Chelsea v Arsenal: Line-up, Predicted Score, Three Key Points

After a very tough game v the Northern Oilers, Arsenal now face the original Oilers at the Bridge. It is of course another tough game and it will go either horribly wrong or we will get our first victory, and all will be fine with the Arsenal football world again. Our disappointing start to the season against the champions will have given Emery some valuable insights to his team but I don’t expect him to make too many changes.

Torreira is likely to start next to the sure-starter Xhaka and Laca and Auba could start together, leaving Rambo and Ozil to do the creative midfield stuff. I expect Unai to start again with Bellerin, Cech and the same central defenders. On the right it is either Nacho or Licht. If it was me, I would start with the following eleven:

Preferred Line-up

submit football lineup

Torreira offers cover for Xhaka so the Swiss genius can find the space to receive the ball and dominate our passing football. Torreira himself knows how to pass the ball and, even though it will be a work in progress, the Xhaka-Torreira axis will be the one around which Unai is building his team. Believing or wanting another combination is futile imo.

Predicted Score:

Very hard to predict this one but I am going for 1-1. Hoping for a Chavs-spanking win of course but that is unlikely to happen today. An away draw against a fellow top-four competitor would be good at this stage of the season.

Three key points:

  1. The midfield balance. How will Xhaka and Torreira work together and how much protection will they offer to the defence? How quick can they find  their attacking comrades? Who will play in the hole and connect the attackers with the midfield: Rambo or Ozil? The former with his running or the latter with his sharper and visionary passing?
  2. Playing out from the back. If Unai, as to be expected, starts with Cech again, how will we cope with playing out from the back? I reckon it is important that Torreira sits deeper than Xhaka so both are available to find space to receive the ball (and then find each other). I also feel that Ozil is the better player to come deep and play a role in our build-up play. That’s why he is in the hole today.
  3. Efficiency in front of goal. We lost to City and rightly so, but boy it could have been different if our attackers had put their (half-)chances away at the home of football. That is why I would like to start with both Laca and Auba so we can get a goal and build our confidence in front of goal. We are likely to concede as our defence is also a work in progress; so let’s try and outscore them!

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!

By TotalArsenal

70 thoughts on “Chelsea v Arsenal: Line-up, Predicted Score, Three Key Points

  • TA, … I like your team. Ramsey for Mkhi i.e. more energy but less creativity. Makes sense to me.

    For the double pivot I see Guendouzi as being as good as Xhaka in the forward passes but better in the other departments of the game.

    As for the formation we could see a 4:2:1:3 with Ramsey as the 1 with Ozil and Auba as inside forwards and Laca a false 9.

    No doubting we have a talented group of players. The task is finding the best arrangement.

  • Cheers PE, I respect your views. When I see Guendouzi, I see a talented player who excites me and has tons to learn. To prefer him to Xhaka, though, is not right to me. But it is your view. 🙂

  • Yep, agree with you Total, Mkhitaryan on the bench, you should have to earn your place in the team and not be there on reputation.
    From what I’ve heard Emery was not happy at the final whistle and tore into a few of our players in the dressing room after the Man City game. I guess it’s a learning curve for everyone and Unai will have learnt a lot from last weekend.

    Guendouzi vs Xhaka?
    I have been very impressed with Guendouzi, he is dynamic, always looks for a forward pass, never hides on the pitch (we have a few of them) and has a great attitude.
    But I think we have to give Xhaka a go with Torrieira, see if Emery can work with him and improve him, iron out his habit of switching off. Emery (or maybe Uncle Bouldy?) seem to be having a positive effect on Mustafi, so there has to be hope for Granit.

    Emery will be evaluating quite a few of our players this season, grading them and decided who he can work with, who he can improve, who can fit into his system and who needs to be replaced, it’s a huge job, playing staff, mindset, system of play, but it needs to be done or we’ll continue to drift.

    I do like the look of Lichtsteiner, I wish we could have got him 5 or 6 years ago, he might be 34 but he still looks fantastically fit and I love his attitude and determination.
    We have missed having these types of players in the squad for such a long time.

  • Hi all..
    TA.. i agree almost all the starting eleven.. unless for Xhaka and Ramsey..
    I think one of them must rest.. And I pick Ramsey to be Torriera parter..
    Xhaka had done one and not so good.. maybe Ramsey can be a good parter..

    I like to see Licht in Bellerin position at least for 70 minutes.. Bellerin will never be able to handle Hazzard.. We need more classical RB..

    And Mhiki did ok lastweek.. So why must we bench him.. with Torreira and Ramsey as our double pivot.. Mhiki can play in his best position as our RW..

  • PE, I reckon Unai will indeed stick with Rambo in the ‘1’ but I reckon he is not that good and rather see him play on the wing with a strong remit to support the midfield on the right.

  • Kev, yes Guendouzi is dynamic but tactically he is very green, and I reckon he is a liability in midfield. Toreirra can do what Guendouzi does but will also allow Xhaka to play his game. The latter is vital imo. Guendouzi will get chances in the UEFA League and from the bench, but Unai will have to leave him out of the starting eleven today. I would be surprised if he starts him.

  • Some surprises for all of us in there. Who knows what he has seen in training. It’s a new combination for sure, so let’s see who shows up. Nice to see a strong bench for once. But a mystery that there’s no CB on the bench. Elneny the emergency cover I guess.

  • Cech
    Bel Musti Sokr Nacho
    Douzi. Xhaka
    Mkhi Ozil Iwobi

    To me, this is better arranged than last wk.

  • Coming on late to the thread. Emery sure sprung a surprise or two there, with the line up. Monreal must have shown he is ready; and Iwobi may have got the nod for his forward play and strength on the ball. But, someone has got to explain Torreira not starting to me. Isn’t he fit yet or doesn’t suit the game Emery wants to play today?

    Anyway, Sarri also left out Hazard. Who knows with the Managers.

  • We can’t get close to Chelsea, apparently and it’s not looking good for us at the moment. We need to get and keep some possession for that’s been the problem.

    If Xhaka had as many misplaced passes that Mkhitaryan has had today, there will be many baying for his blood by now.

  • Auba has ballooned a well placed Bellerin pass into row Z. Shocker! But gives hope as it’s much better now.

    2-0! Morata.

  • It should have been 1-1 and we go on to concede right after that miss. We are our own worst enemies today.

  • Pace too much for Xhaka and on a yellow.. I think he should be replaced early.

  • And Mhki also joins Auba in missing in front of a gaping goal. Just what’s going on with the lads? New manager pressure? We are making Chelsea look better than they really are.

  • Xhaka hasn’t done much wrong, in my view. At least, nothing out of the ordinary for him. They are just slightly quicker to the ball than we are.

    Mhki lashes one in from an Iwobi lay-off.

  • Guendouzi has done well, slowing Kante down there. And what a save, Cech, off Morata’s hit.

  • Come on!!!!!!! That’s what I’m talking about.

    2-2!! Iwobi crashes one into the roof.

  • This could have easily been 2-5, Arsenal by now. What’s with the misses? Composure? Apprehension? Or self consciousness?

  • Auba won’t be a happy bunny in that dressing room. Been entertaining though.

  • Get Lichsteiner and Torreira on and tighten this game up we might have a chance. God only knows how?????

  • Retsub.. We’re good in attack but bad in defence.. hehehe..
    And a bit unlucky for two Auba + one Mhiki ungoal such an easy goal.. hehehe..

    I think Auba will be replace by Lacazette..
    And I hope Torreira for Xhaka..

  • Best player in the game at halftime is Guendouzi, followed by Iwobi. The worse player is Mkhitaryan, despite scoring a goal and assist. Defensively he has been a shamble, he doesn’t work hard enough and has an “I don’t care” kind of attitude in this game.
    Granit Xhaka has also been playing badly, Özil has to work a lot harder than he is currently doing.
    I suggest Torreira comes in for Xhaka, Ramsey comes in for Mkhitaryan and Lacazette comes in for Aubameyang.

  • Steve.. with Chelsea change two players on the left.. Kovavic and Hazzard in for Barkley and William.. I think we must put licht for Bellerin..

  • A good run out and the hardwork was undone by holes in defense. Positionally we had been ok but we need to do just a bit more.

    Tough defeat to taste but i would take this one back with a lot of notes.

  • Well, I still maintain, Mkhitaryan should be dropped in our next game, Özil has been very poor and Cech should be dropped.
    Can someone tell me what happened in the second half, we were too relaxed and didn’t work hard enough in the second half.
    Nice one Guendouzi!

  • When a 19 year old is your man of the match in the first two games, you know the team has to do better. Guendouzi was very good today, fearless, incisive and kept ball better.

    Steve, but for Cech, we will have been long blown away. I think like most fans, you just wish to see our shiny new goal keeper recruit. Guess what? On the performance today, it will take some doing for Leno to replace Cech now, much as I would like Leno to get a chance over the next few fixtures, deemed not as demanding as the first two.

    It is a disappointing defeat. I am not sure why I am not as troubled as I would ordinarily be. Maybe, I see some good signs, like replacing Ozil when he didn’t appear to be in the game and seeing Torreira strut his stuff. I think that’s the way to go, next game. Drop Ozil for Ramsey and find a way to play with both Auba and Laca.

  • Well we made some progress tonight and many more lessons were learnt. Worried about the changes in the second half and that we gave away our momentum. But we scored our first goals and could/should have scored a few more. Hammers next.

  • Eris, Cech had been massive the whole game. If he wasn’t there we might have lost 6-4 if all the chances are scored.

    We did well and our finishing needs to be better.

  • Listened to the game on the radio, then watched MotD in the evening and despite the fact that overall Chelsea were the better side, that was 3 points that got away.
    Bellerin going forward certainly created some mayhem but unfortunately Mkhitaryan was lax in covering his forward runs and that led to the first goal for them.
    Aubameyang. Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, squandered chances that I think even I would have scored and I have a bum left knee. It was poor poor finishing and cost us the game in the end because we should have gone in at half time with 5 goals in the bank. Mkhitaryan actually scored a lovely low drive, albeit through the keepers hands (£71m???) and Iwobi, who had a decent game, scored with a sharp rasping drive.

    Loved the reaction of a Guendouzi when Aubameyang missed his open goal, it showed desire, a will to win, a player who really cares after he created the chance with a laser guided pass to Bellerin. Credit to Emery for making the changes, hooking Xhaka at half time (will he still be an Arsenal player this time next year?) and Ozil.

    I’ve not moaned at anyone but I’ll moan at Lacazette, not because of his careless pass that led to Chelsea’s winner but his limp reaction and half hearted attempts to win the ball back, he was pathetic and should have cut out the build up if he’d put some effort in, clearly not good enough from a player who is fighting for a starting spot.

    Disappointing but not unexpected and now we’re 6pts behind the Chavs and Spuds, it’s going to be a long uphill battle to finish top six nevermind top four, but I think we are going to smash someone very soon, in fact next weekend. Sorry Jack…

  • Retsub, yesterday, 17.08, I felt exactly the same, but maybe Iwobi is the first player out of our group who is going to benefit from the more rigorous coaching, he looked ok, whereas some of the older players might be too long in the tooth to take on board what Unai requires, so a big changeover in playing staff over the next 2 years methinks.
    I bet that Emery has his eye on his ex player Rabiot?

  • 84 I agree, from what I saw Cech had a solid game, he wasn’t culpable for any of the goals and made some smart saves.

  • Steve, I think in the 2nd half both sides made some tactical adjustments and tightened up that’s why it wasn’t so open, still plenty of chances but we missed the boat in the first half.
    Mkhitaryan has been, for sure, disappointing besides his goal yesterday, Emery is trying to change our style but I just wonder whether he has the right type of players to do it.

    This season is going to be hard core for Emery as was Guardiolas first season at Man City.

  • Eris, I’ve been very impressed with Guendouzi, he is learning on the job, but then so are all our players as far as Emery is concerned. It seems that some players are more able to cope than others with the new physicality of the system.

  • Kev

    Agree about Guendouzi, he has certainly been my Man of the match in both games.. Emery is trying very hard to get it right. I guess my only concern is I wonder if anyone can understand what he is saying. I think we may see big changes for the Hammers game.

  • @GOONERERIES, I am not saying that Cech was bad, but we all know that Cech is now an ordinary goalkeeper with experience, he has past his prime and no longer gives us anything special, no special saves, or anything extra. I think saying Cech should continue is just being sentimental. Currently, all we need are the best players on the pitch.

  • Guendouzi will start most games now. Here is a kid who came into London to sign for us, looked out the window and saw the other lads on the training pitch and got changed to join in straightway. Some newbies will be shy or not trust their sharpness. Not that young man. He’s shown desire and a will to help the team. He celebrated every goal we scored in pre-season like he’d been with the set up for a few years. I think that’s the reason Emery isn’t going to drop him too soon, until the seniors get in shape and with the programme.

    I did tell a friend and fan of the club Iwobi will fit into Emery’s requirements, especially for games against rivals, much the same way Wenger would play him against the likes of Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Stoke City. He tries and only needs some of his rough edges smoothened out. Interesting times ahead.

  • Steve, Cech made superlative saves yesterday and if an experienced Cech looks eager to do well, I will play him over Leno (who is Germany’s No. 4, in Low’s pecking order. Even Leno admits he can only get better playing beside Cech. His time will come, even in this season.

  • @RESTUB1, I agree with you, we definitely need some changes, for now I am not comfortable with Mkhitaryan starting our games, he has been so Lazy defensively, and we need players that will fight, Lacazette or Welbeck should start ahead of him.
    Özil needs to work very hard, he has been very poor. I think we are also being sentimental not to criticize him. We have tried Cech and we desire more, it’s time for Emery to give Leno the opportunity to impress. Maybe Lichtsteiner should come in for Bellerin.

  • Kev …. your summary reads as if you’ve watched the whole game five times. The best.

    Retsub …. Emery’s English …. that’s why I predicted that Leno would start. I banked on the fact that everybody else must have misunderstood him.

    Steve …. Cech made several great saves! All the same am for Leno as No.1 as I see that he would catalyze Emery’s revolution.

    Eris …. Douzi should be made the 6th captain. Of the lot the only regular starter.

  • Cech’s reaction to danger and his reflexs are too slow now.
    As far as I am concerned, the first name in the team sheet will always be Guendouzi, that boy is everything we have always wanted in a midfielder, so there is no need for anyone to talk about dropping him. Torreira is still trying to settle in, he is a bit low in confidence, but ones our results improve with consistent wins, he will be great.

  • Until we play Xhaka – Torreira in de double DM pivot we will lose game after game. Guendouzi is a young horse. Lovely to watch when galloping but a total liability in the deeper midfield role. It’s going to be a tough year for this Gooner. Emery has to be given time, which I will do, but boy have we started poorly and naively in the post-Wenger era.

    All popular stuff to take off Xhaka and Ozil and leave an enthusiastic child on, but that is not how a top team is being managed. The second half we gave it slowly away again and I blame the changes Emery made.

    But at least we scored twice and had something to hope for for a while. Next up are WH at home and then Cardiff and Newcastle away. From those games 6-9 points will need to won….. it will be some challenge to achieve it.

  • Many great comments, agree with most.
    A couple disagreements, first for Kev, Miki had the goal as you mentioned, but also a perfect assist, and at least one golden opportunity for goals that he served up to teammates who failed on their own.
    I know he looked behind trying to defend, but he should never be so isolated with a sprinting, wide open opponent. I fault Emery firstly for not starting Torreira who could have helped not only there, but Bellerin who was far out of position often.
    If Emery’s system calls for the fullbacks to be far up the pitch, then the dm is supposed to fall deep to help the CB’s. If they are not performing correctly, it’s on the coaches. Not starting Torreira is certainly on Emery.

    I agree though that we should continue with Guendouzi, I don’t see enough to justify Xhaka ahead of him, Torreira and Ramsey. For me that’s my biggest problem with the 11 chosen. So I disagree with TA. The passing game of Guendouzi and Torreira is good enough that we don’t need Xhaka if they are available.
    …. and T, I really liked the way Iwobi was using his strength against opponents in the middle of the park. Maybe he is an example of a young player who needed a different type of coaching, I hope, at least.

  • Cheers PE, I’ve only seen highlights of our games so far, plus 3 of the preseason games to try and get a feel of things. It all seems a bit hit n miss atm.
    But I keep thinking back to the first season Guardiola was at Man City, trying to impart his ideas and it kept going wrong.
    All the pundits were laughing at him, but not anymore.

    Jonnie, fair comment mate, you saw the whole game and Emery has left Mkhitaryan on for the entirety of both games, so maybe I’m being harsh on him.

    I don’t think that Torrieira is ready to start yet, maybe not in two games like Man City and Chelsea.
    Let’s see who Emery picks for West Ham?

  • Total, Cardiff (a) and Newcastle (a) are 6 points for any of the teams that finished above us last season, if we are going to compete for the top four we really need to start winning those games.

    I suppose that the next three games will give a clearer picture as to where we really are in the food chain.

  • Kev, I would be v pleased with 7-9 points from those three games, but we look all over the place at the moment so I don’t expect it. Reality is sinking in with me that this really will be a tough season.

  • I prefer to look long; as far as the next six games. I feel we can get 12 or 13 points from the next 6 games (4 wins, one draw). We just need to take the positives from the first 2 games, apply ourselves a bit more in the Away fixtures and be a bit more composed in front of goal. Seeing as Brighton have beaten United (when they did late last season, it looked a fluke) 3-2, after a 93 minute penalty reduced the margin, it suggests even the small teams can be dangerous.

    Jync, Iwobi has not suddenly gotten strong after “a different coaching”, as you stated. See my comments above, when the team sheet was confirmed and you will see his strength on the ball, ball skills and forward play are his key attributes. I referred to a friend who laughed off my suggestion that Iwobi will get some playing time under this coach, at least, until the big players wake up. Wenger used him in some of the big games, including at Barca.

    His final decision making/shot choice may be faulty but he is tenacious and won’t lose the ball easily. He’s always been that way.

  • Blimey Total, you’re going to be needing some lessons from me in being positive mate. 😀

    I can understand your disappointment amigo, but we’ve faced one of the best teams in europe and then a Chelsea side who we should have beaten. Defensively we’re very loose, but it’s going to take time and if we sharpen up our finishing, then it won’t put so much pressure on our defenders.
    Even against Man City we had opportunities, so I actually think the issue is as much with our attackers as with our defenders.

    Imagine if we’d gone in at half time leading 4-2 as we should have done, you then have a totally different 2nd half, Chelsea make different tactical changes and maybe we win.
    It can’t all be laid at the feet of our defenders.

    9 points from the next 3 games for me…. 😉

  • Hi all..
    I could be a draw..
    As I mentioned before.. Bellerin and also Mhikitaryan and Mustafi.. just can’t handle Hazzard, Alonso and Kovavic in our right position.. if only Licht play.. it would be different.. hehehe..

    I wonder what really happened to Torreira.. why he must bench in our two important games.. Guendouzi Xhaka had fail last week when we met City.. So why didn’t Emery give Torriera a chance..

    What I appreciated from Emery maybe only his courage to replaced Ozil.. it’s a good sign for every players that if they didn’t so their job well then they will be warm the bench..

    Let’s hope Leno play next week.. and Torriera and Guendouzi play together..

  • I’d say Total is right when he speaks about MG. He is a raw potential, it’s obvious he has skipped a few grades of his development but it’s also obvious he’ll be a great player one day (unless he screws things up by himself or suffers some awful injury Diaby-like). However, he is not a first-team player. I’m not Xhaka’s fan and the only reason he is not the worst Wenger’s piece of business is that Wenger also bought Mustafi for a similar price and gave PR-friendly Özil 350.000 pounds weekly but maybe Torreira can bring his qualities out there, relieve him of defensive duties and give him chance to move the ball forward.

    I expect 24 points from the next eight games. Our defence may be too crappy to deal with Top 5 (let’s admit, we are out of that league) but our forward line is way too good to let any of those clubs below us off the hook.

  • Kev, you are forgetting the waist my friend. Our midfield is clearly an area of experimentation at the moment and I don’t like it one bit. We are all over the place because we don’t have a solid waist and midriff. The defence and attack should improve indeed, but….

  • Hello TA, I agree that Guendouzi with his current performance so far, shouldn’t be a PL starter. Well, in normal circumstances anyways. However, he HAS been outperforming ALL of our current midfielders so far this campaign. That says a lot about our current crop of midfielders. Based on performances so far, he shouldn’t be dropped.

    However, I don’t think he’s ready to be our deepest lying midfielder. He loses concentration and gets caught on the ball in very, very dangerous positions. Improvement will come over time with games under his belt, like you said, in the Europa and Cup games.

    Question is, do we sacrifice one of our best performers thus far for a pivot of Xhaka & Torreira? Playing all theee would likely upset the balance of the midfield, with a bit too much defensive emphasis against these ‘weaker teams’ in the next 8 or so games.

    Saying that, we didn’t really lose the game in midfield. We lost because Bellerin decided he wants to go AWOL in a defensive phase. Offensively he’s been quite impressive. Go and rewatch the game, starting at 77:25. He makes a forward run, is dispossessed and doesn’t make an effort to get back. This sequence of play led to a shot that luckily, wasn’t converted. At first, I thought he had injured himself but he wasn’t struggling and was running normally after a minute of potential lazy play acting. Again, so many instances such as 86.30 etc where he was just being lazy.

  • Hi Admiral.. Where have you been..??
    About Guendouzi.. Maybe he wasn’t ready enough.. but well he was our MotM for that last two games.. at least most of the fans think..

    Last season when Xhaka is pairing with Ramsey.. we almost certain that replacing Xhaka with some more defensive DM will solved our problem.. And we all glad to had Torreira for that reason.
    But Emery seem to see it in a different way..
    With Guendouzi played in our two most important new season.. I don’t see anything will change it soon.. and he did it just right.. we all knew that.. and if we want to put the blame.. We must blamed it on Emery..

    Yes.. We did better against Chelsea than before against City.. We did better in attack.. but still not so improved in defense..

    I myself will be more than happy if my LAMOR.. Lacazzete, Aubameyang, Mhikitaryan, Ozil, and Ramsey play all together.. I hope Emery also.. hehehe..
    And for that we only need another top guy as our DM.. And I see it in Torreira..

  • Guendouzi outperformed nobody except Gunnersauris. It is nice that a health and safety advisor can also do a bit of selling for the company – and yes even excels in this – but we pay him to make sure the company operates in a safe manner and his colleagues are protected. Next game is Xhaka-Torreira in de DM pivot, and if we want to play Guendouzi play him in the hole instead of rusty Rambo.

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