Cech and Xhaka back, Jack in Hole, MkOzLa Up-Front: Line-Up v CSKA Moscow

There is not that much to say about tonight UEFA Cup game. We need a couple of goals and a clean sheet, or ideally three or four goals to put the game to bed. CSKA Moscow eliminated Lyon and are of course not to be underestimated – including away from home! The away leg will no doubt be tricky, so a good home result is paramount.

It is of course a shame that we cannot select Aubameyang, who is starting to look sharp after a brace that could have been a hat-trick (his three-musketeership in allowing Lacazette to take the second pen was a joy to watch). Laca is fit and ready to go, and that is just as well, as the keen but limited Danny Welbeck is not one to rely on for the goals, I am afraid. Laca is fit just in time, and I reckon he will start.

Wenger has been vague about whether Ospina or Cech will start and that probably means we will see the man with 200 Clean Sheets to his name between the posts. Koz should be back for this and Mustafi will also start. Nacho looked hungry and pony-tailed Bellerin – time to shave it all off, Hector, and look all mean and moody 🙂 – will probably start on the flanks.


Xhaka-Rambo to be the deeper laying midfielders and Captain-Jack in the hole again, I reckon. The front three are likely to be Mkhi, Laca and Ozilski. There is a chance for Welbeck, or even the almost forgotten Iwobi, to start and Mesut playing in the hole – and Jack being benched – but I reckon this will be the starting eleven (and it would be mine):

submit football lineup

Enough of the talking – time for action.

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners!

By TotalArsenal.

48 thoughts on “Cech and Xhaka back, Jack in Hole, MkOzLa Up-Front: Line-Up v CSKA Moscow

  • This is precisely the line up most have predicted and it is hard to argue with it, seeing as our team picks itself (except for the Auba or Laca conondrum) these days, really.

    But, I feel Jack (Kos is captain, by the way) drops to the bench and we have an all attacking front three, with Ozil in the No. 10 role. I feel (really do hope) Wenger will retain Ospina in goal for this one. No need rocking the pre-agreed responsibilities, unless where injury strikes.

    On the side of the opponents, much is made about our record against them but no one cares to mention the fact that the games we’ve not won against CSKA were largely (if not all) dead rubber games with nothing at stake, Arsenal having already qualified for the next stage of the CL. However, they looked good vs Lyon and cannot be underestimated. Ahmed Musa will want to shine to let Leicester fans see what they are missing (not much, if you ask me) while Aleksandr Golovin is one gutsy, tricky young player whom I like a lot.

    It’s two legs so whatever happens tonight, we must remain focused for the 2nd leg.

  • Hi all..
    Must agree with Eris for the attackers..

    And TA.. If Wenger still in a doubt about placing Ozil and Wilshere.. Than he maybe is lost his magic in football.. Hehehe..

  • Sorry guys but Welbeck is too much out of form to play him. I do believe we have too many attacking mids in our team but with Xhaka sitting deep it should work better than at the weekend.

  • TA, I would have predicted 100% for your line up except that I know Wenger sees his contracts through. So Ospina starts.

    Eris, I expected that you’d make reference to Golovin and you sure did. I remembered you were excited about him last summer when the rumours had it that we were very interested in him. I was very excited too. He is so technically gifted and quick. Uses his quick bust of speed for intercepting balls particularly coming from a player’s rear. He is very comfortable with tiny spaces. He is a handful, one on one.

    Ahmed Musa is another speedster but not so technically gifted.

    We need a minimum of 3 goals cushion for us to feel confident of progressing. I hope the boys have dusted off the inter-lull cobwebs.

  • It’s likely Laca would not play much beyond 60min. If we are not many goals ahead by them I’d prefer Nketiah to Welbeck.

  • Fair enough, PE. We will have to see who the gaffer picks. It is okay with me whoever he picks and he will have to think about this weekend’s game too. For it is worth, I reckon we will struggle to go through to the following round, but I hope I am wrong. 🙂

  • Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette Subs: Macey, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Elneny, Welbeck, Iwobi

    CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev, Wernbloom, Ignashevich, Berezutski, Musa, Dzagoev, Golovin, Berezutski, Schennikov, Natcho, Kuchaev Subs: Pomazun, Milanov, Vitinho, Bistrovic, Chalov, Zhameletdinov, Khosonov

    Strong work, TA, picking the starting group… Hard to improve upon 11 out of 11…

  • You have it 11/11 bro.. Great job..
    Just don’t know yet about the formation.. Some source say it was 4-4-2 with Ozil as second striker.. Hehehe

  • Yeah, yeah. Wenger makes another pragmatic decision to start his No. 1 in the competition that’s suddenly become our priority. I guess that says a lot about how he sees Ospina. Also, maybe I am the only one who felt we may need Welbeck’s energy and all round work rate for a game as this. Hopefully, he gets a chance late on (even though PE will prefer Nketiah), being the only striker on the subs bench.

    It looks like it is time for the big boys now.

    Okay, great call, TA. 😀😀

  • Evening Standard headline:
    “CSKA Moscow name same defenders – with a combined age of 108 – who started vs Arsenal in 2006”

    That’s the back-3 (not -4!). Sergei Ignashevich (38) and the Berezutski twins (each 35) – Aleksei and Vasili – who have a combined age of 108.


  • Notice Ospina not on the bench either. Either injured or major fall out over non-selection

  • So quiet.. 4-1.. Great shoot from Lacazette..
    Both Lacazette and Ramsey can go for hattrick now.. Go Gunners..

  • Ramsey scores twice.. With such great move and touch.. Just wonder who is our DM and AM.. Hehehe..

  • Is there another team that will always give opponents a sniff as Arsenal do? CSKA have had openings too and could easily have scored 3 by now. We have the inaccurate shooting of their forwards to thank for the score line remaining 4-1.

    However, on the balance, we are full value for our lead. It’s been entertaining too, so surely the fans in the stadium will have no complaints. Bellerin has been effective offensively but not so in defending; he just has to improve that side of his game. Jack is not as involved as I would like and it seems it is him playing from the right side of midfield rather than Ozil, who seems to be running the show (2 assists, plus winning a penalty).

    Let’s hope Mkhitaryan gets his own goal and one of those up for it get a hat-trick.

  • Well that wasn’t half bad. I would love to see us crush them, but I suspect the 2nd half May be quite boring.

  • Just back from settling my boys for the night. Sounds like we’ve been clinical. Now to show some discipline in our defence. And ideally add one more to kill the tie.

  • I’m enjoying the reflection that we are playing without our best goal scorer in the team. There are plenty of goals in this team once it settles. But our defence needs an injection of something.

  • We are still giving them more than just a sniff and we have some inexplicably wayward shooting to thank for the scoreline remaining same (admittedly, we’ve had opportunities to increase the margin). You feel we need about two more goals to feel safe for the away trip to Moscow.

    This is a good team, CSKA.

  • Yeah, AB. Agree with you, RE our defence needing an injection of something. That thing appears to be CONFIDENCE and a doggedness that tells the opponent Up-Front : you won’t be having an easy time.

    Meanwhile, we’ve been playing some scintillating stuff. Iwobi should be placing that pass with his left foot to achieve precision. Nit picking, I know…..

  • Jack should be taken off before he makes a costly error with the number of misplaced passes he’s had.

  • Yep Jack wasn’t at his best tonight, and Ozil was just awful…….. awfully good

    Shame we couldn’t add to the half time score, but not entirely unexpected

  • After this game.. Golovin must have a clear sight which club he must go next season.. Hehehe.. Such a nice goal from him..

  • Ramsey just unlucky for not scoring his third Retsub.. Hehehe..
    Let’s vote for MotM.. I go for Ozil..

  • Ozil would be man of the match, for sure. I also liked Ramsey’s runs inside the area; the way he seemed to pop up everywhere had the CSKA defence unsure how to keep him in check. Mustafi did okay as well.

  • Mustaphi can’t quite make up if he a good player or not? His overhead kick played a big part in their goal, although Zhskav and Koscielny didn’t cover themselves either. Other times he looks good.

  • Evening gents and ladies 🙂

    Well I am v happy with that score and did not expect that. Not won yet but we have a couple of away goals in us as well. After 1-1 the team did not drop their intensity by the looks of it and then scored three more times. Cannot wait to see the highlights.

  • Henry

    , Zhskav isn’t he is the guy we got from Inter Milan for £75 million? Or maybe my spellchecker trying to make some sense of Zhaka. I will let you decide.

  • I don’t think I have ever looked st a game and thought,,,, it’s fixed.

    Take a look at Sportings defending against Athletico and the miss in the last minute by Sporting

  • I ferl bad for Akinfeev. What a good keeper he is but we scored 4 against him.

    A good game but i felt that CSKA gave us too many spaces on the pitch. Too much space for Ozil to play his passes. I need to see the full game tonight to see the game better but it is good to lead the first leg 4-1.

    I wouldn’t be complacent but if we keep doing our stuff we should move on to the next stage with a good goal advantage.

  • retsub1, I do hope you are wrong about the match fixing but Sporting should be defending better and that late chance for an away goal was too much of a sitter to miss. I think Atletico Madrid will have it rough in the 2nd leg but will probably get the away goal they need, to progress.

  • Goonereris
    I am sure I am wrong, but it was pretty dreadful. On 3 occasions Sporting gave them easy chances and at least two of them involved that guy Coates.

  • Nah he would have to be 70 and a Spurs player to boot. in fact Kev, its the guy who played centre back for Liverpool it pronounced Co -att – ies or something like that

  • Yeah Ralph Coates, he used to run around like Forrest Gump…

    I only saw brief highlights of the Atletico game, but they look really dangerous Retsub.

  • Hey folks… I had to watch the match on tape delay…and, like, Hehehenry, I’m surprised how quiet it is in the comments… As such, I wrote a little post about it… BUT I’m still having problems getting my photo(s) to show up. (JW, I tried to follow your advice from the previous thread…but I’m an old-tard…What’s a text editor? for example…) Anyhow, TA, feel free to put in a Rambo photo and post it, if you like. Otherwise, I (mostly) write for my own pleasure (or to avoid other stuff I ought to be doing) and it’s been fun enough while watching Tiger (and the equities markets…) heading south…

    Overall, I thought Arsenal looked pretty good last night…

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