Starts for Holding, Chambers and Kola | Iwobi/Jack/Ozil to Feed Auba: Saints Preview

Tomorrow we play the Saints and the question is how serious will the manager and the team take this game. Four days later Arsenal are playing in Moscow the second UEFA leg game against CSKA, and although we are in a strong position to go through, the team cannot afford to play a weakened team there. We need to play to win the game rather then sitting back and could really do with at least one away goal.

So my guess is that Wenger will prioritise Thursday’s game and rest a few players for tomorrow’s encounter with the Saints. I reckon Wenger will rest Koz, Bellerin and Nacho, Rambo, Lacazette and possibly even Welbeck (with Mkhi possibly not being fit for a while).

My predicted line-up is therefore something like this – although I don’t expect another correct 11/11 this time round 🙂 ):

submit football lineup

With the above players rested, Wenger can give the likes of Holding, Chambers and Kola another game. Mustafi can lead them and I reckon we also need the experience of Cech in that ‘Back Five’.

I would expect the plan to be to attack and not sit back at home, and therefore Ozil should start the game – with the advice to take it easy and avoid injury…. just do your magic, Mesut. Auba will of course play up-top as he does not do Thursdays for us this season, and I reckon Iwobi will get a start with Jack back in the hole. After sixty to seventy minutes expect Xhaka, Ozil and Jack to get substituted, as they are all likely to play in Moscow.


As always, the first eleven and Arsene’s tactics will need to be supported by the right attitude on the pitch: a mixture of hunger to win, intensity and determination till the end. Those who actually look forward to being at the Home of Football tomorrow can of course do their part too.

By TotalArsenal.

33 thoughts on “Starts for Holding, Chambers and Kola | Iwobi/Jack/Ozil to Feed Auba: Saints Preview

  • TA, fine preview and can’t say I have too much against your predicted line up for tomorrow. Other than the long flight time to Moscow, I am of the view that Sunday to Thursday offers plenty of rest time, so why not line up with the main men so they start to enjoy that winning momentum? That will be my outlook though. Burnley isn’t too far behind us on the table, mind you.

    I think we will see Bellerin, Monreal and Lacazette start; at least, that’s what I’ll do to go for a win before the midweek game.

  • Should we be one of the teams to close the gap tonight? We have to win this one.

    AMN to play instead of Bells? But Bells got slaughtered by Musa, so maybe we should play AMN on Thursday instead.

  • TA, I arrived at nearly the same spot with you but from a totally different stand point. Some rotation is needed not because of Thursday coming in Moscow but because of Thursday past at the Emirate. The former is 4days gap which is enough rest, the latter is 3 days which is not nearly enough rest.

    Every professional (no, every human being), hates to loose, so expect Wenger to strain not to loose particularly as he must knows that in spite of different competitions it is one momentum.

    My predicted starting eleven has 5 changes to your 6.

    Bel Musti Hold Nacho

    Subs: Macey, Kos, Chamb, Kola, Rambo, Ozil, Laca.

  • 7 days gap between matches with routine training gives enough physical rest to a team without decay setting in. Not so with the mental fitness which happens to be more unstable. We can see how it took the team upwards of 60min to dust off the cobwebs in our match against Stoke, after just 16 days without a match as a group. Mental decay starts more quickly.

    Therefore getting players tip-top requires balancing between enough physical rest and enough real match mental challenge. Even sitting on the bench keeps a player mentally tunes in. So I expect. all rested players to be on the bench, unless carrying some injury. I doubt if we would see a lot of the juniors again this season.

  • Cheers Eris, the risk is to get injuries rather than fatigue today. You may be right and whoever is in the first team is fine with me. Wenger’s call of course.

  • Interesting line-up, PE, and you could well be right. I would expect Ozil to start, but it would be good to see how we would cope in an attacking sense without him.

  • I read somewhere that AMN is not quite fit.

    Wenger must be balancing a whole number of things. For example he wouldn’t want to leave Auba marooned by not giving him a good supplier of balls. So maybe Ozil starts at the expense of Welbeck.

    I’ll do what Wenger, most likely, does …. last minute changes.

    Bels Musti Hold Nacho
    Xhaka Elneny
    Ozil Wilshere Iwobi.

    I expect early substitutions irrespective of the fortunes of the match. Thanks to Europa.

  • Another thing that would be playing on Wenger’s mind is the attendance at the Emirate. He can’t afford to give whatever the size of the crowd there a poor game. He has no other option but to win today and qualify on Thursday.

  • I guess the selection all depends on what’s playing on Wenger’s mind regarding the league and the midweek game. Pity (if true) that AM-N is not fit. He would be my pick to replace Bellerin in Moscow, for sure as he is harder to get past than Bellerin, who doesn’t inspire too much
    confidence in me, defending. My predicted line up will be:

    Bel Musti Chambers Nacho

    Given that he’s just returning from injury, there’s every chance Wenger keeps Laca from the action, from the start; it won’t please him though. Ozil is another who may just come on to add some pep to the game; hopefully, it isn’t borne out of NEED, but as a luxury. Mark Hughes will love nothing more than to win at the Emiratesfor a club that hasn’t done so, in the league, in ages.

  • Number 61 in your programme:
    Reiss Nelson just announced (on Sky) as starting in the hole vs Soton.


  • Lyon or bust. The remainder:

    Welbz – Nelson – Iwobi
    Xhaka – Elneny
    Kola- Mustafi – Chambers – Bells


  • Hahahaha! Looks like but for Kolasinac starting, I would have done a TA by scoring 11/11 with my last predicted line up. I just didn’t feel Kolasinac would start with Chambers in the back 4; something to do with not changing up the defence too much.

    As for picking Nelson, that was something to do with the team training pictures on the club’s website and seeing as he has been banging on the gaffer’s door for his chance.

    Well, let’s see what kind of performance we get to put up.

  • Yeah, jw1. But I expect to see him swap roles with Iwobi quite frequently. Playing in the hole is quite the responsibility to be placing on the shoulders of a kid.

  • Dennis-willing? He embraces the role and owns it.
    Hoping it’s one of those matches we talk about for a long time.

    FYI: Nelson has 21 goals/10 assts in 51 apps (PL2/UEFA Youth) for 2016/17 and 2017/18.


  • Strong, confident lad. One of the reasons the decision to sell Theo (and the Ox) was easy. I like him and know he will cause Mark Hughes’ team problems. Springing such a surprise name on them is sure to give them something to think about before the start. Hopefully, he can do some damage before they suss him out.

  • Ahhh now I understand we bore them to death and strike whilst they are sleeping.

  • Shkodran Mustafi’s Sunday Off.
    Too bad the sun is not out. Might have been even more enjoyable.


  • Welbeck nice first touch– on a slide-rule pass from Iwobi, steps in from left and scores with a slight deflection from about 18yds — 2-1.


  • First proper goal from Welbs this season.
    Iwobi’s performance meant that he is best kept upfront. Do not make him defend.

    Good comeback from the lads so far.

  • It never was going to be easy at the start, as the team tried to come to grips with roles and styles/preferences, but that goal conceded from nothing did the side no favours and could not have helped with the fans. Hesitant defending by both Mustafi and Cech (if he made to move, he should complete his intention). Not something you see in sides that are drilled to tune on always. Kolasinac appeared to be on orders not to go too far forward and to cut out his powerful, impressive forward runs. Either that or he is low on confidence. Elneny has covered every blade on the ground and controlled things while Xhaka has had things ticking over.

    The reaction has been good, with Welbeck starting to press a bit higher and moving about; Auba has also been incisive but made a few misplaced passes at the start, with some of the players not on same wavelength. We have to come out a bit more forcefully in the second half because with the pace of Long on our Chambers, you feel they will get openings as well. If things go well, we may not need to call on the Cavalry to help us out. Oh, and I like Nelson’s contributions, so far, even if I wish he will take on Bertrand at some point.

  • What a shambles in defending. I have to go off to an event now, meaning won’t be seeing the game to the end.

    Hopefully, we win it.

  • Welbz with a brace!
    Iwobi again providing a fine touch cross fro right of the box.


  • Nice to win it after that scare. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

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