Arsenal v Vorskla Predicted Line-Up: Emery to Make 8 Changes and Laca to Lead Line


Emery must have a special attachment to the Europa Cup. As coach of Sevilla he won it a record three consecutive times. He would like to add a forth to his haul. Apart from that sentiment, he knows that the Europa is a feasible route back to the Champions league. It is therefore a competition he is bound to take seriously. That much he has already made known when he dismissed the notion that it is a competition that he could be making eleven changes to his 1st team, though he subsequently got us all confused by saying that he would be using a lot of different players for the different competitions. When Emery delivers his English, lots of deciphering must be done. Brave man he is.

Emery also indicated that he approaches every game on its merit. That’s OGAAT (one game at a time) philosophy. Apart from each game plan, every coach has a campaign plan and at this early stage of the season the PL must be Emery’s top priority. Combing through all that he has said, we suspect that there won’t be wholesale changes but enough to obviate the deleterious effect of Thursday/Sunday matches to the team. Another factor that would have a hand on who plays is the need to give some fringe players more game time for upping their match fitness in readiness for the grueling season of four competitions.

Not much can be said about FC Vorskla. They finished third in the Ukrainian premier league last season and currently sit at the 5th position on their table having won 4 games and lost 4. That’s not terribly intimidating.

Emery is experienced. He knows that no team should be underrated. He would want to start the Europa league round robin stage of the competition very strongly and only take his foot off the throttle when he sees the team in a safe place. Only then are our academy players likely to come in strongly.

I don’t expect Monreal to be risked at the left back position as he currently has no senior back up. This is a match that looks perfect for the talented Guendouzi to grow his game. I expect Torreira to be on the bench but to make his first start of the season at the Emirate against Everton.

What is Emery’s team to start? That’s a tough call. Below is what I consider a decent shot at it and a decent team comprising 8 changes and a strong bench.





BENCH:- Cech, Mustafi, Monreal, Torreira, Smith-Rowe, Ozil, Aubamayang.

If the match proceeds as hoped, I won’t be surprised if Monreal comes in as a 2nd half substitute at left back with Lichsteiner taking over from Bellerin and Aubamayang coming in for Lacazette (Emery with an eye on Sunday). Of course he could be seeing it all differently.

We need a flying start. Let’s have your prediction of the line up and the score line. 4-0 to Arsenal.



59 thoughts on “Arsenal v Vorskla Predicted Line-Up: Emery to Make 8 Changes and Laca to Lead Line

  • Thank PE. I like most of your line up. But not sure about the back line. My offering won’t happen, but I like how it sounds anyway. And only one player change, albeit a change in shape.

    Macro, Elneny, Holding
    Licht, Tor, Guindi, Welbs
    Mikhi, Iwobi

    Sorry that’s two changes! I think Auba got some rest at the weekend and so starts up front. I also think Eddie N on the bench for this one. Possibilities wide open as we find out how the new coach views rotation and cup games.

  • Volting … yes difficult at this stage to second guess Emery. But who do you expect to lead the line. Auba, Welbz, Nketiah?

  • AB …. yours is interesting particularly Welbz as a wing back. I remember it was reported sometime ago that he was being used in that role at training.

  • Vorskla.
    To kill, or to overkill? That– is the question.
    That Emery has been successful in winning the EL thrice– is most positive. Probably ‘why’ he was given the job. Though ‘taking it seriously’ doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be fielding his strongest XI versus Vorskla.

    I take ‘seriously’? To mean he’s quite adept at gauging how strong an XI each group stage opponent will require– for the result necessary. Honestly? We’re in a ‘less-than’ group IMHO. Some have mentioned that we’ll need to be wary of Sporting. While Sporting is in a 3-way battle for 1st in Portugal’s Premeira Liga?. It’s early-days for all teams. That club has had every kind of problem off-pitch this Summer– and have lost (under the radar mostly) their most notable stars, such as William Carvalho and Gelson Martins (to La Liga teams). Qarabag could be a problem in one sense. They and their opponents– have had a slew of red cards over the past 4-5 weeks– signaling physical (or a reckless) style of play.

    But we (fans) shouldn’t sell our younger players short in the EL. Most have had a good amount of first team exposure. TBH? I rather like a back line of Bellerin/Holding/Mavropanos/Lichtsteiner (OK, one is not-so-young but plays like one!). Rather fancy Eddie to begin breaking out with goals whenever he plays this season.

    So maybe Sporting draws a stronger, more first-team-ish XI than the other two opponents. But in that we have more depth in our team this season? Emery’s selection decisions aren’t so unitary– as they’ve been in recent seasons.


  • Jw …. Nketiah as the point man looks like it. Just wondering if Emery would be thinking of giving Laca and particularly Auba game time in the ‘soft’ match where there could be a couple of goals scored. Goals lift the confidence of strikers ever so much. Just man management.

  • Good post PE and a very interesting team selection, as for myself, I really have little or no idea because if we go on the selections so far this season, the only certainty is that we can’t read Emery and what he’s thinking.
    That’ll mean hopefully, that our opponents can’t read Unai either, but it also leaves us all a tad banjaxed in the ‘lets all guess the line up’ stakes, so any guess I make will almost certainly be as wide of the mark as an Edam cheese.

    I’d like to think if Leno starts, as I think he should (therefore Cech will start) that Emery will pick an experienced defence, but what combo? Sokratis and Mavropanos or Mustafi and Holding or Sokratis and Holding etc etc etc, I mean I wouldn’t put it past Emery to start Pleguezuelo.

    PE I never gave playing Lichtsteiner at left back a thought, but that is a possibility although I’d really like to see him given 90 minutes at right back (left back it is then).

    Iwobi in the hole?
    Does Smith Rowe start?
    It really is a possibility as that kid is that good.
    Welbeck as centre forward or Welbeck on the left (or right) or on the bench?
    I give up, this is my starting XI and it’ll be totally wrong….

    Smith Rowe

    Arsenal to win 3-1

  • I agree…(more) with JW…and AB…about the line-up ideas…which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy your preview, PE… In the end, trying to outguess Emery seems pretty futile these days. As long as the wins keep happening all is good, if they stop?… Well, more Gooners surely will start weighing in with even more ideas… For me, it’s all about seeing how he goes about getting those wins AND trying to build our collective confidence, most notably by creating a sense that we have quality in depth…

    If it were me, I’d definitely keep Lacazette and Bellerin OUT of the starting line-up and I’d probably be keen to get Ramsey into it. The guy who needs to sign or be sold also should be trying to pad his stats (both assists and goals) while showing what a leader he can be from the #10 spot. Iwobi from a wider starting spot has been good (IMO). Indeed, left back seems a question mark, but Nacho is a fit fellow so I don’t quite see the harm in saying he must do double duty until Kola comes back from injury.

    It’s all very interesting and, best of all, it’ll be on my telly tomorrow. Fox Sports seems done with the Euro tournaments but I’ve got all these Spanish language channels that seem to be happy enough to push their (classic) telenovelas (soap operas) back an episode or three.

    Emery may be an OGAAT sort of fellow and I do think there’s buy-in from the players (and at least a positive curiosity from the fans) that should keep us from showing up so flat that we risk a bad result in ANY of our group matches. Really, winning our first 4 games to clinch the group seems the goal here, with deep rotation into the reserves after that. We should really be aiming to keep pace with Spurs and ManU as long as possible (in the PL) before throwing all our eggs into the gotta-win-the-EL basket, I think…

    This brings up bigger picture issues like our (ever more modest) competitive goals and getting where we need to be (the CL, I think–the Emirates deserves autumn matches like the one at Anfield last night, not against the also-rans of Ukraine, Azerbaijan or even Portugal). Gazidis gone (having gotten rid of Wenger–it only took him an extra how many seasons?…) and so now what? To me those are interesting questions, but match by match, I’m told is the key to happiness…(even if nobody had any response to my observations of the last one)…

    So, I’ll hold off for now…unless others would like to engage…

  • Trying to get TA (or anybody else…) to talk to me…so I thought I’d mention that I just saw the Dutch team (Ajax) score a nice goal. (The CL > EL, it seems clear to me…) Dusan Tadic (former Southampton player) kept his feet and crossed to Donny Van de Beek whose volley found the target. Awfully close to the keeper, IMO, but by him in a flash… Good noise in the stadium there… Bergkamp no longer at the club, however, I guess…

    And another one from the left wing! One announcer says Golaso, the other (I think, my Spanish isn’t perfect…) suggests it might have been a mishit cross…

  • HT–
    After your mention? I took a look at to see the US TV broadcast choices– and I’m actually happily surprised!

    B/R Live. Bleacher Report Live.
    The sports website is now showing live football matches online– ‘by the slice’ at $2.99 per broadcast. Which is exactly how every bit of content– ought to be available! Eventually that per-match price drops too– as the wider audience allows it to be priced-to-fit.

    Now I’ll have the chance to watch tomorrow.
    That’s just too cool. 😉


  • Also want to mention that Reiss Nelson is getting CL experience with Hoffenheim– coming on at 60′ vs Donetsk in an eventual 2-2 draw. Hoffenheim is in Group F with City who are (playing mostly first-teamers )– and currently down 1-0 to Lyon at 40′.

    Go Reiss (and Hoffenheim)! Go Lyon!


  • Hey J-Dub… Your guy (Arteta) is up against it vs Lyon (down nil-2) here at half-time. Pep’s in the stands, maybe serving a suspension he picked up battling Herr Klopp last season?… With these CL matches a chance to “immerse” myself en mi lengua segunda, I’m enjoying them quite a bit. Real Madrid finally nudged ahead of Roma on an Isco FK. I could also be watching Valencia-Juventus where C-Ron got sent off but his team looks to be leading by way of the penalty spot. Bayern and ManU matches, however, don’t seem to be available…on my DirectTV channels…

    Anyways, I’ll be curious to see if Mikel/Pep can get his (somewhat rotated) team back into this one…

  • More for J-Dub…mostly just to let you know that I’ve been reading…and, I don’t think your money-ball ideas are quite as insane as they sound…except, that there has to be a different calculus than the standard stats that get taken (and then are analyzed by the pundits/bloggers). I’m heavily influenced by this film (You’ve got to watch the whole thing…) For me, that ability to maybe cover ground off the ball in such a way as to create space for your team is the most important element in the (entire) game. People don’t see it (and the stats, I don’t think) reflect it. Of course, when the ball comes your way, good things need to happen too… So, maybe it’s most distance covered over fewest touches and points won over minutes played. If you’ve got shite teammates, however, you’re screwed… Anyhow, you tell me what stats to look at and I’ll round up my billionaire friends and we’ll buy a team…

    Back on topic… Play Ramsey tomorrow night, let him get his stats (assists and goals) and then sell him (back to Cardiff?…to this City team that are still down two at the hour mark?)… With the Dutchman/Former ManU player (Memphis Depay) an inch from making it 3 goals down(!!) (Did Ederson get a touch?…)

  • Oooh, not so good with his (Sane’s) head… Or maybe too much space to think about it… (83rd min). Wins a corner and delivers it well… (86th) Good play in to set up a D. Silva cross (87th) but it’s easy for the Lyon keeper. Can’t quite latch onto a through-ball on the stretch (88th). Screws a half volley wide (90+1)… So, maybe J-Low had his reasons (other than ideas about racism…) for leaving him off the team.

    Other guys (besides Sane) tried but Stones, Mahrez and El Kun hit balls either at the keeper or off target… In the end it finishes 1-2. Not the end of the world for City but not the best start for the trophy Pep.Must.Win. Oh wait, it was Mikel at the helm… ARTETA OUT!!!!

    OK, that was my attempt at some in-match-chat… Maybe I’ll give it a go tomorrow… Company (ALWAYS) helps…

  • Watched the 2nd half of the Lyon vs City last night. Lyon were composed and had an answer (outlet) for every trap. City did not force errors– except their own. City were made to look ordinary. Seems each time I’ve seen a match like this from City? Ederson becomes ‘statuesque’ in goal. Might have done better to have had Kompany on the pitch and play John Stones in goal. 😉


  • Very excited for the match today and crossing my fingers young Ernie gets the start.


    Elneny- Guendouzi


    Lichtsteiner-Holding-Pleguzuelo-Monreal (maybe welbz)

  • Heh.
    Now here’s what’s known as a ‘happy accident’.
    Where I’d mentioned that we had recently renegotiated our monthly cable package?
    The only ‘special’ Comcast had available this month– to lower our bill– which had the previous programs included? Was the ‘Latino Starter Package’.

    The happy part is I get all of the Europa League Group Stage matches– albeit en espanol. 🙂
    ¡Viva los Artilleros!


  • Teams’ sheets out.

    Leno; Lichtsteiner, Holding, Sokratis, Monreal; Torreira, Elneny; Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Welbeck; Aubameyang

    Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Lacazette, Ozil, Guendouzi, Nketiah, Smith Rowe.

    Shust, Perduta, Dallku, Chesnakov, Artur; Kobakhidze, Kravchenko, Sharpar, Rebenok; Kulach; Kolomoets.

  • I do hope the pressure to start, and at home, doesn’t get to Leno (Torreira too). Wishing him a good clean sheet and fine performance, if called upon. The team looks balanced except for Holding playing on the right side of centre back instead of from his preferred left side. Funny because Sokratis prefers the opposite side. Anyway, this is only the journalists’ lay-out and Emery may play them contrary to that expectation.

  • Vorskla Subs: Tkachenko, Girogadze, Sakiv, Misik, Sklyar, Careca, Sergiychuk.

    For what it’s worth…

  • A bit late getting to the stadium.
    Looking forward to seeing Torrieira again.
    Good to see Lichtsteiner and Leno starting.
    Hope I get to see ESR.

  • Vorskla midfielder dummied his own teammate.
    Mkhi kicked the counter into high gear releasing Iwobi down the left side– Alex with a fine turfburning pass across to a speeding Auba– whose first-touch shot evaded any chance by the keeper– back across goal just inside the left post.

    1-0 to the good guys!


  • Auba nearly with the brace.
    Another Henry-like shot from left dipping across goal and contacting the outside of the right post.


  • This one shaping up as all we might have wanted it to be.
    Welbz on the header at 48′
    Auba– with the brace at 56′

    3-0 to the good guys!


  • A bad.. terrible 20 minutes..
    But 4-2 still a good win.. hehehe..
    Gotta sleep in early morning.. 4 o’clock.. bye..

  • Good workout. Ticked lots of boxes.
    Was about 20 minutes behind the broadcast late in the match. Just now seeing the end.
    Not much worried about the 2 late goals. Aesthetics really. Once we’d put a wrap on it at 4-0 — the only real concern was everyone finishing without injury. So, all’s well that ends well.

    Was at the end of one like this 3 years ago at Ludogorets– where Santi first went down.
    Closing minutes with an ankle injury that ‘didn’t look too bad’ at the time.


  • The Torreira effect presents itself again. Wrap that man in cotton wool! Good win and workout but we keep whiffy sheets. Ah well, Emery did warn us when he took over. Night Night.

  • Even though I missed half of the 1st half I really enjoyed last evenings game, it was entertaining for sure, Arsenal played some impressive attacking football, with Mkhitaryan and Iwobi combining to create a string of possibilities.

    Holding dovetailed nicely with Sokratis allowing the Greek to play on the right, where he is most comfortable. Monreal played well, as he usually does, Lichtsteiner was solid, I’m still trying to work out how the Ukrainians scored two goals?
    Taking into consideration how dominant Arsenal were I think the Holding/Sokratis combo has some potential, I’d certainly be happy to see them start against Everton this weekend.

    Leno must have run over a black cat on the way to the Emirates because he had little to do and generally what he did he did well, but he had no chance with the two shots that flew past him.

  • Torrieira is a fabulous technician, but I suspect that he’ll be on the bench Sunday, another impressive outing for Lucas, already a firm favourite with the fans.
    Iwobi played one of his best games in recent times, it seems that Emery is getting more from him by being more demanding, Alex still has a bit of a job to win over the majority of fans after many months of easily forgettable performances but I’m encouraged by what I saw yesterday.

    I like Mkhitarayan I think he should be a starter in our team more often than he currently is, he combined beautifully with Iwobi and Aubameyang and looked a very impressive attacking threat all evening.

    Elneny had a very solid game, he kept things ticking over, I really enjoyed his performance, no Hollywood stuff just give and goes all evening, he knitted everything together without winning any plaudits, but I’m sure that Emery noticed. Mo is a very valuable squad player, successful teams need players like him, I certainly wouldn’t sell him if he’s happy with the status quo.

    Danny was here, he was there he was pretty much all over the place but he put in a very solid shift and I think, if he leaves next summer, that we’ll miss him. He is a good man to have in any squad, despite his Fred Astaire footwork, scored a really well taken goal after a precise Mkhitarayan cross, did a lot of unselfish work off of the ball, personally I cannot understand why so many in the media take cheap shots at him, he is a good professional who deserves more respect.

  • So pleased to see Aubameyang get a couple of goals, he really came alive in a game that Arsenal maybe should have won 6-0. His understanding with Mkhitarayan is obvious after many years together in Dortmund, on another night he would have score 4, now Lacazette has to step up to the plate this Sunday, competition is good!

    Enjoyed seeing Ozil score again, his finish was intelligently controlled with his studs as he placed the ball between 3 Ukrainian defenders. Guendouzi moved the ball around nicely even if a couple of times I think he should have passed it quicker, Smith Rowe positioned himself for a quick pass a couple of times but the ball didn’t come, ESR did some good things when he came on, not least getting back to head clear a dangerous counter attack from the Ukrainians, that showed a good balance between attacking and defending from the youngster.

    Many teams would have collapsed after being so thoroughly dominated and going 4-0 behind but Vorskla showed admirable spirit and commitment to keep going for 90 minutes, they showed that they can still be a threat so if we go out to Ukraine thinking that it’s going to be a stroll in the park we’ll end up with our arses getting kicked so be confident but humble in the return would be my thoughts on it.

  • Kev–
    Good stuff from the bleachers– thanks!
    I’m particularly keen on the Sokratis/Holding pairing going forward. Tiring of having to insert ‘Player A’ in this role– to compensate for ‘Player B’s’ inefficiencies and shortcomings.

    Last night (well, afternoon here) I saw a professional defender play in the role he’s best at. With no nonsense. He complemented his partner– in playing to his partner’s strengths. Best of all? I could be describing either of the two CBs. Two players. One mind. How refreshing it was post-match, to be pleased with our central defending.


  • Thanks for the summary/player assessment report, Kev. Didn’t get to see the game because my provider in Nigeria didn’t have the rights to the Europa league; and I can’t be bothered trying to subscribe to the other provider who does.

    I followed commentaries though, on but that’s not the same thing as seeing the boys play on the big screen. I’ve only seen highlights of the goals but shall see the game later today. It’s a game we’d be expected to win and we did. Leno didn’t get a clean sheet but it’s a good start for him.

    Now, on to Everton.

  • Seeing an unconfirmed report on an Armenian site (translated) that Mkhi has an injury to his right leg and may miss Everton on Sunday.


  • Thanks for the man-at-the-match report, Kev. Lots of stuff well described and pretty much along the lines of what I witnessed… Why the late arrival?… Also, did you get your tickets on the ticket exchange? How does that stuff work these days? It seems a shame that prices can’t be dropped to help fill (all those empty) seats….

    I “watched” the game but had a lot of distractions going on, so I don’t really have any great insights to add… It looked like a lot of possession but not many chances before the nice goal on the counter. To me, Mkhi & Iwobi brought a lot of good movement (and quality) to the project.
    They were both excellent for the goal and kept it going afterwards too…

    The squad rotation is what interests me most as we’re all trying to figure out what Emery is after. Cech, Mustafi and Ramsey didn’t suit up and Bellerin and Lacazette (and, of course, Martinez and Eddy) had to dress but also got full rests. To me, this means we’ve now got a good group of about 18 or 19 guys sharing (or fighting for…) playing time. Nothing seem particularly set in stone and it’ll be interesting to see who goes again on Sunday. Players shouldn’t have any trouble playing full minutes, IMO. Any needed respite should come for the League cup match…but even then, my guess is players need/want as much time on the pitch to try and impress the coach. All of that seems good…as does the continued winning. We’d be viewing things through a (much) darker filter if it stopped…

    Word of warning… While winning these past two away (league) matches seems a balm over last season’s travels, we need full points from the home matches and Everton & Watford should prove sterner tests. OGAAT, of course, and Everton, training all week after losing (at home) to West Ham, should be extra motivated. We must beware Theo’s new hairstyle…among other things nobody wants to see…

  • JW, whilst having to take into consideration the quality of the opposition it was refreshing to see two centre backs who were in tune with each other, no slipping over or dodgy back passes.
    Holding was at his best alongside Mertesaker, a competent performer who guided his young partner, maybe Sokratis shares the qualities that BFG provided and that Mustafi lacks?
    So I’m with you bud…

  • Eris, that’s a bummer, but it’s similar here in Blighty, last season terrestrial ITV showed live games and highlights of the Europa, but this season satellite BT sports have it and they can jog on, so unless I go, it’s gonna be Arsenalist or You Tube for me.

  • I’m lucky 17tino, my son and two of his mates have season tickets so if any of them don’t go I usually get first dibs.
    They have other friends who on rare occasions can get me tickets, that how I got to see the League Cup Final last season.

    Can’t help you with ticket exchange, from what I’ve heard a lot of fans complain about it and instead of the aggro concerned they just don’t bother taking up their seats. The club really have to be more proactive in this as an empty stadium isn’t going to encourage sponsorship and that equals lost revenue. I think it’s up to the club to make the recycling of tickets more attractive and easier for fans to do.

    Personally I’d always advise visiting fans from abroad, in particular, to get in touch with the Supporters Club, they’ll always help if they can and only charge you face value.

  • I was working prior to the game 17tino and my last job took me to South London when I was really hoping for a Hampstead or Highgate, needs must etc…

  • The Vorskla match is exactly what i talked about. No game should be underestimated.

    We seemed to tire way before the end of the match. That is something we have to work on.

  • Curious, so I checked.
    Alexis Sanchez in 5 PL matches thus far this term: 1 assist and 1 yellow card.


  • The man is having a stinker at the moment, but I don’t want to gloat so as not to “jinx” it for us 😜😀
    Been substituted a few times along the way, as well….

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