A.L.O. in Attack, XhakRam in Midfield, BFG to lead Defence: Arsenal v Swans Line-up|Preview

Can the Gunners make it 10 consecutive PL home wins in a row?

But there is no time for swanning around: the cannon needs to roar and roar. I am always nervous when we play home games against teams ‘we should beat’ as there have been many games like these when the team did not play with the required intensity and focus and dropped costly points as a result. The Swans took home 10 points from the Emirates during their last six PL games, so the boys are more than warned!

Luckily, the current ‘First Team’ squad has been fully rested and will be eager to play again. Another win at home will make it 10 League victories in a row. There is not much more to say re this game. The first team is likely to be the same as those that played against the sorry Toffees last weekend.

Here it is:

submit football lineup

I cannot wait to see ALO ALO in our attack once again. Their collective movement,  creativity, thrust and fire-power is something to behold. Ozil is our ‘new’ Mozart and with a free role from the right, he will mostly be the creator and composer of our attacking play, whilst also adding a threat of finishing off a move. Alexis and Lacazetter offer so much in terms of forward play and Mesut will be looking forward to playing alongside them this afternoon.

The service to these three beasts will come from the linker-upper Rambo and from XhakaKAN from deep midfield. As always in this formation, we need our full back to be on full-throttle both in attack and defence, and I reckon we are almost there. Kola needs to improve a bit in terms of his defensive positioning and Hector needs to put in more good balls as well as take some of the chances he gets presented with. I have no doubt that Nacho and Koz will offer further thrust and passes from deep, but they also need to look after the less mobile, but brilliant organiser, BFG.

All to play for.


By TotalArsenal 

137 thoughts on “A.L.O. in Attack, XhakRam in Midfield, BFG to lead Defence: Arsenal v Swans Line-up|Preview

  • Total, you are right, Iwobi hasn’t had the season I’d envisaged for him, but he is still young and I’m sure will find his feet again.
    Interesting to see him filling in at LWB in the League Cup, his versatility can be both a benefit and a hindrance to him finally cementing a spot. Maybe if/when Mesut leaves the chance to play more in his favoured spot will see him consistently hit the heights.

    Holding and Chambers could be our future defence Total, the whole group is in flux, the team we see kick off the season 18 months from now could bare no resemblance to the current line up.
    I’m enjoying seeing the whole squad evolve.
    Out with the old, in with the new.

  • Hi all..Hi TA.. Great post..
    I think you got 11/11 right with the team.. hehehehe..

    I loved ALO too.. hope their teamwork getting better and better as they play more time together..
    I feel more secured with Mertesacker as our leader.. more than Mustafi did.. hehehehe..

    And also hoping Xhaka will play more calm and solid.. I loved his long shoot.. wish to see that again tonight..

    3-0 Will be great.. VCC..

  • Yeah Total, as you say the team picks itself, but respect Swansea, they are a team who comes to the Emirates with happy recent memories, our stadium holds no fear for them.
    As it stands I’d take a 1-0 just to keep our pot boiling.

    The substitutes could be interesting and will Eddie get on the subs bench?

  • Arsenal (3-4-2-1) Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette. Substitutes: Macey, Holding, Wilshere, Iwobi, Coquelin, Giroud, Walcott.

    Swansea (3-5-2) Fabianski; van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Mawson; Naughton, Ki, Fer, Carroll, Clucas; Ayew, Abraham. Substitutes: Nordfeldt, Rodon, Dyer, Mesa, Narsingh, Routledge, McBurnie.

    Cheers, TA for getting a preview up… And, of course, good work in picking the first 11, though I have to say, it was crystal clear what Wenger would do. No surprises on the bench, either, given the injury news that’s out there.

    I’m too busy for a live-blog AND the powers at my satellite company have moved this one to their streaming service. I think there was an earlier match that worked this way and the stream worked well enough. Still, I’m not sophisticated enough to get two windows up and working at the same time. Also, I don’t think my combination of screen size and reading glasses are quite strong enough… 😀

    So, in the end, what can you say, except COYG. Here’s to another fine performance (and result) by our top team… (Go on then…)

  • Same here 17HT. I’m dark for the first time this season.
    Do have some bookmarks for finding full matches online post-game– so will hopefully get the chance to watch later today.


  • After starting dominantly, the Spurs do what Spurs do and came unstuck at a vital moment. A draw would have been nice, but that means if we win against Swansea, we can get closer to the spuds.

    Everything points to an Arsenal win today, so let’s just do it. COYG!

  • T, On point with the line up. Just watched United vs Totts. I like the way the petulant one has transformed Ashley Young into an all around player, more attacking fullback.. This is what I had suggested a while back for Welbeck as a wingback. Well for now doesnt matter until he’s healthy i guess.

    Kev, I have been underwhelmed by Iwobi this year, he just hasn’t looked dynamic enough to me. Was he at wingback the other day? Interesting, i dont think it would hurt him to play there occasionally, he gets a decent amount of playing time further up front. But he is not forcing his way into the team. I’m more interested to see Reiss Nelson with the ball.

  • Yeah, I guess I was wrong… Only audio from the dot.com… The satellite company wants an extra $50 and I think that’s not right…

    Who’s got some video and wants to give me their impressions as they see them?…

  • As expected, Swansea are defending very deep letting Arsenal have more of the ball. A raking long pass from Xhaka picks out Sanchez in on goal but he was unable to control before being dispossessed.

  • ManCity already up a goal at West Brom… Very easy for Sane with a spread pitch to blast across Foster and inside the far post…

    But, wait, WBA have leveled… A forward ball bounces between keeper and defender and the WBA guy is there to lift it home…

    Not quite over yet, I guess…

  • Looks like the swans are starting to come forward and spaces are starting to show behind them. We’ve not been able to take full advantage though. A few misplaced forward passes so far. I think we need to move the ball quicker to beat this defence.

  • Have you got video, ‘Eris?…

    The way my DirectTV or NBCSN “Gold” is doing the matches shows, once again, how it’s harder to be poor than rich–or to support a poor team instead of a rich one. If you wanted to watch a team who usually plays in the 3 o’clock slot, the extra $50 might be a good investment. Today, I’ll stick with the audio…

  • Sloppy, really, from our defence. A slip by Koscielny and there was the gap, latched upon. Cech could have done better though and I feel Bellerin reacted too slowly to the danger, seeing as Koscielny slipped. To think we were dominating proceedings till then.

  • Can’t be happy times inside the stadium–or in the brains of many Gooners… Sounds like Arsenal have given the ball away cheaply since the goal…

  • Yep. Got video…..but won’t be giving real time commentary as you do it. 😀

  • The team looks rattled since the goal but should recover easily (as they look to have done). Too many loud groans in the stadium and this is the thing with the Emirates. Spurs outplayed United for many minutes in the first half at Old trafford, but all you heard was encouragement from their fans….

  • Nope, 17. I am back in Nigeria now. Cable tv provider puts all the games on show.

  • Ah, very good… Are you in Nigeria for a while? Were you only in Canada temporarily?

  • Sounds like the early goal only deepens the pattern of the game… (Swans playing on the break and/or keeping their shape when they do get the ball…) Swansea sound as if they haven’t backed off and feel the need to get a 2nd…

  • Commentary sure seems easier than trying to type in comments… There are plenty of breaks in the action (in every match) but still hard to decide what should be reported and what’s ok to leave out…

  • Less than 10 mins until the boos rain down… Swansea fans dominating the stadium noise…

  • Mo Salah has a pen at Liverpool blocked… Sounds like Fabianski did his shot-stopping thing (from an Alexis strike)…

  • Henry? You have full coverage in Indonesia?…

    Where’s mine? I guess this is why America isn’t great any longer… 😀 😦

  • Geez, sounds like Swansea have had a few good chances on the back. Cech coming to the rescue in the most recent one?… Sounds like the BFG has had a bit of trouble as our last man back…

    Here come the boos… Unable to equalize before the break means we need a new manager…


  • On the break, I meant…

    Actually, fewer boos (or less negative noises) at the whistle than I expected…

  • Also listening to the radio coverage and it sounds like we did not start with the right intensity. Is it because we are worried about the counter-threat? The good news is we did not concede a second goal and Wenger can make some adjustments. All to play for but this is not looking, or feeling, good at the moment.

  • Hi 17ht.. We have Bein sport here.. beinsport 1, 2 and 3.. All do live.. Arsenal played on Bein sport 3 now..

  • Not very pleased to see us go into half time 1 goal down, at home. We are not passing with intent and speed and it is inexplicable to me, why Bellerin isn’t even trying to take on his man a bit more. Mertesacker had a brain fart moment when he was under pressure from Jordan Ayew and dilly dallying with the ball only to be shrugged off it easily and only an over-hit touch prevented that from being goal No. 2.

    We have created some chances but need to be more incisive with shooting. We should add aggression to our dominance and be looking to hit Swansea for 3 goals, at the minimum. A better second half is expected.

  • No 17ht.. the fault is on Bellerin.. not Mertesacker.. He can do more if here want or of he is fit enough..

  • No 17ht.. the fault is on Bellerin.. not Mertesacker.. He can do more if he want or if he is fit enough..

  • Coquelin can replace Bellerin with instructions to go forward. He does have some footwork and speed of thought at the wings. Fabianski can be beaten if the right ball is hit right. That’s been the problem. There needs to be a bit more protection for Mert; had my heart in my mouth one time he found himself alone against Tammy Abraham. Commentators saying it is a game crying out for Giroud. Maybe they have not seen Mawson. Lol.

  • Had to run around at half-time… Any changes?…

    Sorry, but I can’t see a sub for Bellerin… Subs will need to be up front or maybe we switch to a 4 man back-line pushing either Kola or Bells forward…

  • Must be said that our goal came after good work between Ozil and Xhaka who was persistent before playing in Lacazette who also tried to escape many legs before the ball rebound to Kolasinac.

    A free kick well taken, Kos heads it wide while trying to get too much on it.

  • Wow… At least Henry is well ahead of me… (around a minute at least…) This bites…

  • Wonderfully worked goal. Kolasinac lays it off for Ramsey who found the bottom corner. 2-1.

  • We’re ahead now… I had to wait awhile to hear about the goal… Nice one?…

  • It was a sitter, the missed header by Kos.

    Now, we need to go on to score more. This is a game we should win by, at least, a 2 goal margin. If we are in the mood, we should get 4.

  • A great scross from Sanchez..
    Bell just a bit slow.. and that make Sanchez angry.. hehehehe

  • Fabianski did get something on both our goals, on second view.

    And there was a muddled up chance after a back heel by Laca found Ozil whose lay-off was on a toss up for both Ramsey and Alexis, who got in each other’s way for a poor attempt. Should be 3.

  • Henrychan, I think Sanchez was more angry at the poor weight of his pass than with Bellerin. South Americans do that… get angry at themselves. 😀😀

  • Laca’s movement has been giving the swans a lot of trouble trying to decide who picks him out. He takes one such loose ball on the half turn but Fabianski gathers.

  • From a break away, after a corner kick in our area, Bellerin clips the bar as he stretched for a Sanchez chip over the top. Close!
    Lacazette clattered and down injured. Time for Giroud to come on?

  • No Eris.. Bell isnt at his best..
    he just did it again.. with such great pass from Ramsey..

  • Bellerin doing better this period? Off the bar after beating some defenders?…

  • Bellerin should be putting Laca in on goal there but a poor selection. That kid must remember he is Spanish and from the La Masia academy.

  • 17, im in the same situation as you as far as watching. Nbcsports do a very good job, Arsenal games are shown most weeks, but now the games they consider priority include both manchesters, chelsea, liverpool, and even spurs because theyre hot. Arsenal need to fight back into relevance by surpassing spuds and pool this year, and beating some top teams.

  • No television for you either TA?… I think I’m learning how you feel… (It sucks…)

  • 17, Bellerin is out of sorts, in my opinion. He is getting more involved but his decision making has been faulty. Koscielny crossing like a defender there. Hahaha.

  • Not sure Jack (or Theo) will get the chance for his cameo even as Gareth Southgate looks to have come here to see him as he makes the decision for the upcoming friendly.

  • I’m not so sanguine, J… Last year every match was on if you bought the sports package… Now you need to pay an extra $50 if you want them all and you need a smart TV (or other TV rig) or you’re on a small screen… Classic bait and switch, in my view…

  • Game has slowed down a bit but we are still not being troubled, for now. We should put this game to bed so we can make some luxury changes.

  • What a great combination from Kola and Sanchez..
    Kola out.. a bit injured I think

  • Kolasinac with a holiwood flick to Sanchez but he elected to cross with the outside of his right foot for Fabianski to gather. It would have been better if he drove in a bit more to get a better pass.

    Kolasinac is injured and off for Holding. We may have Monreal at wing back now.

  • Kola out, who’s in… Does Nacho swing out to LB? I haven’t heard him mentioned all day…

  • Holding comes on and passes short for Xhaka to slide in and we are penalized. The free kick is defended but you sense the swans will come forward as they smell a weak spot with Holding on.

    As they plan a double sub, Wenger throws on Giroud for Lacazette. But will the crosses come?

  • We must avoid the temptation to stay back and defend, with long balls to Giroud. We can take the game with some adventurous play, but maybe better to be pragmatic and get the 3 points instead.

  • Holding with a crunching tackle in their half. Is that a message to say don’t think this is the weak link?

  • The points, in the end, are all that matter… Sounds like Swansea are pushing to get one of their own…

  • A great move crafted by Monreal and Sanchez sees Giroud shoot wide. Would have been a good goal for the TV, just for the movement.

  • Very good… Coming from behind (always) seems good. Defending a one goal lead always seems good, too…

    Cheers for the company and the commentary… Gotta run…

  • Yep. Not much changes at the top unless Chelsea chose to lose to Bournemouth, in which case, we will go above them. We also move closer to the spuds.

    West Ham look to be back, winning 2-1 at Palace. Liverpool won 3-0; Stoke beat Watford 1-0 while England is at 2-2 vs Spain in the U-17 World Cup final. 😉

  • Yes.. let’s enjoy our next game at UEL.. this Thursday.. and we Will see some youngster and Wilshere again..

  • Yes Eris.. pity Westham didn’t get the same luck.. and City win 2-3.. hehehehe..

  • It’s end d 5-2, England in the U-17s. Wenger is right. Something is happening in England at youth level. What a story this is.

  • We have almost all the matches available on pay tv here. It is a pity that 3pm kickoff matches are not allowed to be broadcasted across UK.

    If it were implemented in our local league in Singapore, us locals will not even think of going as the standard here is not even worthy of a quarter of the stadium.

    Kola and Alexis did not work in the first half but when Alexis stayed a little behind in the second half, red hot passes between them did the trick to unlocking the stubborn Swans. The pairing between Ozil and Bells is good too, and Lacazette did well to work with Ozil and Alexis.

    ALO pairing is still a work in progress, but it is clear that we were pacier and tried to run at defenses. While we were not sublime enough to score more, it is good to see the lads playing well and interacting well with one another.

    Hope Kola is not injured badly, and will be ok after a couple of days.

    Also a shoutout to the under 17s, who have won the u17 world cup for England. Congrats on beating Spain.

  • Been quiet these couple of days. Will we see the 8 positives making a comeback?

    Next up, Red Star Belgrade at home. Can’t wait for Thursday to arrive.

  • Seems as if the club have moved quickly to tie Ntekieh to a new improved contract, if the rumours are true.

    I’m hearing a 5 year contract.
    Makes a lot of sense.

  • I’ve now watched the game up until the (2nd) winning goal…and I’m most impressed by…

    Feelings of empathy for the domestic (i.e., British) crowd. The whole experience of not being able to watch in real time makes the WHOLE THING about the result, and, obviously, you’re relying on what I call “received opinion,” i.e., the commentators… Afterwards, the feelings around the result deepen as the highlights–and more opinion–comes on-line. The studio blokes (many who never played at anywhere NEAR the level they are demanding…), the MOTD clips and quips, and worst of all, the (drunken?) pundits on the interweb with there 1 linrs of pur hate…or their (absurdly) soaring expectations for the future…

    So, thank dennis that we won the match and took the points… Wear Gonna Win teh Leauge!!!!

    Actually watching as I did (and, I haven’t seen the whole match…), I have to say I fear a drubbing at Manchester City, who I will try and watch in their CL match tomorrow at Napoli. They get the extra day of rest but also have to travel back and forth to Napoli. Of course, we’ll be playing a nearly entirely changed team, so, in a way, we might be better rested. They might be deep enough to do likewise, however. Apologies to TA (last post) but I really don’t quite believe in the glory of these easier midweek matches and a complete 2nd unit. Players need rest it’s true but they also need to be able to mesh with at least a portion of the first team guys and play at a high level. Yes, we’ve been squeaking out victories, but if the quality of our play in those (midweek) games seeps into our weekend games, we’re in big (big) trouble. In those games (vs 2nd tier teams, we should admit…) we’re starting very (very) slowly and then kicking into gear as the game wears on, and, esp. after adjustments (or a hair dryer treatment…) by our manager are made at half time. The problem with going a goal down is that it becomes quite easy to go two goals down… 🙂 It hasn’t happened in the last three matches, but it will at some point… We should also not forget that we faded rather badly at Watford, so maybe going UP by a goal is even worse… More smileys…

    Red Star Belgrade in North London?… Please (please) give some extra seats to the traveling supporters (knowing full well many of our seats should be available…) It’s a logistical problem but that’s what computers are for… Or give free tickets for extra ushers…in our sections only, of course… Please pardon the free (wild? stupid?) thinking of the guy from California, but we’re sorta famous for it…

    Happy Monday…

  • 17, im in the same viewing problems as you. The teams deemed hotter, like pool, spurs, since theyre in champs league also, are getting preferable broadcasts when playing at the same time. But at least playing on spursdays, we will be on sundays often, which are always shown.

    I find the same issue of hearing results and opinions before watching, but I very often see things differently. Mostly I’m annoyed by regular fans who are unnecessarily negative, and don’t give enough credit for our guys effort.

    Overall, I think our record right now says the most about us, and it’s a bit worrying. We haven’t dominated teams that much, and struggled in some of the victories. Everton are playing so badly, i dont take much joy from it.

    Taking that all into account, the way we perform against city and tottenham will tell us all we need to know. One playing spectacular football , the other extremely solid and efficient. The results obviously crucial, but I’m really curious to see how we handle them.

  • You are right 17ht. Even watching the highlights alone does not show the full picture of how the team played.

    One have to watch at least the full match live or on internet to know how the team really played. Most commentators did not see the full match and thus their comments does not fit what was the actual situation.

    And i do not think Belgrade fans will be as crazy as their Koln counterparts. Maybe a little more fans will try to get in, but as measures are in place we should not see a repeat of what happened.

  • Well said, J… I’m also looking for good performances in those matches, and, ideally, a result in the Spurs match. Sadly, my feeling is that 1 point from the 6 on offer would be just about what we should hope for. Also, sadly, such results would cast an even darker shadow over North London than the usual ones experienced in mid-November…

    What really kills me is how the pundits take the RESULT as if it’s BIBLICAL in its truth. I get the symbolism of Eve giving Adam the fruit of the vine (women are the root of all evil as is knowledge…) and that Adam raised a Cain (transferred his sin to the next generation if not all humanity) who then killed his brother (one quarter of the population). What I don’t get is how Cain was able to have kids… How many ribs did he have to give up in order to populate the earth?… (And please don’t tell me he had to get with Eve…)

    The very first piece of wisdom I learned listening to post match manager comments was the NEED to separate the performance from the result. In other words, good performances don’t always = good results (and visa versa, of course). In my view–more than in any other sport–luck (including routinely woeful officiating) plays a massive factor in results. In golf, you at least go onto the next tee–17 times per round. In football you have to read the internet for a week… And you play fewer holes (matches) than the golfers do in a single tournament!!!

    Arsenal have so many things going against them that we (just about) NEVER get the ‘rub of the green’ (as they say…), so, are ALL results correct? In my mind they aren’t. Try telling that to your average (media munching…) Gooner… (Don’t do it in person, if you don’t want to risk a fight… Even on the internet, I’ve been threatened…)

  • JK, I’m not really worried about Koln-like numbers, more so the lack of full Arsenal support. Midweek matches go late and many of those who can afford the tickets have jobs that start early…

    Regarding what I actually watched, we really weren’t that bad. Cech was a bit indecisive for their goal and the BFG got fouled (no whistle, of course) for their only other real chance but Cech did well to close down the shot.

    The real worry is ALO, in my view. If Lacazette would add a bit more “false 9” play into his game it could perhaps lure the central defenders up and allow Alexis to sneak into more central spots. He’s shooting a bunch from the corners of the boxes and he can score those goals but the strikes have to be inch perfect. Laca seems good about staying onside (not every striker’s forte) but less so about picking a post to make his runs towards… If he got more decisive in that regard it could allow the next line (Ramsey and Ozil) to go towards the opposite post, hopefully bamboozling even the best shot stoppers (i.e., Fabianski) as well as the keepers who come off their line with real aggression. To me, we’re living too much out on the flanks and on lofted passes over the top from Ozil and Xhaka…

    As always, however, I’ll be happy to be proved wrong in those next couple of matches… 🙂

  • Just finished watching the excellent Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War…
    Fascinating to relive a lot of that conflict, that was played out on British TV, from the mid 60’s onwards, the first of its kind pretty much covered from all angles.

    So interesting watching a young John Kerry as the spokesman of the vets.
    And how that war shaped the last 40 odd years.

  • 84, I am busy and so is Seventeenho. I actually have not seen the game as yet so no chance of writing about it. But we had good in-game comments and that goes a long way. I may be able to do a quick match preview before the game starts tomorrow.

    Kev, good to hear you had a good TV experience the other night.

  • 84, I doubt that Arsene will make too many changes to the starting XI he usually utilises in the UEFA Cup, which to me is the sensible course, get the job done vs Red Star, win the group then experiment against Köln and BATE.

    I’d expect to see another Eddie cameo tomorrow.

    Yeah Total, if you enjoy your history then Ken Burns makes some impressive documentaries.

  • I agree with Kev, re the selection for the game tomorrow. Hopefully, City have to play its 1st team and get knackered at Napoli (okay, I know they will be home with a day more to rest), both physically and in their spirit. Napoli look a good bet to beat them and start the end of the “unbeaten” run they are threatening to embark upon.

  • Just like I guessed Roma will beat Chelsea after seeing how they acquitted themselves in the reverse, I feel Napoli can raise their game at home too. That will knock the stuffing out of them as they take on the mighty Arsenal on Sunday.

  • I dunno JK, I felt like I wrote some stuff (above)… But maybe my themes aren’t too palatable (too negative) or just too repetitive. So, no comments in response… No big deal, as I write for (mostly) my own entertainment or to clarify my thinking or something like that. Certainly they didn’t seem worthy of turning them into a new post…

    We’ve got tomorrow’s match on the telly (on a channel that I get) so I can try and do a live-blog. It’s tougher given that all the young guys have the same hair–and that I know nothing about FK Crvena zvezda given that the reverse fixture wasn’t one I got to see…

    Sorry, ‘Eris, but I think City will get a result at Napoli… I’ve been to that stadium (in 1990–gulp, that’s a while ago–for a match vs Roma, mostly to see Maradona) and it’s quite a monument to the glory of concrete. I remember walking down a long tunnel from the train and the pre-match noise was LOUD. Speaking of big stadiums… Tiny Totts play Real Madrid at Wembley so maybe I’ll have to switch back and forth trying to watch the two matches… Truth be told, this season I’m not watching a lot of “neutral” football, pained as I am by the dominance of money in the game and the negativity around our team in that regard (our “big value” players all looking to get out of the club–even if only for sub appearances at Liverpool)… What about others? Are you guys watching other teams play? Any thoughts there?…

    Happy Wednesday… 🙂

  • Well, 17. Let’s wait to see how Napoli holds out. I just read their manager and he did sound like he was waving the white flag already (could be gamesmanship, though).

    I enjoy watching games, as a neutral, especially when any of the sides will be meeting our side, any time soon. Same reason I decided to watch Schalke v Bayern in February ’17, and “discovered” the beastly Kolasinac. 😀.

    Also been watching a lot of the City v W’brom game. They do look imperious, but it only takes one defeat and the wheels will come off.

  • Yeah, I’m gonna block out some time today to watch both City and Totts but I doubt I’ll watch the full matches if I record them… I’m picking the away teams in both matches. Sorry Spurs, (note the location of the comma…) I don’t think, will get a result from the (two time) defending champions…

    Getting results is all about defense (American spelling…) first. City may have scored 35 goals (in just over 1/4 of the PL season) which is a ridiculous total, but even more impressive are the 6 goals conceded. I haven’t watched them too closely but that’s the part of the game I will try and watch in Naples. Can we score against them up at the Etihad? We shall see… We have the same goals scored (19) as Spurs but they’ve only conceded 7 to our 13… Hmmm… Hopefully our home court advantage (and maybe fewer players tweaking themselves on Int’l duty) will help us in that one.

    But, let’s not get (too far) ahead of ourselves… Time (but not ’til tomorrow) for the mid-week crew to show who can spell the first-teamers in case of injury or a drop in form…

  • Well, less than a half hour into both matches and I’m dead wrong as both home teams (Napoli and Totts) are a goal to the good. So now we’ll see if ManCity and RM can work their way back. They tend to go for the three points (i.e., lots of possession) in their league games so maybe it’s not such a bad thing to go down early… Again, we shall see and I’m definitely feeling (even more than usual) that WTF do I know sort of thing… 😀

  • Half time and Spurs still have their lead (and had additional chances…) while City have leveled things through a short corner routine… Inneresting…

  • Well, I was always worried that the Spuds would rattle Madrid but they have enough in them to make a come back. Napoli started well and put City under some pressure but such is the confidence of this City team, they have been able to claw their way back.

    I really do think Napoli will win though. Madrid need to improve the quality of their passing and they should be good. Problem is how open they will get as they chase it.

  • They need to bring players like Madrid and Marcelo into the game some more….or they will lose by more than 1.

  • Wowsa… 2 nil Spurs, 2-1 City… Worst of all worlds for Arsenal?… Lotsa time remaining, however…

  • Good call ‘Eris… Spurs now up 3-nil… And Napoli pull one back for 2-2… Seems like you might know your football better than I do… Still, almost half an hour to play…

  • Oh well, 17. Just a lucky guess from the way the reverse fixtures went. Madrid’s passing just hasn’t been on tonight and that was the same back in Spain. They also have players like Keylor Navas, Bale, Varagne and Dani Carvajal out injured which does weaken them no end.

    Still, a long way to go….

  • Looks like City have gotten stronger as the game went on. 2-3. That means we shall be meeting a very confident side on Sunday. It was bad enough as it was ….

  • Lots of goals, which is maybe the English way… With City back up (2-3) it’s 8 between the two games. Napoli look very good and will parachute into the Europa League if this result holds and they play the remaining games decently…

    Indeed, Totts have punished all the space given by RM which got even larger in their own half (when Spurs were on the counter)… Dele, Kane and Eriksen have some solid skills, esp when they’ve got some room…

    Madrid pull one back on another scramble near the goal mouth…the first one that has come off…

  • City now toying with Napoli, to be honest. That’s the strength of this team. They keep the ball so well. Maybe, the CL will go to a “new” side for a change. City, PSG and Spurs are looking very good at the moment. Of course, there is always a chance Bayern, Barca and Juve pick up form along the way.

  • City get another in extra time… So, a pair of confidence building results for both English teams… No clean sheets maybe is the tiniest of a silver lining?…

  • You are

    The bad news is that we will certainly have to play some of our key players in the KO stage of Europa league with the potential for sides like Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Napoli and maybe, CSKA joining in.

    Fun times….

  • Eris/17, I’m really looking forward to facing Man City and Tottenham, both teams are close to the top of their game and if we really want to know where ‘we’ stand or how good we are then we’ll soon know. Neither will park the bus so it’ll be two technical games of the highest calibre.

    Arsenal could get a real hiding at the Etihad, but by the same token we could just as easily turn over Pep’s ‘new invincibles’, to me they are mouth watering games and I’m gonna make sure I’m in front of the TV for those two.

    Arsenal can beat anyone on their day, they’ve proved it before, especially in last seasons FACup, it’s just the consistency thing we have a problem with.
    Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd are all losing the type of games we’ve dropped points in as we did vs Stoke and Watford, so Arsenal are, imo, at their level.
    The next step up is to take on and match up with City and the Spuds.

  • Sounds good Kev… A conservative game plan + a nothing to lose attitude could serve us well… That said, consider me worried after (half) watching the matches today (tonight)…

    Now that we’ve got you back on the BK I have to wonder… where your buddy retsub might be hiding? Paging the guy with the puppy pic… 🙂

  • I am also looking forward to seeing us play Citeh and spud, but first we needed a comeback win at Belgrade so I am focusing on this game first.

    Eris, it does not seem that we need our first teamers in the KO stages. We just need the second team to play a pacier form of footy and we are good to go and win it.

  • Total, I saw very brief highlights on TV this evening and as good as Tottenham played, they certainly had the rub of the green.
    Their first goal was offside, in fact both Trippier and Alli were offside from Wicks pass.
    Their second goal took a wicked Lampardesque deflection on Alli’s shot.
    All the same 3-1 looks impressive.
    Bring ‘em on….

    As for City, it was a great example of breakaway football against a very good Napoli team who despite being top of Serie A have now lost 3 of their 4 group games!
    Naples have some really impressive forwards, I wouldn’t mind a couple of them at Arsenal next season Total, what say you?

    Yes, my ol’ mucker Retsub has gone all Greta Garbo, hope he’s ok…

  • Yep your Old Muckrr is stil alive and kiicking. I think I have unknowingly gone into a slightly negative mode and as they say if you can’t say anything good then don’t say anything.

    Converting 16000 photos from a Pc to a Mac and sorting them out into catsgoried probably didn’t help.

    But there is still hope. “Eddy, Eddy”

  • Everyone talking Kane to Madrid but may not be long before tgey are after Pochettino I reckon, I always feared spuds would get him before he went there and thosd fears are justified. To my eye no team has better balance between attack and defense than this torts side.

  • Makayahm, if you did not mention the word spud i would have thought that you are their fan. Yes they are on a high but as a Gooner i will not care.

  • Hi all.. Hi Makayahm and JK..
    Soon Kane will be gone.. to Madrid.. So don’t worry too much.. hahahaha..

    They playing Chelsea and MU and they lost already.. Yes they beat Pool by 4-0 and we lost to Pool by 1-4.. But that was a different Arsenal.. hehehehe..

    We will face Spud at November 19th.. but first we must deal with City..
    Hope tonight we will see our second team win.. and our first team rest..
    That Will be a lot of positive energy there.. hehehehe..

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