Giroud, Ozil, Lacazette (GOL) upfront, Mustafi and BFG return: Line-up

A very short preview as I have little time today. We visit the proverbial hole of Stoke tonight and the local cave dwellers will be hoping their Orcs will put their foot in and upset the Southern Softies for ninety minutes.

so let’s hope for a manly response and hurt them where it matters: on the scoresheet. This is the team I predict will start:


Must – BFG – Nacho

Bel – Xhaka – Elneny – Kola

Ozil – Giroud – lacazette

BFG to provide height and organisation at the back.

Elneny to help keeping us tight in midfield (Rambo to come on later)

Giroud to provide extra height for set pieces (for or against us) and to crack open the central defence

Ozil and Lacazette, supported by the wing backs, to create the opportunities as well as being there to finish them

Attack like an Octopus, defend like an army of giant Ants.


By TotalArsenal

52 thoughts on “Giroud, Ozil, Lacazette (GOL) upfront, Mustafi and BFG return: Line-up

  • Hi all..
    TA.. I think Ramsey will play first..
    You had a 9/11 to 10/11 correct prediction records.. Compare to PE last post team.. we have 3 different players.. but we will see it soon.. VCC

  • Jnyc.. Yes.. that Mou’s team look very promising.. If the history repeats, then we will see Mou out next year.. hehehehe..

  • Interesting choice El Neny, I’d only do that if there some reason for concern about Ramsey. If any question of muscle issue, we have to protect him. We need him. I’m literally praying for jack Wilshere.

    Giroud, I wouldn’t start if we have mustafi, Merts, Kola going. Arsene may want to reward him, but i prefer welbeck or Iwobi with oliie coming on later. He’s helpful even with a lead, if we want more size on defense.

  • Oh, and defintely i would choose Oxlade over Bellerin. He earned it. He worked really hard at both ends last week.

  • Cheers fellow BKers. Elneny and Xhaka for me as we need to ease in Rambo, J.

    I prefer Bel to Ox as I want us to focus on not concedeing and winning the game with one or two goals to nil. I reckon Wenger will focus on a solid defensive performance too.

  • Well, we start with two left backs in the back 3. That tells me Holding is probably out injured and Chambers is for sale, for sure. Bellerin and Ox at wing back. And it is Ramsey-Xhaka.


  • 33Cech
    Andre Marriner

  • Line ups

    Butland, Zouma, Shawcross, Cameron, Diouf, Allen, Fletcher, Pieters, Shaqiri, Jesé (new boy starts), Eric Chopou-Moting
    Johnson, Berahino, Martins Indi, Crouch, Bojan, Sobhi, Grant.

    Cech, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette
    Mertesacker, Giroud, Ospina, Walcott, Iwobi, Coquelin, Elneny

    Referee: Andre Marriner.

  • We have a couple of new boys to watch and so, happy that we have a player with recent Bundesliga experience to watch Choupo-Moting. I am surprised they have started Jese, but my guess is Hughes hopes that gives our defenders something to think about. It is going to be a big crowd at the Bet365 stadium, in view of the extensions done to the open areas, so expect a nervy start from us. Shaqiri will be very mobile and inspired by the presence of his national teammate in Xhaka (and vice versa).

    The benches of both teams look strong too. This won’t be an easy game, but hopefully, we come out of it with our reputation as a better side, intact.

    Good luck to the boys.

  • I worry a little bit about size.. Monreal central defense against a big back line for stoke. Our back 3 have to play bigger than they are. But, As TA says… team defense is key after last weeks performance.

  • You have a point there and Stoke is bound to try and exploit that. But that’s where Cech needs to do a bit more of coming out to claim crosses and long balls. Hopefully, Hughes has turned them into a ball playing side who only resort to long balls when chasing a game. When that happens, we can throw on Giroud and Mertesacker.

  • Jnyc, I have to agree, Stoke may have a more technical side than under Pulis, but they still like to put in a cross or two or twenty-two.

  • Listening to the radio, sounds like Butland has made a couple of big saves whilst Shawcross has missed a sitter?

  • According to Robbie Savage on the BBC, we should have had a penalty, foul on Bellerin.

  • The game far from comfortable so far. I feel Bel is a bit out of his depth at LWB. Maybe Per should be introduced at CD and Kola moved to LWB. One also feels that Kola is being underused at CD.

  • The officiating has been relatively okay while the game has been played at some pace. It should have been a penalty on Bellerin and Welbeck has missed another good chance to put us ahead. It’s been end to end but we need to be careful of being caught on the counter. I feel if we can be a bit more patient and exploit the runs being made by the forward players, we can pick them off and have a comfortable score line. Looks like we came here expecting a rough time of it and we are standing up to them, so far. Maybe, we can focus on our game in the 2nd half and get the win.

  • I’ll say exactly as I did last week at halftime.. even, 45 mins to go… And we have the best subs bench in the league to bring on.. not just giroud.. Walcott is a big threat and Iwobi.

  • I don’t know what happened with our defenders.. but putting Bellerin in the left is very weird.. and Bell must practice to shot a lots.. hehehehe..

    Let’s hope Wenger know the best.. and he will bring Merte back.. Bell can rest for a while.. I think Merte just can’t play for 90 minutes.. that why he didn’t play first.. hehehe..
    Giroud certainly must play.. but who will be he replaced.. Welbeck..
    I think Ozil must replace also.. Iwobi must come.. So Giroud, Mertesacker and Iwobi..

  • Sometimes, you feel Wenger shoe horns some players into the team, for the heck of it. If Bellerin can’t be effective, why start him? Kola will certainly be more effective on that flank but is now being curtailed. Let’s hope the right changes are made again and at the right time.

  • Looking like one of those days. We’ve been unlucky with some officiating and Lacazette has been denied a goal there. Can’t wait for VAR as that should have been 1-1.
    Not sure about a couple of the changes there but I guess the manager knows better.

  • I wouldnt have taken out lacazette, , he did score a good goal today. He’s our marksman. Maybe was physical reason we don’t know.

  • Our lack of accurate passing cost us. And the lack of directly running at the defense too. And what was the walking pace for most of the game?

    Back to the old mentality. And f*** you ref and linesman. Horrible.

  • Why the hell is there a giant bloody hole between our midfield and defense for the whole 90mins? Ffs man, how does wenger not see this and correct it? Poor. Absolutely poor. How did Ozil stay in the pitch for the whole match. Too much sympathy for him. He’s been poor since the middle of last season, give Iwobi a chance.

  • Belle Rin has been poor. Take him out and put Kola in. I’m sure Calum Chambers is alive and fit. Bring him in at CB.

  • Why the hell did Wenger play Bel on the left when we had three LWB in the squad? We played with 10 men.

  • I was called away , missed 1st half. Came back right at the start of the second… surprised how were still giving the ball away in bad areas, and worse, much worse — if you rewatch that period,
    You will see our players jogging back with stoke attacking dangerously, . . Lacaz goal was a beauty, I’m sorry we didn’t get to see more angles once it was stolen from us. VAR is badly needed.

    But that part about our guys jogging back is inexcusable, and the most worrisome.

  • Pony eye, why did we buy a striker in Lacszette when we don’t pass to him when he makes good runs? Why did we have a 20meter gap between our defense and midfield the whole game? Why did a RB play the whole game as a LB? Why is our team so indiscipline defensively? Why is Ozil still playing? I rather give Nelson a chance even if he plays badly, cause Ozil ain’t done shit.

    Mysteries that’ll never be solved. Mysteries that haunt Arsenal fans. With Liverpool next, it’s not getting easier. But we’ll soldier on as Arsenal fans as always. Even if shit hits the fan. Just like the masochists we are.

  • Kev, Seeing how open we are at the back for 2 games, maybe we will need to start Coquelin.

  • John, I didn’t see the game mate, listening to it on the radio was stressful enough.

    Coquelin is an option but who could you see Arsene leaving out for him?
    Personally I think we need BFG back in the team, his influence on the field is invaluable…

  • Shrilled …… more questions. Why keep 3 men at the back when we enjoyed 77% possession? Why should the 1st change be to bring in another striker when the problem was that our attackers were not being supplied properly?

  • Jnyc, … the back line can do little without a midfield shield.

    Shrillex ….. that huge gap between our MF and our CD is because we have a midfield that thinks only attack.

  • Mind, I rate Ramsey as our best player today but Xhaka …….. well I don’t blame him, he is a passer not a holding MFder.

  • Even though, with all these deficiencies, we still would have won with decent officiating ., but my goodness i can’t even leave it there when i picture how open we have been at the back. Even when we doninate in general play, those mistakes will kill us. A better team wouldnt have just shut down after taking a lead.

  • We didn’t deserve not to win that game, but that is football. Got to take it on the chin as one of those days. We needed a strong referee but the big decisions went to Orcs.

  • PE, Xhaka failed the team with his wayward passing. So, it seemed like a irony when you mentioned that he is a passer.

    Actually the whole team was too static, and they play like they have played 2 games in a week.

    I do not want to start on the ref.

  • njk…. Xhaka without doubt is a good passer, but I referred to him as a passer because he isn’t got much else : pace, dribbling, tackling, aerial prowess … so we should be mindful of the role we abandon him to.

    For example I was glad at corners kicks against us to see him at the far end of our zonal marking spaces and Ozil at the front. Both are poor at aerial duties. Little wonder both like to take our corner kicks and free kicks in opposition half.

  • PE, at least his tackling and tracking back is better than Ozil. When he abandoned (briefly) his position and Ozil went back to follow Jese I was worried. Then came the goal.

    I remembered a new rule of players being banned after the game for diving to deceive the ref? There were a few times the ref was deceived by the rugby players.

  • njk, ….. agreed with you on Ozil/ Xhaka comparison. Come to think of it, both are passers and I wonder if Xhaka can play the #10. He gives a lot more without the ball than Ozil. Yes he trades off a chunk of those his crossfield passes for more graft upfield than the indulgent Ozil. Xhaka’s role should keep him as far away as possiblefrom our defensive zone.

    Our biggest problem is that we have so many great players with big weaknesses. Ozil. Xhakà, Ramsey, Oxlade, Welbeck, Coq.

    Ozil: non existent when opposition have the ball.
    Xhaka : CM player that’s poor defensively.
    Ramsey CM player that is never at station.
    Ox : great talent that does not understand it’s a team game.
    Welbeck: that allows chances to vanish for the sake of extra touches.
    Coq: Great destroyer who can do little else.

  • PE, Xhaka has his weaknesses no doubt. But that’s why this is a team game, you have teammates to cover for your weaknesses and allow you to play at your best. I still argue that Xhaka needs to play in a midfield 3. Look at Pirlo, Xavi etc. Pirlo had Gattuso at AC Milan, had Marchisio and Pogba as workhorses at Juve to do his dirty work. Xavi had Busquets and Iniesta, though Busquets did most of the dirty work. But Barca’s system last time allowed them to win back possession with ease. They had good, hardworking midfielders to help him play in a way that brings out their full potential.

    I hate being critical at this early part of the season but I feel that Xhaka needs the same. Maybe it’s time we tried a midfield trio and reverted back to a 4. The back3/5 worked wonders last season but against ‘smaller teams’, a switch to 433 could do the trick for us defensively.

    I’m personally more concerned about Ozil, if he’s not doing the dirty work, he needs to make up for it on the offensive front, when we are in possession. He’s hasn’t been doing it since mid last season, and maybe its time to give others a chance to shine.

  • Shrillex …… I think along the same lines as you. Xhaka is a plain excellent passer of the ball, but lacking the athleticism for effective defensive duties. Rambo, though versatile, has an offensive mentality that cannot be restrained. Their pairing in the CM leaves us disadvantaged defensively. Either we find the right player that can partner each or else join the pair in a MF 3.

    However the snag in the 4:3:3 for us is that we have FB who operate more or less as wing backs so the formation would be more of 2:5:3 instead of 4:3:3. If Ramsey predilection for forward forrays is factored in, the formation becomes 2:4 :4. This again is defensively insecure. What it all means is that with the personnel at our disposal raising a good defensive team is difficult.

    I suspect that Wenger understands this clearly and that’s why he tries to compensate by wanting his teams to dominate possession (possession being a form of defensive strategy). That’s his philosophical tilt, imo.

  • Shrillex …… I honestly don’t see these kind of attempts as being unnecessarily critical. I see them as attempts at analysis for understanding where we are with the possibility of seeing a way forward. For me, it hasn’t much to do with moaning. Well, Wenger might never pick tips from us (one never knows) but at least we could end up educating ourselves. Knowledge helps tolerance.

  • Hi all..
    It is very bad.. the fans are very mad..
    And I am very sad..
    It’s getting harder to understand Wenger’s mind.. Why did he keep playing Bellerin and Monreal in such unusuall way..??

    Did he intends to surprised the rivals..?? If he main to do so then he was more than success.. He did surprised everybody, the rivals and us also.. the worst is he also surprised the team..
    If he thought that Ox wasn’t good enough for LWB.. What make him thought that Bellerin was..??
    If he thought that Mertesacker wasn’t good enough to lead the back.. what make him sure Monreal will..??
    We had a pre-season experiments.. and nothing as weird as our last two games.. hehehehe..

    Chelsea win for Spurs tonight.. Conte learn fast.. I hope the same will apply to Wenger..
    So we never see another weird formation again in our next games ahead..

    The good news is.. it’s still a beginning of the season.. If Chelsea comes great after our disgraced.. We can do the same.. We must do the same.. And we must change.. so we will win the league..
    Another good news is.. it’s still on Window Shopping time.. We can bring some more solid players to fulfil our destiny.. hehehe..
    Go Gunners.. VCC

  • Kolasavic looked fantastic in pre-season as a wing-back, it would be nice to think that he might finally get a run out in that position at Anfield, no more Bellerin or AOC at left wing back if you please.
    And no more Nacho Monreal as the middle of our back three, I love Nacho, he’s really great alongside a proper centre-half, he’s like a sweeper, but as the main man I don’t think so…

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