Xhaka/Elneny to feed Ozil, Lacazette and Welbz: Preview & Line-Up

We start this campaign with nobody at BBC-football believing we will win the PL. in fact, of the thirty or so football commentators and opinion-sellers only a handful have us finish fourth; nobody believes the mighty Arsenal, PL king of top four finishers, will do better than fourth.

Yet, we had a strong finish to the season since Wenger changed the system, we kept all our players, we now have the advantage of no CL games, AND bought two quality players to strengthen the squad. I guess we did not spend enough, and that may explain why they almost all believe that either Mou United or the Northen Oilers will win the league. I am sure the London club’s will continue to have their say once again in the coming season and are very likely to all finish in the top four, with Arsenal on top of course.

Tonight the Foxes come knocking on the door at the home of football, so let’s give a strong message to those lazy-arsed pundits and give a hell of a performance. Who shall start? Always hard to predict when Wenger talks about late fitness tests for some key players: BFG, Ozil, Rambo, Wilshere.

I have got a feeing that Wenger will go with Sunday’s starting eleven, except Ozil for Iwobi. I hope the BFG is recovered enough to start as Koz is not available and we need a strong, experienced player to organise the back four. Actually, I also think he will start with Kola instead of contract-refusing hero Oxymoron.

So this is my predicted super-11:

————- Cech ———

— Holding – BFG – Nacho —

Bel – Xhaka – Elneny – Kola

Ozil — Lacazette — Welbeck

Enjoy the game, FFGs.


By TotalArsenal


46 thoughts on “Xhaka/Elneny to feed Ozil, Lacazette and Welbz: Preview & Line-Up

  • To be fair, very few have given us a chance of top 4 (most say 6th, to accommodate Spurs and Liverpool finishing above us); but they do this each year. So, as always, I do expect us to shock a few this season.

    It starts tonight. Line up is probably the right one but I wish we can have Ox in there. If he doesn’t start, then I guess it is Good Bye to him. Maybe, Ramsey can make a start too since we should largely be on the front foot in this game. We must keep Vardy quiet and render Ndidi ineffective though. And there is Mahrez who will want to show us what we missed.

    Good luck to the lads.

  • Hi all..
    Well-done TA.. You almost get all the team.. 10 from 11.. what a great guess..

    Nacho ini the middle of our 3 CB.. surprise.. maybe because Mustafi doesn’t fit enough..
    Hope Elneny win our heart.. and Ramsey can stay calm in his bench to regain his fitness..
    Welbeck seem to be a regular starter now, replacing Sanchez.. should try Walcott sometime.. hehehe..

    So.. let the battle begin.. Go Gunners.. VCC

  • Very close prediction ,T… i guess Per couldnt go, so ox slid in and kola, Monreal moved over. I was interested to see where the back 3 would be positioned in the 2nd half of community shield. Noticed Nacho goes center, holding plays on the right.

    One more note, Ramsey not really healthy to start, but is on the bench, muscle injuries tricky with short sub warmups. I hope we dont use him today. Try Coquelin or Iwobi if needed. Just shows, we are short at cm.

    I feel a little better about El Neny when Mesut is there to provide creativity, incisive passes. I really wanted to see either of Ramsey or Ozil start at least. We should get the win at home today.

  • A great start from Lacazette.. first goal in only second minutes.. what a header..

    But they kickback.. our CB aren’t solid enough.. maybe Kolasinac in the middle and Monreal ini the left would be better..

  • Too many Arsenal passes falling short, misplaced. We had the community shield. No excuse for them playing sharper.

  • Ozil is not having a great game, is he? Hope Iwobi and Ramsey get a chance in the 2nd half.
    Between Holding and Bellerin, I am not sure who is sloppier. Truth has to be said; Holding has to be tidier.
    And as I type that, our midfielders make a mess of passes and misplace a pass for them to get in and Vardy scores. 2-1!

  • Chelsea threatened in the air last week when BFG went off, now two crosses into our box and two goals conceded.

  • Holding can’t cope with Vardy’s pace. Musti should replace him and formation changed to 4:2:3:1. Kola to left back. Ox midfield.

  • Danny needs to learn composure in front of goal. For a moment, I thought he had fluffed his lines. Assist by Kolasinac (what was he doing there?), who’s been immense today. Now, we have entertained the watching neutrals, it is time to go all out for the win. No more games; gloves off stuff.

  • Damn I love Kolasinac.. so unselfish and strong player.. nice assist..

    So it’s time to bring Mustafi.. Monreal look so avarage in that position..

  • Precisely, PE. We are home to Leicester city. We can afford to have two specialist CBs and have the full backs go forward. Ozil isn’t in the game (and it won’t matter if he turns around to cross two balls for two assists in the 2nd half) and should come off to make us a bit more physical. He seems to have lost the gift of those disguised passes; saw too many times runs are made by the forwards but ignored. He’s also misplaced easy passes. He didn’t play enough minutes in the pre-season and it shows. He should be spared the effort so he can grow into things slowly.

    Enough of losing balls and giving back possession to Leicester.

  • But rhat unselfish easy assist by Tank … beauty, And Danny hit the target.

    That was a clear handball. Leicester very sharp, hungry.
    Xhaka looking good, doing his part, but its hard with the defenders passing so badly.Holding usually impressed me but he’s trying too hard now, and causing bad mistakes.

    A draw isn’t gona be good for our whole organization. We have a much better bench, let’s hope it makes the difference.

  • If there is anyone from Stoke in the stands, watching this game, I’d imagine that ‘get crosses into the box’ will figure quite prominently in his report.

  • What a games.. PL is back my friend.. 7 goals in the first game.. Luckily we win.. I still think we ought two penalties..

    Good night all.. Go back to sleep now.. it’s 03.50 am here.. hehehehe..

  • Jnyc, you called it right on Giroud. I am still trying to catch my breath after that one, though. Thought Ozil came back stronger and that’s what we want to see more often. Wenger has shown an uncanny touch switching to a back 4, with the wing backs switching flanks as well to give the Ox a better angle to shoot from and, boy, did he let rip on occasion. Kolasinac has to be a first name on the team sheet now. Sturdy, composed, skillful and adventurous (without losing shape).

    That was a great game for the neutrals and I think Sky has picked a great match-up for the season opener. 3 points and need I say it? 🎵We are top of the league, say we are top of the league!!! 🎵

  • Wow!
    Do we begin to celebrate or do we go straight to the drawing board?
    Ox RWB. Kola LWB. Musti back at all cost. What a sweet victory!

  • Lacazette combined with teammates as if he’s known them for years. Great flicks, passes, workrate, going back deep to win the ball and get moves started. His dribbling in the box (from a great Olivier pass) and excellent LEFT footed shot won us the corner, which won us the game.

    I’d say our best players were Laca, Xhaka, and Oxlade ( who i wanted frozen out of starting lol )
    Ox was the most impressive taking it to leicester attacking AND defending. Physically was the most impressive player on the pitch, put fear into defenders, and didn’t even look tired sfter 95 minutes.

  • I’ll add Kolasinac to that list, Jync.
    Point of note: that Arsenal reshuffle meant we had a midfielder at right-back, a right-back at left-back and two left-backs at centre-back. That must be the most round peg-square hole combination ever. Not to speak of the forward line with Welbeck switching flanks at some point.

  • Ox played with assurance. I believe he deserves the starting spot as the RWB. Defensively he would grow quickly because he has pace and good timing for tackles. Ox is unplayable going forward. The club must strain to retain him. Bel’s form might have hit a plateau.

    Lacaaz 40 touches and 90% pass success is amazing for a striker. We got a gem there.

    I can’t wait to see Kola at LWB. It’s so clear its his natural position. What was he doing up there, assisting Welbz goal fron a CD position? Telling all that CD can’t cage him.

  • Xhaka is a pure creative MF from deep. Ramsey is an offensive beast. Defensively our CM would always be our weak link. Will 4:3:3 ie one extra man in CM be the best formation for the personnel that we have? Am inclined to think so.

  • Exciting match for the neutral but nerve jangling for Gunners’ fans.

    In terms of individual performances:

    GK: Cech
    Apart from his error on Okazaki’s goal, I thought Cech was strong in the air and showed his shot stopping skills.

    RWB: Bellerin
    Was strong in the tackle but his defensive awareness, forward dribbles and crosses were virtually nonexistent.

    RCB: Holding
    Was solid in the air and took a no nonsense approach to defending by repeatedly clearing the ball. His defensive awareness and interventions were poor though.

    CB: Monreal
    Played out of position in the centre of the back three. His defensive awareness though was excellent and I thought he was reasonably strong in the air and in the tackle. He also by in large adopted a no nonsense approach to defending with a number of clearances.

    LCB: Kolasinac
    Was very strong in the tackle but poor aerially and guilty at times of not clearing the ball when he should have. His defensive awareness was also poor.

    LWB: Ox
    Excellent defensive performance from Ox who was strong in the tackle and showed great defensive awareness. His transitional play via the dribble was also excellent. He show great intent with his crosses as well, but missed a target man to aim at. Man of the match for me.

    CM: Xhaka
    Terrible defensively both in the tackle and in terms of his defensive awareness. While his forward dribbles we’re nonexistent his long range passing was phenomenal.

    CM: Elneny
    Very strong tackling performance by Elneny but his defensive awareness was poor as was his forward dribbling and long range passing.

    RAM: Ozil
    A quiet performance by the German. His dribbling was okay but not threatening enough. He showed some goal scoring intent but his execution was poor and he struggled to create chances for others.

    LAM: Welbeck
    Similar performance to Ozil though a tad more creative with his passing and more accurate with his shooting.

    CF: Lacazette
    Reasonable first showing. His shooting frequency and accuracy was good. But for his goal he struggled aerially.


    CM: Ramsey
    Poor defensively and in terms of his transitional play. He virtually played as another striker such was his on field positioning. That said, he took his goal well and troubled Leicester’s back line.

    CF: Giroud
    Scored a great headed goal for he winner and was strong aerially. Would love to see him played alongside Lacazette in a striking duo as part of a 5-3-2 setup.

    RAM: Walcott
    Minimal game time and involvement to assess his performance.

    Lots to work on for Arsenal, particular their defensive performance in the centre of midfield and the speed of their transitional play. Arsenal’s slow and methodical build up and the decision to over commit players in advanced positions played into Leicester’s hands. It was a lucky win in the end. Monreal and Ox were Arsenal’s best on ground.

  • Only managed to watch the last 10 minutes. The mentality of the guys and the desire to comeback is there for all to see, but the goals we conceded from crosses meant that we need Kos and BFG back.

    Good 3 points won.

  • The only thing that caught me out was the final position of Bells.

    He looked umcomfortable in the left back position. Why did he ended up in there?

  • And Waldo, Ozil is a passer and he needs someone to work with him. With 2 duracell bunnies on the pitch soon (after Alexis comeback), we will have a hell of an attack supported by Ozil. The other duracell bunny is Lacazette. Clearly showed what he is made of.

  • Hi all..
    JK, I don’t know what really happened last night after Holding out and Giroud in.. The team change very unusual way..
    Just as you said about Bellerin.. and also Ox, I was so surprised.. I think we played only with two defender.. 2-5-3.. I don’t think Bellerin is plotted as a LB..?? What for..??
    But most important thing.. We win.. Hehehe..

    Next week we will see a difference 3 CB..
    Kos maybe still can’t play.. So we will see Mertesacker.. and Monreal back to his habitat.. hehehehe..

  • If the Ox can be shifted to the left full/wing back position and do a job, so can Bellerin. As I stated above (somewhere), it was to give us more thrust down the right where the Ox is stronger and admittedly better going forward than Bellerin. Bellerin did more defending as Leicester are stronger on their right side. Hence, you saw the Ox bombed forward to make crosses or shoot.

    We are short on available personnel for now, so some curious combinations aren’t unexpected. Something tells me we will work on it to eliminate some of the errors which resulted in 3 goals from the visitors’ 3 shots on goals.

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