After an encouraging and easy-on-the-eye performance against a sorry looking Benfica, we will face a tougher opponent in Sevilla today, another 16.20h kick-off. Of course, these games are all about giving players match fitness and trying out combinations of players as well as giving some promising talents a chance to shine. Nelson and M-Niles did indeed impress and it would be good if we get to see more of them today. Especially Nelson’s wing-play caught the eye and that is an area on the pitch where a youngster could break through this season.
As others pointed out in the previous post’s comments, our game is strongly focussed on using the wings as much as possible, and this passed by Iwobi at times. Kola and Nelson really helped us keeping the width and that left space in the box for our attackers to pounce. Benfica were left chasing the game and losing their discipline and that was the biggest achievement on the day.
We had many chances and they were put away with the coolness you would expect in a friendly game. Giroud was the familiar HUB in attack and he cracked open the by nature conservative, deep-sitting defence with his strength, height and fine lay-offs. It was a mini-masterclass of ‘hold-up striker play’. We all know that Theo can have a good day once in a while, and he was impressive yesterday. We also know that he struggles to keep this sort of intensity in his game going throughout the season but there is hope he will turn a leaf this time round. He knows he will have to keep performing as competition in attack is strong. My money is still on him leaving this summer though.
And with likely starts for Lacazette and Welbeck today we will be able to judge how strong our alternatives in attack are. It should also be a proper game for Mesut to get himself going again and he will be looking forward to feeding the runners and movers up-front.
The line up for this game is very likely to be the bench-starters of yesterday’s game:
I look forward to another start for Martinez and he could well become our nr.2 goal keeper this season. We can also look forward to a more solid ‘three at the back’ with likely starts for Nacho-Koz-Chambers. Ox and Bellerin to provide the width and raw injections of speed, and Rambo and Elneny to link defence with attack, with the Egyptian likely to be deployed a bit deeper.
A strong line-up against a proper football playing opponent at the home of football…. happy dayz!