Holding/Koz, Xhaka/Santi, Perez/Giroud/Theo to Start v Saints: Predicted Arsenal Line-Up

I guess the one good thing about the international break is that we look even more forward to the weekend Arsenal game than normal. Add to this the fact that Mustafi and Perez have been training with the team this week, and with that prompting rumours of them both starting, and we are even more excited about our home game against the Saints.

I watched Southampton against MU a few weeks ago and was very impressed with their style of football. They had plenty of half-chances but lacked the quality up front to hurt the Mancs. For a long time the Saints were in the game but then fellow Dutchman, Jordie Clasie, gave away a very bad, unforced penalty and the game was lost. Let’s hope they are as generous with mistakes on Saturday as they were then.

The Saints pass the ball round well and will give us a game in midfield: a battle we must win if we want to take three points from this encounter. So it is important to get the double DM pivot right. I am tempted to play Elneny next to either Xhaka or Coq as he is brilliant in terms of making himself available for a pass and then not losing the ball. For me this will be key.

Having said that, I reckon we could start with Santi as we are playing at home, as long as he is prepared to stay deep when required. Getting this balance right will be vital. I am going to go with both Xhaka and Santi as they add so much to our attacking play and I am hoping we will be able to press Southampton well back into their own half for most of the time. This would suit the three football geniuses Granit, Santi and Mesut very, very well.

I have a feeling that Alexis will be on the bench for this one. After such a long flight it would be wise to rest the Chilean firecracker as we have a massive CL game in midweek. This should allow Arsene to give Perez a debut, and I reckon it will be on the left, with Giroud as our CF and Theo on the other flank. Wenger may start with the Ox on the left and then give Perez a chance later on, but I somehow feel he will opt for the newly acquired Spaniard.

submit football lineup

At the back I reckon Wenger will stick with Holding and Koz for this one. Young Holding has been doing very well and I think Wenger will want to ease Mustafi in. I guess it will also be a nice confidence boost for Holding if he is not taken out of the starting eleven straightaway.

So there you have my predicted starting eleven for Saturday’s game. Of course we will find out more about fitness levels and injuries of our players during tomorrow’s press conference, which may change my predictions, but for now this is what I am going for.

How would you line up the team?

By TotalArsenal.

18 thoughts on “Holding/Koz, Xhaka/Santi, Perez/Giroud/Theo to Start v Saints: Predicted Arsenal Line-Up

  • This is the match day squad I’m hoping to see for the match vs the Saints:

    GK – Cech
    RB – Debuchy
    CB – Mustafi
    CB – Koscielny
    LB – Monreal
    CDM – Xhaka
    CDM – Cazorla
    CAM – Ozil
    RW – Walcott
    CF – Sanchez
    LW – Perez

    GK – Martinez
    RB – Bellerin
    CD – Holding
    LB – Gibbs
    CDM – Coquelin
    CDM/W – Ramsey
    CF – Giroud

  • Bellerin vs Debuchy is a tough one TA but I prefer Debuchy as I think he is the better defender.

  • Bellerin vs Debuchy is a tough one TA, but I prefer Debuchy because I think he is the better defender and they are about pretty comparable in attack.

  • You make some good points TA about the Holding vs Mustafi selection choice for the Southampton match. The young Englishman has performed quite well to start the season and it would be somewhat tough to drop him. I’ve gone with Mustafi because again I think he is the better defender but if Holding was selected I think he would do a fine job.

  • The Cazorla vs Ramsey battle is another tough choice. I’ve gone with Cazorla as I think he in contrast to Ramsey provides Arsenal’s midfield and defence with greater defensive stability when deployed in a central defensive midfield role (despite Ramsey being a more effective tackler). That said, Ramsey’s counterattacking exploits might be well suited against a Southampton team who like to monopolise possession of the ball in their opponent’s half.

  • Considering all the reasons you give for your line-up, in particular Alexis and Holding, I have to agree with your selection Total…

    Mustafi to debut in Paris perhaps…

    Having so many talented alternatives is the best motivational tool any manager can have.
    Being strong enough to be able to send a player like Jack out on loan certainly sends a message to our players. Basically is says perform or there’s a couple of players who’ll do it in your place.

  • TA, the options you have taken are logical and the team presented is an exciting one. The only snag is that there are also other options quite as logical that do present equally good XI. Testament to a great squad.

    Even Wenger does not know his 1st eleven assuming there is anything like 1st eleven with this collection of players.

    Imo, the main factor playing in Wenger’s mind would be the successful navigation of the 6 games we will be playing in 18 days. I expect his general strategy to be an intelligent rotation from this collection of equals. Of course within it would be particular strategies for each match as they come.

    Based on this line of thinking I expect to see this line up.


    Bench: Osp, Deb, Gibs, Holdn, xhak, Sanchz, Perez

  • PSG is a tiki-taka team. I expect Wenger to field a team with plenty of pace for counters backed by our best ball supplyers. I expect Xhaka, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott and Perez to start on Tuesday night.

  • Kev, good point re our strength. Let’s see how many points Jack, Flam, Chambers will take from our title contenders this season 😀⚽️✨

  • Stepping into full ‘game mode’ TA. Nice.
    Regards the last post, I think you were right that the ‘Interlull’ presented a numbess which left people with little to say. The repetitive posts from other blogs sort of proves the point?

    Worrying post this morning suggests that ‘King Kos’ could talk to other clubs in January? Based on him being in the final year of his contract, and AW reluctant to offer lucrative contracts to the over 30’s? Bacary Sagna anyone? There are echoes here. He was looking for being rewarded for seeing out his previous 5 year deal, which saw him lose out big time, as others got better deals while he recovered from serious leg breaks whilst serving the Arsenal cause. No surprise then, when the club stalled om negotiations that he looked elsewhere? I fear the same could happen here, if he hasn’t already been ‘tapped up’?
    Note to the club! Bacary Sagna is still playing at the top level 3 years on. Reward Kos Now!

    Having got that off my chest, I turn to the current selection problem. And it is a problem. Alexis being just one of them. He too is pushing for a new deal/exit, and we know he only likes to play … even after a long haul flight. Will AW stand him down in favour of the new boy? I doubt it.
    Another problem is Giroud. He should be fitter now, but is he sharp enough? I can see him coming off the bench, with Theo.
    This opens up the space for another midfielder, and use Cazorla as the edge of the box striker, when Ozil is operating wider?
    Even the back four may see a changes, with Gibbs stepping in for Monreal? Another one with ‘future concerns’, and it could give Monreal the extra time before the PSG match?
    Then Mustafi or not Mustafi? I am in the ‘must have he’ camp …(too good an opportunity to waste the pun 😀 ). I think Kos will appreciate an organiser alongside him, so he can concentrate on his game. Best try it out in this game than have it go wrong in the CL one?
    Xhaka too, needs to bring his game under control, and the CL exclusion possibility could be a big persuader if AW cares to use it?

    I stress, these are only my thoughts, with the reasons behind them. Your reasoning is of course equally valid. As, no doubt will be AW’s.
    Therefore, with one eye on the CL game, and the need to control the midfield, I would go with:
    Bells, Musthavim, KK, Gibbs.
    Granite, as in the rock.
    El Nino, as in blowing hot everywhere. Santi,dispensing gifts to all in red and white.
    Ozil, mesulting the opposition senseless.
    Perez, or should that be Peerlezz in front of goal. Alexis, showing off all his Messi and Ronaldo skills as best he can … for an hour at least?

    Subs: the usual suspects, minus the ones who are playing in the Under 23’s tonight.

    My final plug for the Under 23’s league. They are scheduled to play Mondays and Fridays, and sometimes both. Home games will be covered by the Arsenal player and others, occasionally by BT Sport. It is not only our sides that will feature quality Premier League players, all the other clubs will too. Tonight we play Chelsea! Should be a great appetiser for the resumption of our league games.
    It will be a tough league, and it will certainly shape those youngsters that survive it. It should also mean they can walk into a first team game without fear. It will also show up others that either need more (growing) time, or perhaps need to lower their sights a little?
    I suspect that when Arsenal are away at the weekends there will be big crowds attending these games, which will be relatively cheap and cheerful.

    Welcome to the new season proper. It starts here!


  • Hi all..
    TA.. our team will be depended on how important Wenger see CL against PSG..
    For me it will be very important.. and I think Giroud and Sanchez will be benched.. Ramsey still injured.. isn’t he..??
    So we will see Perez as our CF with Walcott and Ox as our winger..
    Xhaka – Cazorla – Ozil will keep our midfield alive.. Elneny maybe picked to replaced one of them..
    I like to see Mustafi tomorrow.. but I think CL must come first. But maybe playing him in secondhalf will fire him to Wednesday against PSG..

    So my team will be :
    Bellerin – Holding – Koscielny – Monreal
    Cazorla – Xhaka
    Walcott – Perez – Ox

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