We will do a preview for the Bournemouth game at the weekend on Friday. But let’s now have a look at how we could line up against Koln. I have said for a while that I am really looking forward to our very own Spursday nights. We have such a broad squad and there are plenty of players who need meaningful games. These players would not get much of a chance if we were playing CL football, but they will in the UEFA league.
It is also a good opportunity to give our older/more experienced players a chance to play themselves into form, which then gives them an opportunity to give Wenger a selection headache. The likes of Mertesacker, Iwobi, Wilshere, Walcott, Elneny and Chambers are all players who could dislodge a first team regular. Who knows, even Debuchy may revive his fast fading player career through one or more appearances during Spursday night.
Wenger will also want to give a few of his youngsters a chance to shine. The likes of Ainsley Maitland-Miles and Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom, and maybe even Reiss Nelson, should get opportunities in the UEFA league.
I reckon this could well be our line up v Koln:
I expect us to play these games with a level of seriousness, so we will need to be solid and compact. The BFG can lead the squad, supported by energetic and young CBs on the left and right of him. I have Ainsley and Chambers as the wing backs and Elneny and Wilshere as our central midfield duo, even though I could imagine Wenger playing Coquelin instead of either of them.
Up-front I predict we will go with speed and movement. Iwobi and Theo simply need games and I am looking forward to seeing Akpom play again. Wenger always has the opportunity to throw in the experienced Giroud and give Lacazette an opportunity to gain some more time on the pitch in an Arsenal shirt.
Well that is my predicted/preferred line-up for the game, but how would you like us to line up?
16 thoughts on “Iwobi, Akpom, Theo up-front, Jack and Elneny in Midfield: Koln v Arsenal predicted line-up”
Fun to think about. I love to see the new kids.
Kev mentioned Nketiah the other day, and i looked him up on youtube. I wonder what’s his status, availability? Also does anyone know what’s up with Reine Adelaide?
I really want to see an experimental young lineup like yours Total, because i think that we are going to depend on players like Chambers, Holding, Reiss Nelson, Iwobi next season or sooner.
I cant wait to see Jack playing for us again, and i do want to see Debuchy at rb or rwb where i think he’d excel. Fans have been too hard on him. He started great for us, then had really bad injury luck. We forget that he was one of the top rbs in the prem, and started for a strong France national team. We have such short memories. Hector doesn’t look as interested to me for a while now, but that’s another subject.
Having never watched a Europa game though, i just have a feeling that every team we play will be very excited to be there, unlike us. They will play their best players, especially against us. They will play lineups that always play together, and they will be organized and hungry.
I’m saying basically, whether we make a lot of changes, or even just 2 or 3, that I think it will be hard right from the beginning stage.
One person I’d love to watch the game with – Lukas Podolski. I’ll have to follow his twitter.
TA, we still have the small matter of playing Bournemouth at the weekend, but I can understand getting ahead of things.
As for that line up? Not likely, being our first game and not with so many 1st teamers in need of game time. I expect we shall see Coquelin and one of Giroud, Lacazette or Alexis. But it all depends on who plays at the weekend.
When we have a comfortable lead in the group, we can start the experiments.
Jnyc, According to a report in France, Bolton attempted to sign Jeff on loan, but the move ended up not coming off, and Jeff will therefore stay with Arsenal and try to convince Wenger he’s ready for first-team opportunities. No further information was offered on the matter.
I daresay he’s not progressed as fast as I expected he would when he joined us 2/3 years ago. He was injured and failed to make the pre-season tour and games. It’s hard to know what’s the thinking, about him, at the club.
Thanks Eris. Many of us were excited with glimpses we got of Jeff last pre-season. First step is getting regular games at any level, i guess.
TA.. what an imagination.. Too Good to be true.. hehehehe..
EL isn’t an easy game to play..
Although Wenger said that the focus in on PL.. but he never will change 10 players.. Five will be more than a lot.. hehehehe..
But at least we know that our second team are good enough to compete..
Agree with Jnyc.. Debuchy should be considered as another choice for RWB.. He will be great there..
I also have the same wondering about JRA..
Hope he is alright and will be shine this season..
My first thought?
I’m concerned about the quality of the pitches– to play too many 1st-teamers.
In the past, we’ve seen late-game injuries in CL away fixtures that really hurt the team.
IIRC? Both Giroud and Ramsey– Santi too perhaps? Have sustained injuries against lesser teams in these circumstances.
I agree that some recent returnees require game minutes.
But if you can’t play your game on a sub-par pitch– the value of those minutes are questionable
TA …. to this post I’d say ” Let the music play on!”.
The critical consideration would be that we would be playing Chl away 3days later (Sunday). There is likely to be wholesome changes for the Koln match, but it must be our strongest 2nd eleven (Bundesliga teams must be respected).
Luckily Koln has started their season very poorly loosing their opening 2 matches And to make matters worse they are away in their league just 2 dáys after (Sat). They must be under pressure to field their 2nd team also.
I feel that Wenger would jettison the 3:4:3 to go back to his trusted 4:2:3:1 or 4:3:3 Meanwhile Iwobi is out with a muscular problem and I doubt he would be ready next Thursday.
The line up:
The bench will be full of the junior players. As Eris commented this also an opportunity to give the fring senior players some game time. The Coq/Xhak shows am expecting Elneny/Rambo against Chl.
jwl ….. it’s actually Ars v Koln. We are playing at home. Anyway you can trust the Bundedliga pitches to be top quality.
Ah, understood. But eventually we play on pitches in outposts. Even in the CL, I recall places like Ludogorets, and someplace in a Ukrainian no-fly-zone a few years back. Was it Dnipro?
BATE Borisov. K Crvena zvezda.
How are the pitches in Barysaw and Belgrade? 😉
There were a few considerations to the DM area. Le Coq, Elneny, Rambo and Xhaka are the 4 senior players. AMN and Jeff is the young DM players that catches my eye.
We could see Le Coq and Elneny in the UEL, and Rambo and Xhaka in the PL games. More of that rather than a pairing of either or.
Chambers Bielik Mustafi
Debuchy Elneny Wilshere Reine-Adelaide
It would be stupid not to use Debuchy in matches outside league as he would really represent a deadwood.
I wouldn’t risk any of our LBs (Nacho, Seo) on Spursday nights because we need them both for the first team in the league (Nacho as LCB, Seo as LWB). That’s why I opted with our nominally strongest CB Mustafi on that side as a cover for Jeff who can pass the ball and make a dribbling or two.
Also, Mustafi was paid 35 million pounds last year and it would border with idiotism to leave him on the stands or to rot on the bench when he can help. Chambers did well as RCB v Benfica at the Emirates Cup and I reckon it could be his new role. He doesn’t have enough pace to maraud down the flank but his height should help our back-line to deal with crosses.
Bielik played as a central defender even if he was signed as a central midfielder so I reckon he should get a game or two under his belt to see what he is made of.
Both Elneny and Wilshere were on the exit door last summer but both of them chose to stay instead. Spursday nights are the stage they can perform and prove they are good enough to stay at Arsenal.
Iwobi and Theo are supposed to provide creativity and pace respectively for our attacking line. I’m curious to see what Iwobi can provide to the team when he is relieved of defensive duties.
Giroud should benefit from partnership with Theo and the same goes the other way around.
As for Nelson and Nketiah, I’d love to see them getting 20-25 minutes per game just to taste the big scene.
As for Akpom, I’m afraid, he’s been pretty much written off and if there had been a serious buyer, he would have been sold permanently in the same way Toral was. It’s a shame given his agility and off-the-pitch chemistry with Iwobi.
Loving the comments and line up chaps and chapesses. Catch up later
Great post Total, not read all the comments yet, but I think Wenger will need to pick a team with a strong spine, then sprinkle some younger talent around the edges.
Henry C 😄, makes a good comment about Arsene not making 10 changes, that’s for the League Cup, but I think he may make more than 5, there’s a fine balance to made by resting our 1st choicers for the EPL but in taking the UEFA Cup seriously.
BFG, Chambers and Holding in the back three for me, Niles at LWB, Nelson at RWB?
Perm any two from Elneny, Coq and Jack in the middle, I’m hoping Jack will thrive in the European game.
Up front, it’s a shame Perez has gone as he’d be my first pick.
Yep Theo on the right, Akpom on the left, he has some serious pace, Giroud or Welbeck up front, Iwobi in the hole, bingo!
As far as playing the youngsters are concerned, yes please, but study your opponents and pick the right games for them, it’s the sensible thing to do.
No Iwobi then PE, what a bloody shame, this competition is made for him to shine in.
Well I guess Elneny and Coq holding, we’ll sort of as our c/m’s never seem to hold, with Jack in the hole, I do hope Wenger gives him a game.
Yep Debuchy, forgot about him, he could a job in the back-three I reckon.
Bielik is injured Admir, I think he’s out until the turn of the year.
I read somewhere that Iwobi is back and training, so he will always be an option.
New post. Just something to keep the show going 🙃