  2. retsub1 says:

    T A given the resources available, agree with you all the way. As much as I blame Wenger for the centre back debacle, I do have a level of sympathy for him. It only takes Ozil, Giroud, Kos to get injured and he will get the blame for picking them. It’s somewhat of a catch 22 situation, but I believe we have to put our best team out.

    I don’t know what the situation was with Mahrez and Vardey but in these types of situations, you very oftenget headlines like. Xxxxxx shows Wenger why he chose to stay etc. We need to be extra careful here.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi AwayG 🙂

    The summer is still here in Scotland 😉

    We just have to learn to ignore the press. One day they will realise how important Wenger was for football over the last twenty years. In the meantime, let’s fight for every ball on the pitch and win as many games as possible. COYG

    What have you been up to this summer?

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Haha Retsub, let’s make the headline ‘They had the chance to become a Gunner but they did a runner LC 0 – 5 Arsenal..’ 🙂

  5. retsub1 says:

    Have been arguing with a good friend of mine about Leicesters key player last season. He says Mahrez, I say Kante. He may not be pretty but I think his ball winning skills were a key factor in their success.
    So continue with your theme let’s hope Leicester Kante do it.

    Hope Xhaka keeps his cool.

  6. TarnyC says:

    Hey, long time lurker first time commenter.
    I doubt Wenger will risk all 3 of our returning big guns in one match, and I believe he said something to that effect in the press conference. Kos will start for sure, but I think he will go with Santi behind Walcott with Alexis and Ox on the wings. Depending on how it goes he could bring Ozil and Giroud for a cameo or emergency reinforcements if things go wrong.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha like it; what about: Leicester Kante fool us two seasons in a row..

    The Vardy is over :Iamgoingnow:

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome Tarny 🙂

    How long has the lurking been going on, and where are you based?

    I reckon you may well be right re those changes but somehow feel that at least Giroud will start too (in addition to Koz). Santi for Ozil seems a very good call..

  9. Shard says:

    Leicester:The wound that mustn’t fester

    Sorry, I’m new to this.

    I don’t think we’ll see Giroud start. Or at least, I’d like to see him come on as a sub. I believe Kos will start, and I think either we start Ozil or we rest him because I don’t think he’s the sort of player who makes an impact off the bench. Unlike Giroud who is great at that.

    Wenger wouldn’t, but I’d be inclined to play Gibbs instead of Monreal. I keep saying I thought he had a better pre season than Nacho did, and I think he deserves a chance. But it isn’t the Wenger way to have a player give up his spot so quickly.

    Kos and Holding? Hmmm.. I still think it might be Kos and Chambers, but not too worried either way. Bellerin at RB.

    At Dm, I think against Leicester, we might be better off starting Coq. With Xhaka preferably, or Elneny depending on Xhaka’s fitness and readiness. Why? I’m not sure. It’s just that I feel Leicester aren’t the most sophisticated side and Coquelin seems to fit into that style of game very well. He’s also good at reading danger from the counter, which is what they are going to do to us.

    At AM, it depends on whether Ozil is fit, and how ready Santi and Jack are to play. Preference would be Ozil, but I suspect it might be Santi. Ox on one wing, Alexis on the other, and Theo up top. I’d drop Theo and play Campbell wide, but I suspect Theo is going to play to make the most of his form. If so, I’d want him away from the wings. Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Holding, Elneny, Wilshere (Or Santi if Ozil starts), Campbell, Giroud

    PS. Why can’t the British spell properly? Lester, Wooster, Gloster, Middlesbrough, Edinburgh, Fen-ick (the store), Suth-urk (Southwark on the london tube) but NorthWick.. How do you people know how to pronounce things? 😛

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one Shard 🙂

    The spelling of places and cities does my head in too. I read a book recently set in the 16th century and Edinburgh was simply ‘Embra’, much better.

    I must say that I did not agree with you when you were saying that Gibbs was doing better than Nacho but I am starting to agree that he should get a chance instead of the Spaniard..

    Koz Chambers would be okay too but I just don’t rate Chambers as premier league level, at least not for now.

    Good argument re using le Coq, even though he also has been putting in his feet quite aggressively recently and needs to control his emotions if he is to survive the battle with the Foxes.. Another Coq-Elneny would suit me fine though.

    Alexis – Theo – Ox with Santi in the hole does not excite me at all, but it could indeed be what Wenger will go for.

  11. retsub1 says:

    Shard love your British spelling. The US made a classic mistake of putting their embassy in
    Grosvenor Suare (pronounced Grovener)

    A good friend of mine is a London Cabby and he tells stories (not his) where tourists have ended up in the wrong place. My favourite was the Asians who wanted to see the Tutankamen exhibition and ended up in Tooting Common.

    I am sure Allezkev knows some good ones.

  12. davydavy says:

    Looking forward to this game immensely. It’s a good time to play them and I think three points are up for grabs here.

    In my view Leicester will set up defensively for this game after their defeat at the hands of Hull, so I would look to make changes from the line-up against Liverpool. First let’s bring in Ollie G to provide strength up front and a set piece threat, and also we should introduce the Ox (in place of Theo) for his ability to beat his man in a tight spot. Leicester will play mostly in their own half with two banks of four, and two pacy forwards hanging around halfway and chasing our defenders. The Ox and Santi can both defeat this system by being able to beat their marker and either shoot or release the ball. Santi’s been in great form this year, and it would be great to see him start.

    It might be one match too early for Ozil to also join in at this stage, so the front four in my view should be Giroud, then Ox – Santi – Alexis. Against Liverpool in the first half the Elneny/Coquelin combo looked pretty effective, so I think that AW might well start with them again, bringing on Granit Xhaka at some point when required.

    I see AW has confirmed that Kos will come back, so I guess Chambers will play beside him on the basis of seniority and experience? I like the look of the lad Holding though, so either one would be OK by me.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi davyx2 🙂

    How is NZ?

    You are also opting for the Ox, which is interesting. I am no big fan of him but he has been better in recent games and he is starting to score regularly which is what he really needed to do. So quite happy to see him start instead of Theo, or with Theo as per Shard’s line up. I would rather play Campbell though but that is a different story. 🙂

  14. allezkev says:

    Blimey I nearly choked on my cup of chai…

    Nice post Totalista, and I like that team, will the possible exception of Walcott, we can’t carry anyone at Leicester or Lester, so I’d go for Campbell.

    Right I’m off to smoke my Skimmelfennick… 😉

  15. davydavy says:

    Hi TA 🙂

    Thanks, we’re all good here in NZ.. It’s coming up to the end of winter here, so football moves from the local fields to the TV screen. It’s easier than ever before to see the Arsenal’s matches, and I’ve enjoyed the pre-season games and the Liverpool game. I felt Liverpool were very lucky to win against us, and if we just had another 10 or 20 minutes we would have taken it. But a great game to start our season and I feel that this might be our year.

    We have so much attacking talent coming through, as well as an in-form Gnabry coming back from the Olympics, so I’m really glad we didn’t sign Mahrez or Vardy. Although the Leicester lads are good players, I don’t want us to become the Bayern of England and steal players from other teams just because we are richer. Wouldn’t mind Draxler and another defender though!

    Good shout on Campbell because he was outstanding in pre-season and has a really good awareness of other players around him. He deserves to be getting more game time.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Kev 😀

    It all depends on Theo’s attitude from the start. As he got his goal against Pool, I reckon he could make the difference, but yes Campbell is the more balanced player and will be keen to take his chance again.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    It is weird to hear you are coming to the end of winter when it is the reverse here, Davyx2.

    I like the positive approach to missing out on Vardy and Mahrez and I also like it that we give our youthful attackers a space to break through into the team. I guess Gnabry does not need a rest and go straight into the squad, and with Iwobi out for a month he may feature against Watford.

  18. Shard says:

    It’s interesting on Gnabry.

    Wenger seemed to indicate in his press conference yesterday that he wants to keep him and extend his contract. But Sky Sports say Gnabry is to leave on loan to Hertha Berlin. Wenger’s words were vague enough that he could mean keep Gnabry in the longer sense, rather than this season, or even window.

    Personally, I’d want him to stay and get a chance. I think he’s better than Iwobi, and possibly, even the Ox. He’s got similar qualities to Ox (and Alexis) but seems more refined somehow. Ozil seems to like him too so there’s an added benefit.

    His challenge, if he does stay of course, will be interesting.He was well on his way to establishing himself in the first team before first injury, and then a bad loan at WBA took him out of the limelight. But now his challenge will be to do that all over again, not just against more senior players, but also players who are younger than him and just as hungry to make it.

    He should be high on confidence after his performance at the Olympics, especially if he can outshine Neymar and co. tomorrow and win the Gold.

  19. Shard says:

    Retsub

    Love the Tutenkamen story. Hilarious.

    Why do tourists in London take a cab though? I stick to the tube. It’s cheaper and more convenient. The only time I took a cab in London was the first time simply to cross it off the list (I made sure it was a black one with no ads on the sides), along with a red bus, and the red phone booth 🙂

  20. Waldo says:

    Hoping lessons are learnt from the Liverpool match both in terms of resting our Euro 16 contingent who were late to return from holidays and benching the defensively deficient Elneny.

    Hoping for the line up versus Leicester to read as follows:
    GK: Cech
    RB: Debuchy
    CB: Holding
    CB: Chambers
    LB: Monreal
    CDM: Xhaka
    CDM: Coquelin
    RW: Wilshere
    CAM: Sanchez
    LW: Ox
    ST: Walcott

    Solid defensive platform at the back and in central midfield, inverted dribbling wingers and a number 10 and striker who are willing to make off the ball attacking runs.

  21. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    TA.. I think all of your team will start.. but Ozil will only play for 50 to 60 minutes.. He is Wenger most precious players.. hehehe.. So he will be rested more.. Cazorla will come with full energy to guide us to victory..
    Ox will come late to replace either Walcott or Giroud.. But maybe both with Campbell in..

    I’m also think Holding will play.. instead of Chambers.. He played in the right last game.. And He played well.. So with Koscelny to guide him now.. he will be more solid..

    About Gnabri.. He will return strongly.. with full confident.. And agreed for not having another winger..
    I don’t really like Germany.. but I hope Gnabry will be the MOTM and kick Neynar ass.. hehehe..

    Any news about Takumo Asano..??

  22. shrillex says:

    Can’t wait for this game. I see Koz coming back, preferably paired with Holding/Debuchy over Calum. I remember when Debuchy stuck in at CB for us, solid player. Who knows, a change of position might just revive his career. On the other hand, Xhaka at CDM for me. I see us passing and probing through the Leicester defence, and who better to break the down than Xhaka. And Santi at no.10. Hopefully Ox gets his start. He’s been in great form and I would utilize it before it dies down.

  23. njk84sg says:

    I suspect that only Kos will start the game alongside Holding, with Alexis upfront and Santi in the attacking midfield.

    In the defensive mid, starting Xhaka is a little risky due to his tendency to go in at opponents, and Elneny and Le Coq will stay in DM, and I would like Le Coq to stick to the defenders.

    Ox and Theo should start at the wings, as I do not see other players there.

    JK

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    Happy Friday, folks… I even think there’s a match on at some point today (tonight) so be sure to get your fantasy squads settled before Pogba’s return to Manchester… Please play in Gerry’s league, eh. (Gerry, please put the code # up again, eh…) As per usual, I’ve started in tortoise fashion, kind of like my team (Arsenal) and the real football…

    Tomorrow the top two finishers in the league go at it. After losing on opening day, dropping further points would mean IT’S ALL OVER for either LC or Arsenal or both, at least in the eyes of the average supporter who seems to believe that the weather never changes. If it’s sunny today, sell the umbrellas; if it’s raining…today’s drops can only turn to cats and dogs…

    It’s most certainly raining in our part of North London, mostly because Arsene Wenger won’t spend 50 million pounds on the next Johnny Evans (or 30 million on the current one). It’s true, he doesn’t seem a manager for these times… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR7_TbMIVnA

    Anyhow, I don’t know who will be rushed back nor who will round out the starting group but this seems like a game that could get very crazy, very quickly and both teams may want to play it a lot more “cat & mouse” than the same fixture last season. We’ll see…

    “Cat & mouse” is one way to describe the strategy, another might be “keep away.” Leicester will be happy to have us on the ball and trying to break down their defense, esp. with Huth back from an opening day ban. As such, Ozil and Giroud would be very welcome additions to the starting group but I wonder if Wenger will prefer to keep them on the bench. Theo was in his pomp for this match a year ago so why not let him go up top or even REALLY take a punt on something wacky by starting Akpom for the surprise factor. Maybe Alexis AND Theo play as if they’re were two up top (or 6 in MF)…. Ox somewhere across the front? Maybe…

    Further back, the Santi/Coq axis has to be tempting the manager. Or will his new playthings, neither of whom, I’m pretty sure, has played against LC before (our home match came in mid-February, before AW was letting Elneny off the bench…) be the combo? We shall see. This seems the critical call as the back line more or less picks itself, all signs pointing to Chambers rather than Holding to pair (“Per”) with Kos… We need more Per-osity than porosity as Cech can’t stop all the crashes himself…

    I’m a busy boy today so I won’t try and spin the above into a real preview, TA. I should be able to “host” a live-blog, however, as the coffee kicks in tomorrow morning… Overall, it seems a massive game for us and I fear the negativity surrounding our club will be no match for the good feelings left over from LC’s 5000-1 shot that they actually finished (in style, by 10 full points) last season. We really cannot afford to open the season with two straight losses, can we?

    The answer is no, so we have to absorb their upbeat feeling and then turn it around to make the zero from the first 6 problem theirs rather than ours…

    Go on, then…

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    Mark Clattenburgh is the ref and he might be keen to show he’s no wimp (after the dismal Euro final) so sending offs are very (very) possible. To Xhaka or Not to Xhaka, that is the question… Holding? Chambers? Coq? Surely there are some puns to be made with names like that…

    Again… Go on, then…

  26. Admir says:

    I would go with Cech, Bellerin, Chambers, Koscielny, Nacho, Coq, Xhaka, Walcott, Mesut, Alexis and Giroud. Huth is back for Leicester and that means we need height at set-pieces (which I see as a problem if we get Mustafi; I’d rather sign Fonte or Van Dijk). Whilst neither Xhaka nor Coquelin have covered themselves with glory against Liverpool, Xhaka offers long passes forward and ability to switch the ball to either wing. That’s something Walcott and Alexis should welcome. Of course, there is a question whether Xhaka’s long passes and our installed routine that our every attack eventually gets directed by Mesut fit together but maybe it’s good for Mesut to get some of the creative burden off his shoulders.

    Our defence has to be careful and deny the space for Vardy’s runs while Alexis’ return to left wing should diminish the threat from Mahrez. Last season Nacho gave an excellent performance and denied Mahrez until the last five minutes when the victory was already sealed. However, it’s Vardy who nearly made it 2:0 for Leicester and Kos was lucky not to concede penalty with the last ditch-tackle.

    Prediction: 3:2 for Leicester, two goals from Vardy and one from another pacey striker Ahmed Musa. Oxlade-Chamberlain as a late substitute to get us one of the goals, the other one is reserved for Alexis (4 goals in two games at KP Stadium).

  27. henrychan says:

    17ht.. From what I read.. We never lost twice in our two first games.. since 92-93 season.. But interestingly.. 93-94 we were invincible..
    So.. I prefer we lost twice.. if next season we will be invincible again.. hehehe..

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Quick comments here… Henry: I’m pretty sure the invincible season was 03-04 so, if you’re happy to wait a decade…

    Admir: You should write some match previews for the site… And good to see that you’ve got your expectations already in check. They could be lowered further, I guess, if Wenger doesn’t start any of the returnees beyond Kos, which is what I’m expecting… You’re also correct that we were an inch from going down a 2nd goal (and a man) last season, so, even though the scoreline flattered us and it was a very pleasant romp, the margin was still very (very) fine. IMO… That match, in fact, had me believing more in the Leicester threat than less….

  29. henrychan says:

    Hehehe.. yeah3x.. 17ht.. You’re right..
    Sorry for my ignorance.. hahaha..
    How old am I now..?? Hehehe..

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Waldo, I like the inclusion of Jack. Hadnt thought about him, but would be nice to see him start.

    Admir, LOL, at least you come with your doom before a match for once? 😉

  31. Admir says:

    @17 – yes, Kos could have easily got a red card. I would opt for Chambers instead of Holding because he offers height and has more experience at this level than Holding, a guy who got relegated to League One. Rob will be a good one for tomorrow or day after that though.

    @TA – I did it before. 😉

    Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic scores again. Too bad he was too expensive for us last summer. 😦

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Ibrahimovic looks like a knackered Giroud to me, who does not have to do much in a typical Mourninho team. Saints have the better football but lack confidence up front. Could finish in a draw.

  33. Admir says:

    Ibrahimovic doubled the lead for The Hideous One(s). Yes, if there was only a world-class striker available this summer for a fee that Arsenal can afford…

    Oh, I forgot to write something that was a bit like an elephant in the room about the game against Liverpool and it could be important for the game against The Foxes.

    It’s not that we showed (again) that our players crumble under pressure, it’s not that our most experienced defender was the worst of four, it’s not that we conceded four goals in fifteen minutes or so, it’s not that (again) Wenger was outsmarted by the younger manager…that hit me the most. No. It’s the fact we couldn’t create a clear-cut chance after Chambers cut the gap to a single goal and there was about 15 minutes to go afterwards. Liverpool were supposed to be nervous and under a massive pressure after letting us back into the game…but they weren’t. We couldn’t put any fear in them.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    That was because of fatigue, Admir. Start of season

  35. FMJ14 says:

    Yep, I think it was mostly down to fatigue. Wenger like other managers have had to be cautious in selecting players that aren’t yet ready to come in and play. While I am disappointed we didn’t get a new defender early in the transfer window and bed him in, it has been quite a difficult window for many PL managers. Rather than fitness or personnel, which are important factors, It comes down more to collective mental readiness and team resilience through leadership. Although a tight league, with high quality players and teams in every position of the table, the players we have are top notch, and good enough to beat anyone with the right spirit. I think that gelling properly as a team after pre-season and entering into the real action can or at least will happen pretty soon. Also have high hopes for many of our youngsters this season that are coming through. The Jeff (a Vieira?), Akpom, Gnabry, Bielik, Holding? Some great potential there to back up the quality we have now. 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    It is a long season, FMJ, and we can get there… starting with a fecking brilliant performance tomorrow COYG! 🙂

  37. allezkev says:

    Not sure what to think of the Gnabry situation, despite Arsene saying that he has a future at Arsenal and he wants him to sign a new contract…
    I guess you could suspect that Serge is going to improve more at a Bundesliga Liga club than at an EPL club like West Brom. He’ll certainly get a better standard of coaching, but I can’t help but think that Serge is going to be sold sooner than later, eventually…

  38. Gerry says:

    Interesting diversion as the comments roll out …

    Gnabry’s situation may have got clearer if reports that Campbell is off to Portugal, Sporting Lizzie no less, on a season long loan. Yep, Another one! Personally. I think the style of play there will suit him very well, and I would not be at all surprised if he ended up staying there … if the rumour is true.

    Let us hope it is not just the financial mismanagement that has led to need to get Gnabry on a new contract. From what I understand, he is in his final year of contract and could leave next season for as little as 2m, as well as talk to other clubs in the January window? Whoever let him go to the Olympics clearly thought he would fail and they would be in a strong bargaining position should they want to ship him out on loan?
    Now of course, he will be in demand, more so if he scores in the final. From what I have seen, style of play around the box is very similar to that of what I saw in the Lyon game from Lacazette, and offers wing play to boot!
    Ooops, I forgot, after reading the comments above, the transfer window has already closed, and we did not sign anybody after all …
    But in the real world, if there is such a thing, after reading reading those honest appraisal of one of AW’s untouchables, I feel almost brave enough to say if Alexis really wants to leave, I’d happily say ‘Hello, Draxler’. But we still need a striker! I would tend to agree with AW that Lacazette isn’t worth more than 40m(sorry, my pound sign has gone awol) under normal circumstances, because of the lack of defensive support he gives, and which Giroud gives plenty. But if Gnabry stays, and the Lyon man arrives, he could learn a lot about finishing in a very short time?
    End of naval gazing …..

    I did not get around to reading this post until late last night, hence no comment prior to this.
    If I ignore, but not completely, that the Leicester players have shown “loyalty” … given one got his whacking great pay rise, and the other has said ‘he could leave for one of three clubs'(and could still do so – see a Pain In The Arsenal back number ‘Signing new contract changes nothing’, except fixes the price). Add the disquiet in the team about the wage differential, Kante leaving, Schlupp on the verge, are partly why Leicester need a result every bit as much as Arsenal do. Their home support will be interesting regards to Mahrez in particular, but also Drinkwater?
    From a team that looked like the 11 Muskateers, they are now more fragile individuals. Whether we can exploit that largely depends on both the balance and fitness of the team we put out.
    Like yourself TA, I will not bother to try and second guess AW’s team that starts. As with all the earlier comments, it is a very subjective matter. However, the Ramsey injury should be a warning about risking key players too early, and that may affect AW’s thinking? I think your team is far too ambitious right now.
    My thoughts would go along these lines:
    Cech – I would like to see him organise the defence better, particularly at set pieces. Huth is back!!
    Bells – Use him going forward, and have the DM’s do the covering.
    Holding – Why not?
    Chambers – With a bit more support than last time. The temptation to put in Kos might also lead to the temptation to leave him out there for the ninety?? Very risky.
    Monreal – Back to fullback duties. Okay with Gibbs starting, and Monreal covering the CB situation if Kos does not make the bench.

    Midfield is tricky, but
    Xhaka – Coquelin make the most sense to me. The former to grow into the game without trying to prove his worth inside the first 10 minutes. The latter to play deep and defensive, not a pseudo attacking creative midfielder. Both required to be available for outlet balls for the CB’s … and COVER!
    If there is any truth in the rumour that Santi is carrying an injury, then bench him, with Ox in his place. If he is fit, then he is the creative mid, with Ox to his right and Alexis to his left – interchangeable.
    Because I think Leicester are more vulnerable early on, I would start with Chuba Akpom. He is capable of winning headers from clearances, has the pace to worry Huth(into a penalty perhaps?), and if Alexis can get on the same wavelength that the other pair have, we have a major threat up front?
    Subs: Giroud, as much for his defensive duties when Leicester tend to get strong late on.
    Walcott for his pace on the counter(for Ox).
    Elneny for Santi(see above).
    One of those sacrificed if we need to hold on, Kos for the last 20.
    Ozil only gets a look in if absolutely necessary.
    Debuchy and Campbell saved for transfer moves.

    That is how my Fantasy Management would see it. I’ll comment more if AW is radically different. 😀

    Cheers,
    Gerry

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    I saw some of the Olympic footie games and the standard was well below PL level, so Gnabry doing well does not mean too much imo. He is a promising player but so was the Ox and it is sooo hard to break through properly on the wing. We have Iwobi who is the biggest talent in attack we have and I guess Wenger is holding on to the Ox cause he has not lost hope in him yet (and early signs are at least encouraging).

  40. Pony Eye says:

    TA, how I wish I do not add or subtract from your post. But we are not going to see Kos, Ozil and Giroud start. Wenger said as much.

    Kosh starts because of our CD crises. Giroud starts because the physical demands on a striker normally are less. Ozil starts on the bench and in his place Santi.

    Who starts alongside Kos at CD should be determined by the fact that Leicester is going to sit back and hit us on the counter with the pace of Vardy and Musa. Debuchy is the player for me.

    We need a penetrative passer at the pivot position, therefore Xhaka starts. Coq is faster than Eln, so Coq starts.

    Expected line up:

    ————Cech————-
    Bel—–Deb—-Kos—–Nach
    ———Coq—-Xhak——–
    Theo——-Santi——–Alexis
    ————-Giroud———–

    Bench: Ospina, Gibbs, Chambers, Elneny, Jack, Ozil, Ox.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers PE, nice and concise and clear 😀⚽️

    Do you really think Elneny is slower than Le Coq? I have not noticed this.

    I expect Le Coq and Elneny to start btw

  42. allezkev says:

    Working today, so 17tino/Total,mkeep me in the loop…

    I think we’re gonna win today, against all expectations many would think, but that’s what we do.

  43. Pony Eye says:

    TA, I was considering only tracking back speed against counter attack. To me, Coq would be more effective there than Elneny.

  44. Jnyc says:

    I like your line up T, If everybody is ready. But really, koz return couldnt have been sped up to one week earlier starting when mertesacker went down? Bad job by the club. May have cost us 3 points. Obviously I’m still annoyed. A win today could get me feeling better.

  45. Admir says:

    City won at Stoke 4:1, two goals by new signing Nolito so Pep has already matched Wenger’s record. But we have Sanogo so who cares.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Time to feck off Admir. You starting to annoy me with your childish shite.

  47. Admir says:

    OK. Bye.

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post 🙂

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