Arsenal-Cologne Live Blog. Europa League Group Stage Round 1. Preview, Line-ups, Descriptions.

Staying balanced, staying focused.  How (& whom) to play ahead of Stamford Bridge on Sunday.


Arsene Wenger’s first try in Europe’s 2nd tier, like everything he does as leader at the club that bears his name–was it really named in his honor?–is fraught with peril.  If he rests too many, the result could be at risk.  If he plays anybody Gooners demand rested, the would-be-Wenger’s will predict doom for Sunday’s match.  I expect big rotation tonight, maybe even a full new first 11, ahead of bigger fish to fry.  Speaking of fish, here’s a guy who probably would have started but will be absent due to his hamstring injury.  Check it out.  Frozen in blurred action, he actually looks like a fish…

All kidding aside, we wish Francis Coquelin a speedy recovery.  He will be missed tonight and needed as the season continues.

Here’s my predicted starting group with some big ol’ question marks.  Please help me fill in the blanks


Holding –Mertesacker–???????



Of course, the actual names I’ve listed could (also) be wrong.  Who should start and why?  Any insider knowledge of Bottom-of-the-Bundesliga Cologne?  Do they put out a strong squad to try and jump-start their season or do they (too) rotate heavily to try rest their biggest names?  And whom might those big names be if Lucas Poldolski has not yet returned for a 3rd stint at the club?  As with the Gunners, Koln’s squad players might see this as a chance to show their stuff and move up into the starting 11 for Bundesliga play.

OK, there you go.  Follow us in the comments as line-ups come out and the match is played.  I’ll be back then…

by 17highburyterrace


19 thoughts on “Arsenal-Cologne Live Blog. Europa League Group Stage Round 1. Preview, Line-ups, Descriptions.

  • Back on 4 September Total Arsenal put out the following predicted line-up…





    TA, are you still sticking with that group?

  • Pity about Coquelin (he did look like a fish -tail and all- in that still photo, in truth); he should have been strutting his stuff tonight and would have, no doubt, been in the manager’s mind to provide defensive midfield presence on Sunday.

    Is Chambers fit, as I have hardly seen him in the training photos. Had Debuchy not gone leaky with his mouth, he should have been a first choice for tonight, to stake a claim. I will be expecting to see strong wing backs (Bellerin and Kolasinac/Monreal) and feel the back 3 will have Mustafi, Mert and Holding (last chance saloon). Iwobi has to play to be creator in Ozil’s absence, so hard to see where Theo fits in, much as I would like him to start; unless we want to have Nelson in creative midfield – a strong shout.

    One thing’s for sure, only Wenger knows what team he will be putting out but with the raucous fans that have come with FC Koln, we must put out a team strong enough to beat them or it would appear they succeeded in intimidating all of London with the noise and flares I read their fans are making and lighting up in central London.

  • Oh, and 17ht, writing “…Arsene Wenger’s first try in Europe’s 2nd tier, like everything he does as leader at the club that bears his…..”

    Wenger did play in the Europa under the old name, with Arsenal, reaching the final only to lose to Galatasaray via penalties. It is to be noted that we had a full and very powerful squad and it was the big names who lost their penalty kicks to deny Wenger his first European medal, something that’s used to flog him with these days. Vieira, Petit, Seaman, Keown, Henry, Bergkamp, Overmars, etc. Name them. All present.

  • Hey ‘Eris…

    Thanks for the correction… As I wrote it, I was probably sure that I ought to research my claim or change it to “in 20+ years” or something similar… I couldn’t be arsed, as they say, but I really do appreciate the correction… Cheers also for the report on the Koln traveling support. Hopefully they’ll be plenty of Gooners filling the rest of the stands…

    I hope you’ll be around during the match. It’s a whole lot less fun typing my impressions into the void… (And yours always seem pretty spot-on…)

    Yeah, I too wonder about Chambers and Debuchy… To my mind, the wingback positions are some of the most physically demanding. They may not cover as many kilometers as the midfielders but my guess is that they do more–and longer–full sprints, both forwards and back. As such, giving Kola and Bells a rest makes sense to me. Who might fill in, however, would be anyone’s guess…

    Overall, unlike many, I’m not too concerned about players who might go tonight being unable to recover by Sunday…

    OK, really gone now…

  • Great post Seventeenho. I think we will see a few changes from my prediction last week, with Alexis starting and possibly Giroud too. I hope IwobI will be in the hole and Jack and Elneny behind him. That would be very, very exciting. Cannot wait to watch this one.

  • And what a farce the CL is with the financial bullies slaughtering the former great working class clubs like Celtic and Feijenoord without any remorse. Beyond boring.

  • In fact, he sandwiched Arsenal between two spells at Koln. He is also our post war record holder in terms most goals scored in one game….. five!!

  • Cheers, 17ht. The team sheets are out now. No Debuchy, Chambers and Jack. Mertesacker, Holding, Monreal at back 3; Elneny, Iwobi, Bellerin and Maitland-Niles in the middle 4; Alexis, Theo and Giroud at front 3. Expect 9 men at the back by Koln.

  • Hey TA… Do you have this one on the telly?… How can you go wrong with a name like Woodcock? Much better than Limp, for example… Hopefully nobody ever did a typo on the first name, i.e., Tiny… Anyhow, I don’t want to seem preoccupied here… 😀

    You have a strong point about the CL… Of course, a decade ago, Wenger predicted a Euro Super League, ideally with promotion and relegation based on national league placings… It can’t be too far off, can it? Or are the backward, er, nationalist, movements too strong?…

    Arsenal line-up is out…

    Arsenal: Ospina; Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles; Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez

  • Mein Gott der Islington has been taken over by der Jerries.

    There’s hundreds of ticketless Cologne fans here, great support, all good natured and they are drinking the borough dry.
    They do like a lagar do our German cousins.

  • TA, never knew Woodcock until I read about him last week. He predicts a win for us, as is to be expected.

    Last round of CL games did look a farce at times. While we play a well known club from Germany in the Europa, likes of Chelsea get to play against clubs that no one knows about. 😀

  • Hey A-kev… Be sure to give us your in-match comments, eh… Or even copy and paste the over to the NEW POST. It must be quite a scene there in N. London. Keep us posted…

    Indeed, in an attempt to, er, broaden our audience, I’m moving this over to a…

    New Post

  • Seventeenho, I am on a train from Manchester to Embra with the last light shining right at me. With a bit of luck, I shall arrive just in time for the game. J has promised to cook a meal for me, and the prospect of beer, food and Arsenal at the home of football is making me feel relaxed for the first time in a week or so (emptied the Moffat house over the weekend).

  • Wow… Good you’re getting settled… Give me the news at some point…

    I hope the NEW POST seems like a good idea…

  • T A Kev is avoiding your question ,so I will admit to seeing Tony Woodcock. A good striker with a decent haircut… what does he look like now.

    17HT you have to be pretty on the ball to catch Eris out, but to add a little to your defence. At one time the Champions League, was what it claimed to be, only the Champions from each country. The next three or so sides plus the cup winners enterered the EUFA cup (Europa)

    When you asked about a live blog the other day. I did throw an idea out, which I suspect didn’t make it through. I am sure there are any number of copyright reasons why this can’t be done, but there is. Toronto sight called Arsenal List, which post highlights, goals , incidents etc about 5 minutes after the event. Would be a nice touch if you could post from the West Coast, but very much doubt you can

  • Hey Retsub… Copy and Post to the new thread… I’ll let TA worry about the copyright stuff… 😀 😮

    Whoa, Our match has been put back by an hour due to the big German crowds, I guess…

    More info on the NEW POST as it comes in…

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