Starts for Ox, Gibbs, Perez and Xhaka? Arsenal v Basel Preview and Line-up

A home game in the CL is always something to look forward to. Wenger picks his best players and the quality of the football is usually very high. I don’t know much about the current Basel team but I expect them to be well organised and well drilled to defend as a unit and not give away much space where it matters most. I don’t expect them to totally park the bus and to press us high up the pitch regularly, though.

The home of football.

If Arsenal can start with the same focus, intensity and tempo as we did on Saturday, we should be able to control the game and hopefully create, and then take, the same number of opportunities. Key is of course not to underestimate our opponents and give our all to win this game.

It is always hard to predict a Wenger first 11 and I have no doubt that he will tweak the team a little bit to allow for some rotation and keep his wider squad players happy. Will Gibbs or Ox get a start against Basel for example? Hard to say. It is important that we do everything to win our home game against Basel as we need the points, so the first eleven should not differ much from Saturday’s team. I expect us to line up as follows:


Ospina in goal, same back four but with maybe a start for Gibbs, Xhaka to replace the injured Coq (potentially not more than just three weeks out), Alexis up top, Ozil in the hole, Theo on the right wing and either Iwobi or Ox on the left wing. There is a small chance that Perez starts instead of Alexis, but I don’t think the Chilean will allow it! 😉

Looking forward to this one.


Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!

By TotalArsenal


41 thoughts on “Starts for Ox, Gibbs, Perez and Xhaka? Arsenal v Basel Preview and Line-up

  • TA,

    If Nacho is fit, I do not see Gibbs starting.
    Perez might start in place of Alexis, and I want Alexis to be fully rested.


  • Hi all..
    Excellent post TA.. it’s Champion’s time.. forget about PL for a while.. hehehe..
    Basel is a solid rock.. and yes will be a like parking bus team.. So we need more creativity here.. but our team will sure provide that creativity we need.. I love it.. hehehe..

    As you always said OGAAT.. No need to worry about Burnley.. We really get a very good schedule.. We will face them in the last game on Sunday.. So everybody will have more time to rest.. and We still have a great second team players.. So the team will be exactly the same team that beaten the Chav.. Never change the winning team.. is it right..?? Hehehe.. So Perez, Ox, Giroud and Gibbs will be on bench list.. We can playing them all against Burnley if needed.

    Xhaka against Xhaka.. funny thing happened again after Euro.. hehehe.. Two brother with different team and different Nationality.. Can only happened in football world.. hehehe..

    Half Basel team is Swiss team also.. Xhaka know them best.. he is their captain.. Elneny also know them well.. 8 months ago he still playing with them all.. It will be a big reunion for both of them.. Interestingly I think Elneny came to Basel to replaced Xhaka. And now both Basel best DM is our.. So if Xhaka and Elneny playing together as our double pivot, it will be very interesting..
    And that also mean Cazorla can lead our team against Burnley to be our #10 if Ozil rest.. How I loved to watch him as our AM than DM.. hehehe..

    So if Spurs win.. We will also win.. If they win only one goal.. We will do more.. at least two goals.. hehehhe.. And Basel will be a big test for us against a parking bus team.. Can’t wait till night..

  • Sorry.. No Giroud for tonight.. He got red card before against PSG.. So Perez can play in last 25 minutes to replace Sanchez or Iwobi.. With his speed and Xhaka’s long ball.. He will score tonight.. hehehe..

  • TA, I go with your 1st eleven but not with the possible changes.

    I agree with Henrychan…..all things being equal why change a winning team that has just gelled perfectly as demonstated in our last match against Chlsea. I expect Ospina to be the only change.

    It should be expected that Wenger would want to capitalize on the current confidence of this XI to infuse consistency into their quality. To begin to chop and change immediately could scramble that quality.

    Luckily the 4 day minìmum requirement for sufficient recovery between matches is met here in the matches against Chl — Basel — Burnley. After Burnley comes the international brake. Therefore we have only two matches for this XI to gel further before the brake. Those two matches must be utilized for this XI while we hope that level of gelling would not have vanished by the time the players reassemble after the brake.

  • Morning friends from Singapore, Indonesia and Nigeria 😀⚽️

    I am more than happy to start with same eleven but expect Wenger to tweak it a little bit, as he likes to surprise us.

  • On a recovery mission here, as I skipped the excellent Double D post.
    I did give him a mention in my comment on the previous post….

    Today is another day, and another post. Thanks to Henrychan for reminding me about Giro’s ban, as it has saved me endless scribblings about a non event. Cheers hehehe 😀

    Just a quick diversion on that. We do need Giroud, even if it is more of a Plan B, a plan b that will be used quite regularly once AW can get the best out of both types of line ups. I am hoping that Perez will gel with him better than Alexis, because of they can move comfortably to opposite sides of the goal. That is rather than both converging on the same space on the left? This will also open up space in the middle, around the edge of the box for the likes of Cazorla, Xhaka, or Ozil to take a shot? Those are my thoughts on the Giroud debate, but it will require more than just a couple of changes to get the balance right.

    For this game, I am guessing that it will not be much different from the team that was playing after Coquelin’s injury. Although I do see a lot of merit in having Gibbs on in front of Monreal. See previous, previous post for that reasoning, and who he might replace.

    Without Coquelin we do look a different team. Yes, he has had licence to get forward, but he does have more pace than Santi to get back. At the very least I would expect a change, either way round, of Elneny and Cazorla., with the latter coming on if Gibbs plays the double role with Monreal. You see, I don’t mind if it is nil-nil at half time because there should be enough fire power to seal in the second half. Patience will be rewarded.

    There are a few certainties in life, but I think the idea that Alexis will not take a rest in the CL is one, and AW keeping his word to Ospina is another, so he plays.

    I think you have summed up Basel’s needs very well in the Post TA. Luckily we should have a lot of info on who to watch out for, via their ex’s? They will plan on keeping up out, but equally snatch an away goal should it come down to a head to head as to who goes through? That is why I make the case for Gibbs in the advanced role? For those not keeping up with previous submissions, in place of Iwobi. At least for an hour.
    However, I don’t see Ox getting a start here, particularly on the left side. More likely for Theo next game if Burnley go for the same hard line tactics that they did against Watford. You see OGAAT is fine in principle if you are focusing on a the closing stages of a league title. Here and now we have two objectives, and either on can impact on the other? Hence the need to take both requirements into consideration.

    If I am right in thinking that AW will also think that, then a triple subbing at nil-nil with 25 minutes to go could mean Santi, Iwobi, Perez on for Elneny, Theo and Alexis/Gibbs/Monreal? Probably Santi Perez first, and Iwobi if needed?

    Good for a win as long as nobody gets careless with a European referee?


  • Two points of interest on the BBC news:
    1, Giroud might miss Sunday’s game in order to give AW medical reasons for not playing for France in the Interlull … Not their wording you understand, just me reading between the lines. 😀

    2, Ozil has signed a new contract … and will wear the No 10 shirt ….
    Hence the Wilshere story that he may sign permanently for Bournemouth?

    Mesut, you obviously took Pony Eye’s poem to heart? Good for you. 😀 😀 😀


  • When you consider the abuse that he gets from the French fans Gerry, I do wonder why he doesn’t just walk away from international football…

    Looking forward to tonight’s game, hope to see all the new boys start…

    Whilst it would be folly to underestimate Basel, their recent results against English clubs must earn them our respect, keeping our players fresh is vital with two games a week and especially after such a stamina sapping game vs Chelsea, so I’ll be surprised if Arsene doesn’t rotate a few.

  • Gerry,
    Excited about the Ozil rumour, but the Jack Bournemouth permanent story is ridiculous.
    On Giroud resting sunday, i wish we would be that proactive more often. I would try it with Alexis and Ozil occasionally before internationals, but i think that they both love playing and competing for their nations too much.

  • Another little tit bit of info, Maitland-Niles is in the squad tonight … RB cover again I guess?
    Jeff R-A looks good in the training photos, holding off Bellerin, no sign of Akpom though, but that is no surprise with Perez about.
    The Under 19’s are currently drawing 1-1, about 15 minutes to go ( v Basel). I hope they can snatch the win after going down 1.0 at ht.

    Jync – a lot depends on his fitness betwen now and the end of the season. If he like playing there, and theycan afford him, why not? Never say Never is the adage to follow.

  • Thanks for the great info today…and on jack, it’s just that if he can stay even relatively fit for a season, i think more attractive opportunities would definitely be available to him.

  • Same as at the weekend except Xhaka for Coq…

    I think I need a stream to watch this one live… Anybody got a link?….

  • Tablet writing as I am watching the warm up on BT.

    I just hope the keep Monréal back as part of a back three, and don’t get too cavalier with both backs going forward at the same time.
    It should be straight forward if they can repeat that performance on Saturday … and, they close that left side weakness one way or another.

    I am pleased that Jeff has made the bench, he could be a useful sub to have. A little more exposure at the top level and he could join Iwobi as a first team regular?
    Right, I have things to do before the ko, enjoy

  • Sublime first half display by the boys. The attacking play is dazzling at times totally bambasling the opponents. Let’s get the third goal to safeguard the points.

  • Alexis two assists.. wow.. but Walcott is Super-man.. Second goal was very Walcott style.. long time no see.. hehehe..

    Santi and Ozil are our great creators.. We seem to play with two AM.. hehehe..
    And Ozil.. he must had been score..

  • I think it’s time for Perez to come in.. as you wish TA.. as our LW.. Iwobi need some rest..

  • Three changes.. Ox, Elneny and Gibbs for Walcott, Iwobi and Monreal..
    Sorry TA.. Perez is for CF.. hehehe..

  • And who is this Celtic- Moussa Dembele.. 20 yo French..?? City almost beaten by this guys..

  • Sorry Henry, I couldn’t watch and blog at the same time tonight. Great first half, second half very mature but unspectacular. Deserved more goals but take a 2-0 win any day at this stage. No match report from me as I need an early night. Catch you all tomorrow again.

  • Yeah, same for me, Henry. I found a stream but I didn’t want to lose it…

    All told this was a very strong performance even if the 2nd half felt a bit flat. I think AW is gonna ride this 1st 11 as far as he can…

  • Great atmosphere at the stadium tonight…
    The team has that ‘well oiled machine’ look.
    Very impressive, thought that Iwobi was superb.
    He is going to be a massive player when he matures.
    Hard to believe at times that he’s still so young.

  • Guys,

    It’s too late (or early) here to watch the game.

    We have been doing this for most of the games. Game of two halves, off the block quickly in the first half but going slow in the second half.

    Have yet to see the highlights or the game, and will do it later after work.


  • JK.. You have more flexible time rather than me.. an our faster than me.. So if here in Indonesia the game start 1.45 then Singapore start at 2.45.. So finish will be about 4.30 – 5.00 in the morning.. And you can easily continue the day with jogging, exercising or yoga and so on..
    Me.. 3.30 is to early to start the day.. so I must continue my sweet dream.. for another two hours before daily activities start.. hehehe..

  • Yes, a very dominant performance. There is a slight worry that the second half petered out rather tamely, and it might be an indicator of potential burn out if this repeated use of the same 11 continues much longer, so this break after the Burnley game could be timely?

    The overall picture I got from the first half was, defensively; Iwobi got closer to the attacker down the right (our left); Xhaka was deployed more on that side, in the first half at least.
    In attack, Alexis spent more time as a deep lying CF than usual, which in turn allowed Iwobi and Monreal to occupy the wide area. Effective threat down the right continued as the partnership between Bellerin and Walcott blossoms.

    How that turned into a supremely impressive first half was the slick passing, the quick feet of Iwobi, the Alexis energy to seize on opportunities to regain possession, and this ‘new’ player called Walcott to make intelligent runs, alongside the correct decisions, whilst Ozil pulled the strings in a more subtle way, not forgetting the tireless running that Bellerin made from defence, to interplay or by line runs, and his opposite number Monreal stretching play from side to side. Just mesmerising.

    Only some superb goal keeping and slightly off choices in front of goal prevented Alexis from a hattrick, or Ozil from a brace?

    In the second half there wasn’t the same full on energy in our attacks, probably all to aware that a single goal from Basel could change the dynamics of the game? Not that we did not have chances to score again, we did. But the passing was less precise, or not on the same wavelength, so it remained 2-0 to the end.

    Of the subs I think Gibbs is looking a real threat to Monreal’s starting position. It was noticeable he was able to get much tighter to attackers, quickly, in the final third. Not so much between them now at either end, and a fresh face at the weekend might be timely?
    I was somewhat amused when Ox came on and I saw him ask, yes, ‘ASK’ Bellerin how he wanted him to play. I think that says as much about 21 year old Bellerin’s standing, as it does about 23 year old Ox’s mindset?
    Not that he did anything wrong in the last 20 minutes, he just wasn’t Walcott on a mission. He might have scored very late on, but for another superb save.
    Elneny, was simply Elneny. Here there and everywhere, wherever he was needed.

    Overall? Job done.

  • Gerry.. I agree with you.. Sanchez can get hattrict lastnight.. what an unlucky night for him.. He got so much energy with him.. never tired.. like a Bull..

    Ozil was enjoying his games.. He wanted to score more goals.. hehehe..

    Bellerin is a 40Millions kid now.. He growing better and better.. Soon he will be 50 millions or more..

    Still waiting for Xhaka’s goal again.. hehehe..

  • Not sure that they could keep up that 1st half level for an hour and a half Gerry.
    The Basel keeper made several inspired saves otherwise we would have gone in 5-0 up at half-time… Then the 2nd 45 would have been a stroll…

  • Gerry,

    I suspected they had a tiring game against the Chavs and thus they were tired after the first half.

    And regarding Gibbo, he is better after a period on the left wing position as a sub last season. This season his left back position is a question mark.. but so many players are ahead of him on the left side positions, so I will rather he play the cup games or find another club.

    It seems sad for him in this stage, but he will make the left back position his when he views the game in a different perspective.

    Agreed that Theo is a better player this season, and he likes to get involved rather than wait for the ball to go to him. He has a good turn of events, and the whole team seemed to gel with a speedier central forward in Alexis who likes to go for the ball rather than wait for the ball.

    Cheers on a good 3 points,

  • For those in time zones who didn’t get a chance to watch the match I’d argue that the first half (at least) is well worth a watch. The ball was moving verrrryyy nicely and we could have really run up a tally while still taking our defensive tasks seriously. We maybe were a little off with decision making on the final ball but that comes (sometimes) when the scoreline is already looking good.

    Right now we’ve just got some very good players playing very well and finding each other quite nicely out there. Theo, Alexis and Iwobi are really standing out, but Santi, Ozil and Xhaka plus the defenders are all doing very, very well and keeping things very well spaced (and covered)… Mustafi had another very good outing and he moves himself and the ball very smartly, I think. Money well spent, I’d have to say… It was also good that Ospina, rarely challenged, did very well on the couple of occasions when he had to…

    I’m less concerned about the “tiring…” Burnley played on Monday and gave just about everything to hold out on their scrappy 2-nil over Watford. (Our effort, by contrast, was a stroll…) We’ve got fewer rest days but very strong focus so, even if there’s some adversity, I like our chances to get to the international break with another good performance and result.

    A-kev, any more reports from the stadium? Is there any irony when the fans yell “shoot” every time Xhaka gets the ball or are they really that stupid? 😉 Just curious and I know that (generally) those weeknight matches get a more enthusiastic viewing. Anyhow, consider me jealous that you got to see it…

  • 17ht. The shoot comments for Xhaka reflect appreciation for a player who can shoot from a distance. No irony. .about 25 years ago we signed a Danish midfielder John Jensen who couldn’t hit a barn door from 2 paces .. It took him about 120 games to score,. Every time he got the ball the crowd yelled shoot, now that was irony

  • Allezkez I remember you saying a while back that you stood in that corner where everyone stands up for the whole game? Or did in I imagine it? It’s certainly the noisiest part of the ground. Do people ever try and sit and complain, or is it a given that you stand.

    I am guessing it’s the heart of the North Bank in there?

  • Hi Retsub, yes mate it’s quite noisy there and the stewards let you stand, as long as you don’t stand in the gangways.

    The away fans always stand, so why shouldn’t the home fans.

    In the whole, the Arsenal crowd has always been well behaved even if a little lacking in the kind of passion that you would find at a ground in the north of England.
    I think that the common sense of the Arsenal stewards is to be commended.

  • Cheers 17tino, I think it’s more a kind of black humour that you’ll find among football fans and crowds…
    As Retsub says, John Jensen was a legend and when eventually he scored it was almost like a party at Highbury…
    Strangely enough we lost the game to QPR 3-1, but all anyone remembers is Faxe scoring.

    What I did notice 17tino, was a general feeling of optimism on the terraces.
    It’s open to interpretation why that should be, probably a combination of things, like exciting new signings, a strong squad, a solid defence, a vibrant attack, the positivity from both fans and players rubbing off on each other?
    The team certainly don’t seem as inhibited as they did at certain stages last season..

  • I just searching for Moussa Dembele.. the kid that almost made City suffered.. And guess.. OMG.. Celtic got Dembele for free from Fulham.. Fulham guys.. Where were anybody..?? He was so close.. and no PL clubs signed him.. not us either.. for free..?? It’s must be crazy.. hehehe..

  • Don’t fret Henry, we would miss the reincarnation of Walcott had we signed him?
    Otherwise he’d just be sitting around on our benches … err like Perez???

    Just an up date on the Youth CL tournament they lost to an injury time penalty, so it ended 1-2.
    Unfortunately their captain got injured in the first half, Krystian Bielek no less. Not on field, but colliding with the perimeter fence. That is a ‘Health and Safety’ claim if ever there was one?
    Perhaps they should be seriously thinking of some soft rubber barriers, as in Formula One?
    It may be a one off, but if it ever happens again, and it ends a players career they will be in serious trouble if they do nothing.

    Getting back to the fatigue factor I mentioned about the last game. We all know that tired brains can cause mis-times challenges, as well as other injuries. Whilst I am sure for the majority of the players, they will cope with another round against Burnley. But don’t be surprised if we pick up a few injuries for those on international duty. Especially if they turn out twice in this break?

    On a more pleasant note, the October fixtures look exceptionally kind to us, as we have a run of 4 home fixtures, before an away trip to Sunderland … and this is where our ‘nasty’ November kicks in.
    Three days after the long trip north we have an away fixture in the CL – Ludogorets, who should not be underestimated, as well as the long haul flight to Romania, as I recall. Next up is the, no THE NLD with Spurs at home, followed by MU away, and PSG in the CL at home. So October will be the time to rotate, especially for the fragile or those returning from Intl duty.

    Included in that run of home games will be the Second 11’s time to shine again, but a little more strength on the bench may be needed, as Reading are tricky opponents in one-off games? It would be nice to go further in this EFLCup as it is the quarter finals at the end of November. Win that and we are one step away from Wewbley?
    Totally opposite to OGAAT, I know, but is nice have a glimpse into the future occasionally?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s