3-4-3: Nketiah, Welbeck, Nelson Up-front, Willock and Mkhi Midfield: Preview/ Line-Up v Ostersunds

Arsenal v Ostersunds Preview and Predicted Line-up

It’s difficult to consider this Thursday’s game against Ostersunds in isolation, with so much of the team selection influenced by the big game at Wembley this Sunday.
So I won’t…

We now can see the true value in last week’s 3-0 success in Sweden, with just two clear days to rest and prepare before our team takes on the mammoth task of beating Pep’s Man City in this weekend’s League Cup Final, sorry Carabao Cup Final…

Arsene Wenger will understandably (or should) pick a starting XI and a bench with one eye on the Man City game, so this Thursday will possibly be more of a case of who Arsene, in my view, will rest and protect, whilst still picking a strong enough team to do the job.

Make no mistake, after the events of the Wigan game, Man City will be like a dangerous wounded animal looking to take out all their disappointment and frustration on their next opponents. And whilst a lot hasn’t been mentioned it, wouldn’t surprise me at all if Guardiola isn’t still very sore at losing to Wenger in last season’s FA Cup semi-final. So Arsene has to do all he can to protect what will be his starting XI against the Blues, because we’ll need to be at our absolute best to prevail…

In considering all the above, I’m expecting Arsene will go with quite a young and experimental team, initially, against Ostersunds. However, the team will still be strong enough not to lose by the 4 clear goals the Swedes need to progress. Even if Arsenal lost the game, it is the importance of protecting our players for Sunday which is the priority to me.

Definitely out is Lacazette, out until the middle of March, but according to Physioroom Aaron Ramsey is expected to return by this Sunday. Is Arsene keeping Ramsey under wraps for the Cup Final..?

Aubameyang remains our big hope for Wembley so he’ll be held back, as I also expect will be Koscielny, Ozil, Bellerin, Mustafi and Monreal. Mkhitaryan is cup-tied, so he can play against the Swedes and he’ll probably be given a central role in the heart of the team. Others who could be involved, maybe from the bench are Kolasinac, Mertesacker, Holding, Chambers, Mavropanos, Wilshere (he needs a few minutes) Iwobi, Xhaka, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Welbeck, Nelson, Nketiah, Da Silva, Gilmour, Dragomir, Osei-Tutu, Ospina and Macey.

I would go with a back-three, with wing-backs for that extra bit of defensive insurance to cover for an inexperienced midfield and attack. With a clutch of experience on the bench in case of emergencies, but with no real need to risk them.

My starting XI would be:-
Mertesaker, Chambers, Holding,
Osei-Tutu, Kolasinac,
Mkhitaryan, Willock,
Nelson, Welbeck, Nketiah.

submit football lineup

On the bench:-
Mavropanos, Xhaka, Elneny,
Maitland-Niles, Wilshere,
Da Silva, Macey.

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners.

By Allezkev.

49 thoughts on “3-4-3: Nketiah, Welbeck, Nelson Up-front, Willock and Mkhi Midfield: Preview/ Line-Up v Ostersunds

  • Great stuff, Kevski. I like your line up and thinking, even though I think it is a bit too inexperienced for Wenger. The footie world will be watching, so I expect him to start a few more first teamers with the aim to take them off early in the second half. I can see Xhaka and Jack start in this one and possibly Mustafi too. Should be a good game at the home of football!

  • Holding and Chambers have been tried and tested and found to be shit why wouldn’t they be rested for Mavropanos? We clearly need to see what he can do

  • Hi there Kev. Totally agree on the sentiments. But I think there are a few more we can pick from. Xhaka is not in my 11 for Sunday so I’d start him. He should have the space he likes and can be the main deep creative player. AMN can also start I think. And Musti could be asked to marshal the defence – though given Mert is still on the playbook then yours is a good shout here. I’d almost forgotten he was still an option! Iwobi could also be in the start as a test for the weekend. He is young enough to cope with two games in quick succession.

  • Thanks Total, yeah Arsene does tend to lean towards the conservative, it’s just that I think we did enough in the 1st leg and should protect our Cup final XI, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see that you’re right.

  • AJ, that’s a bit harsh, I don’t recall anyone calling Holding shit when he was a part of the team that beat Man City and Chelsea at Wembley last season.
    He’s a young player learning his trade and as with all young players their form fluctuates.

    If I had to comment on the form of either Chambers and Holding, it would be to wonder if they’re getting enough of the right kind of coaching to fully develop?

  • Hi AB, thanks for the constructive comments, I think that we could well see Xhaka and/ or Wilshere at some point in the game.
    I’m really looking forward to see what line up Arsene picks, as we have all these talented youngsters so let’s see what they can do.

  • Kev,
    Good preview. This is about the toughest line up to predict because of all the things under consideration. IMHO, you might have taken the Ostersunds’ match a little bit too much for granted. Europa is about the competition of the greatest importance to us now. On the other end Carabao cup is not much more than the Community shield, a thrill of the day. Almost more important than the cup itself, in thie City match, is our pride and what the outcome will do to us going forward in the other competitions.

    I’d expect a line up with a few more 1st teamers as below.

    AMN Chamb Must Kola
    ——-Elneny — Xhak——-
    Wilsh — Mkit — Nelson
    ——— Welbz ——–

    If the score line is safe for us by the 60min Wenger would sub from Must, Eln, Xhaka and Wilshere.

    Subs: Cech, Holding, Bells, DaSilva, Willock, Iwobi, Nketiah.

  • Kev, your lineup is bordering on the overconfidence line. Cross it and we will see a repeat of David vs Goliath. David is Ostersunds, Goliath is us. We will get slayed.

    I prefer PE’s lineup, which is a little more convincing, but not totally agreeing with the back 4 that you put out PE.

    We should not be keeping an eye on the Citeh match. Doing this will cause us to lose both matches.

  • what ever squad will play what is most important for us is to win. i believe that even arsene knows the importance of this game for us. i give all credit to the coach because he knows well the team.

  • Good comments PE, I can’t really take issue with your reasoning either.

    My thoughts on Ostersunds are that whilst we should respect them, we shouldn’t treat them as if they’re Barcelona. They have just come through a mid season break, the whole occasion, visiting London, playing at the Emirates in front of a big crowd can inspire them of course, it can also pass them by in a flash whilst they’re taking it all in…

    My line up contains 7 players who are senior 1st team squad members so I’m not sure that it’s showing them a lack of respect PE. The RWB was just a punt on my behalf, my kind of Debuchy moment.
    Nketiah, Nelson and Willock will all be a new problem for the Ostersunds players, they won’t know too much about them whilst our lads are certain to respond positively to the Emirates occasion, if selected, I’m not worried about them at all.

    PE I’ve read on other sites, fans comparing this game with the trip to Nottingham Forest in terms of it being a banana skin, but that game was away and it was our senior players who failed to perform that day so for me the comparison doesn’t stand up.

    Anyway, enjoying the debate… 😉

  • If Atalanta eliminate Borussia Dortmund from the Europa, does that mean that Aubameyang will become eligible to play for Arsenal..?

  • Hi all.. Great post Kev..
    I also think we would play 3-4-3 scheme..

    But I think Wenger will put two senior midfielders in the middle.. That would be Xhaka and Wilshere..
    I like to see Mavropanos play.. Wondering how good he really is..??

    I will go with :
    Nketiah – Welbeck – Mhiki
    Kola – Wilshere – Xhaka – Nelson
    Holding – Mavropanos – Chambers

  • Well done Kev. I can’t help thinking that tonights match might be somewhat boring in front of a half empty Emirates. I guess the obvious way to do it is to give any who is returning from injury half a game, Wilshere, Ramsey etc. Anyone he picks to start tonight and plays 90mimutes is unlikely to play on Sunday. Eddie hat trick maybe

  • Cheers HenryC, like your team, tbh the line up could be anything.
    Yeah, Mavropanos has been getting some really good reviews.

    I see we’re playing in blue tonight because of a colour clash.

  • Hi Retsub, yep a lot of empty red seats seems most likely mate.

    My son and his two mates aren’t going, with Wembley on the horizon, they’re saving their pennies for that.

  • a bad omen if we are playing in blue. Those are among the worst shirts ever worn by the Gunners.

    Kev, I reckon it will make no difference whether Dortmund are eliminated or not. Once started in a competition for a particular team you are not allowed to play for another team during that season, I reckon. (otherwise Mkhi would have been allowed to play in the micky mouse cup, but he had already played in it for the Mancs)

  • Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Mkhitayran, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Wilshere, Welbeck
    Subs: Macey, Monreal, Mustafi, Nelson, Xhaka, Willock, Nketiah

  • So it’s a back-four all the way Total…

    I was well off in my team selection, that’s why I tend to leave it to others. 😄

    So much for playing the youngsters.
    Ok, I’m off to watch the game.

  • It’s okay like with 4-4-1-1..
    If there something to worry about is We seen don’t have any backup for Bellerin..

  • It’s the time to show if we really can survive now..
    If not.. Maybe we just don’t deserve the trophy.

    At second half.. Wenger must add someone to replace Niles.. He just ain’t fit in DM position.. Or change the whole formation..

  • Agree with the changes PE..
    And I think Wilshere must do the Ozil rules.. Not the Sanchez ones..
    Or if not replace him also..

  • Hey boys… Just on my phone so reliant on those watching… Still a match here?… Xhaka holding us in it? Give me the truth, no sugar coat…

  • Credit to Graham Potter, he’s taken a group of players, many of them journeymen and rejects, he has them organised and motivated and done very well with them.

  • Job done, into the next round, no injuries, but well done Ostersunds, only other team to win at the Emirates this season is ManUtd.

  • Thanks for updates, kev.

    Job done and a bigger fish to fry on Sunday. It is clear that a number of ‘fringe’ players are not making any progress which is worrying, especially for them. Glad we got through and look forward to the draw tomorrow.

  • Was off-the-grid today.
    Saw about 5 minutes on a live stream I located online. Watched Ostersund tally twice (yikes!)– then had to get back to a task.

    Wasn’t able to check the score until about the 80th minute.
    Snickered when I saw that Kolasinac had bagged one– very pleased for him.
    He could use a run of games. I feel– post-Alexit.


  • OK, Internet AND a keyboard(!!!)…

    Looking forward to a match review… 😉 Not a huge confidence builder ahead of our (two) game(s) vs ManCity, I take it…

    Into the waves… Bigger (or more numerous) fish with whom to swim… 😀

  • Is that right HenryC, hmm, I don’t he would have started this Sunday, he promises a lot but delivers very little imo and if Maitland-Niles thinks he’s made it then he’d better have another think, I rate him a lot but he has to put in a lot more than what he produced this evening. If I’m being kind then maybe Wenger took him off as a precaution as he could be starting on Sunday, LWB…

  • Kev–

    Meant to reply on the previous post– but yes, am a huge Zepplin fan– owned all the LPs/8-tracks/cassettes/CDs. Was going to use their album cover– but thought better of cross-pollinating the idea.

    Speaking of album covers (sure you’ll get a kick out of this)?
    Though I’ve been in IT for these past 6 years– I started out as a graphic, then web-designer. I was inspired to become an artist by Roger Dean’s work on Yes albums.

    And am a big Yes fan as well.


  • I’m afraid that I couldn’t be as descriptive as 17tino Total, but your welcome.

    Bellerin had a steady game, luckily he’s a fit guy as he’s gonna have a busy time on Sunday.
    Xhaka looked ok when he came on, although replacing and improving on AMN wasn’t difficult.
    I hope he starts on Sunday.
    I can’t see Jack starting at Wembley so it seems likely that Ramsey will start.

    A real shame that we didn’t see Nketiah and Nelson, Willock seemed composed and effective when he came on.

  • I know the album covers JW, I’ve got a couple of Yes albums and all the Led Zep albums up to Presence (Is that right?)…

    Is that your work JW..?

  • I think that’s what I miss the most since the advent of the CD, there was something magical about an album and it’s cover JW.

    Something as simple as the Beatles White Album or as eye catching as Electric Ladyland by the one and only James Marshall Hendrix.

    I’ve got a Streamer to play my music on now, it’s all so different from a record collection mate….

  • No sir. Dean’s. From a collection compiled in a coffee-table book I once owned.
    I’d like to say ‘conceptually’ — I could conceive of such images — but the execution is where the talent lies. Comes a point in every artist’s timeline where they create for themselves or produce for the cash. I made a good living– for a long time– creating corporate presences.

    A ’90s-ish logo.


  • Nice discussion here… And probably good to move on from the football ASAP from everything I’ve heard…

    I’d let those guys do drywall for me, JW… except that my Spanish is improving day by day… Maybe after the wall goes up… 😦

    Oops, no politics… Just gotta enjoy my time on the good side…

  • OK, just a little football… Iwobi sounds like a Weng-jury to me… but so too did Jack and
    Rambo, I’m guessing, is only “fit” enough to be our super-sub come Sunday but then should be back as a regular… I’m guessing… I think we discussed needing his goals a few threads back…

    What about Mkhi?… From what I read it sounds like he had a(nother) struggle…

    To the far-flung observer, the team is sounding mighty (mighty) thin… And not quite finding the synchronicity folks believe will happen immediately with transfers in (and out). Hopefully we can survive these encounters with the juggernaut (Man City) and maybe even get a result in one of them… (You know, to keep the sky from falling down in Islington…) Slowly (slowly) maybe we can work our way back in league play and towards the tougher parts of this Ropy cup. (I like that one, Kev…) Gotta get stronger in these final 3 months as the horses currently ahead start to tire. You never know… People keep telling me that other teams (and their supporters) are just as bad, so a single bad result for a couple of them and they could be in crisis (just like us)…

    I can already smell the flowers of spring, or something…

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