Holding/Mustafi CB pairing, Iwobi nr10, Ox and Welbeck to Feed the Scorpion? Preston v Arsenal Preview


Those who are hopeful to see a lot of youngsters against Preston on Saturday will get disappointed. The FA Cup is Arsene’s Cup and he will field a strong team against the beautifully named Lilywhites. We also will want to keep momentum after a strong comeback against the Cherries and a big game in Wales following our FA Cup game. This is not a good time to play a weakened side and hope for the best at Deepdale: just like Man City did tonight against the Hammers, we need to play with a high tempo, passion and strong focus.

This is the side I reckon Wenger will field tomorrow:

Koz, Bellerin, Sanchez and Ozil to be rested or start on the bench. Holding to join Mustafi and Gabriel to play on the right. Gibbs is still out so another start for Nacho, I reckon. Rambo and Xhaka to get another chance to get used to each other and hopefully a start for either Perez or Welbeck on the left, depending on fitness. Ollie CF, Iwobi in the hole and Ox on the other wing.

Let’s hope the boys do us proud tomorrow.


By TotalArsenal


17 thoughts on “Holding/Mustafi CB pairing, Iwobi nr10, Ox and Welbeck to Feed the Scorpion? Preston v Arsenal Preview

  • Ha Ha, TA … Do you know I think you could be on a winner there?

    One point I would make on the evidence of the last game, switch Xhaka and Ramsey starting positions? Left footer Xhaka needs to be left of centre?

    I left out Giroud from my run through of possibilities simply because he played two matches in a short space of time, without the benefit of a solid build up match fitness. In horse racing terms that would be a recipe for a muscle pull? But perhaps AW is looking to pull him off at half time. Of course, the Perez doubt, from what? I have no idea until I read the latest bulletins, does create a possible vacancy?
    I watched a bit of the ‘Cup game last night, and I thought when at our best, we can play like Man City .. but we can also leave ourselves open to defend like West Ham? So whoever plays today, they have got to play as a team, not a collection of names who have the biggest pay packets. Preston will not be up to the Man City standard of last night, but they must not be taken lightly. Personally I think whatever combination we put out, if it clicks as one across the board, then we will win. Not necessarily in the first 45, but overall we will overcome their shortcomings.

    The only other area where I might argue a point is at right back. If Ox starts wide right, then an overlapping FB is less of a requirement, so why switch Gabby to RB, rather than Holding?
    Although Mustafi too, could also come into that ‘muscle pull’ category, after a tough game followed by a quick second turn out after a lay off.

    If that is AW’s 11, then the bench will not contain anything other than fringe and Under 23 players, on AW’s previous record. So it will be all or nothing?

    Team wins it. Complacent collection loses it. Which is why I favour a mixture of those keen to strut their stuff, but we will see …

  • Okay, a little update from training photos, and the Under 23 game yesterday.

    Chuba played 45 minutes, and although he appears on the the training photos, he will only make the bench at best. Malen likewise, he only played the last 15 minutes, so bench at best. However, M. Bola did not play, and with Gibbs out, he is a definite for the bench/start.

    On the photos, it looks like it is the Orange vests are the subs, and the black vests are starters….
    if only it was that easy 😀
    All the names I mentioned yesterday, along with your staring 11 TA, with Martinez in goal as you suggest. Prominently featured were; Jeff, Ainsley, C,Willock (in a black vest, as opposed to Iwobi in Orange? The former being another notable omission from the Under 23 game ….?) and Aaron in particular. less so; Chuba, Welbs, Giroud, Perez, Jenks, Holding, Mustafi, and Bola, and possibly a back view of Xhaka? Absences, Cech and Ozil(being assessed this morning).
    Make of that what you will.

    I will still hold out for Jeff and Ainsley starting, and the surprise will be Willock.
    Remember, TEAM wins!

  • TA, I agree totally with your reasons for our fielding as strong a team as we can sensibly field. Feel though that Monreal needs a rest otherwise today’s would make it the 3rd match in 6days and the full back roles are the most tasking. Gabriel had some expousure playing there in Spain and Jenko is available for the RB position.

    Yes, it is important that Xhaka and Rambo start getting used to each other but Wenger must be having nightmares of any injury there (Santi, Coq, Eln all being unavailable). I would not be surprised if Xhaka is rested but on the bench.

    My expected line up:


    Bench: Martinez, Bel, Nacho, Xhaka, Iwobi, Willock, Welbz.

  • When Arsenal last visited Deepdale, 1998/99, we went 0-2 down, before eventually winning 4-2…

    I guess we need to ride out the storm, 0-1, and wait for Preston to run out of steam…

  • The best thing I can say about that is it can’t get any worse? Can it? Some of these players seem to think they just have to turn up to win.

    The Ox, truly awful

    Montreal lacking support. This emphasises how important Alexis is to the side.

    maitland niles, seems to lacking any form of support.

    Ramsey, once again, doesn’t seem to be aware of his duties.

    The two centre backs look a yard off the pace

    I could go on

  • Seems obvious to me that Preston have been told to be more aggressive at H T. As long as the likes of Gabriel and Xhaka keep cool this might play into our hands and one or two of our players may get kicked out of their trance

  • Will write a proper comment later tonight. Slept at 3.30am local time when the game ended, and woke up a mere 4 hours later.

    Not the best of displays in the first half as AMN had a torrid start due to lack of cover, but we managed to churn out some good passes in the second period.

    More later.


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