Arsenal v Brentford: Starts for Willock, S-R, Nketiah and Thompson? Preview/Line-Up

The show must go on v Brentford. We like winning we do and we have some hungry players who need a game. At the principle of OGAAT – One Game at a time – combined with the fact that Emery will love to see more of his squad in meaningful action, our new manager no doubt will have given his first eleven for tomorrow’s game some thought. 

This is what the Kevster said re tomorrow’s possible starting eleven in previous post: “Leno (or Martinez), Lichtsteiner, Iwobi, Elneny, Guendouzi, Holding, Nketiah, Willock, Smith Rowe, reserve left back Dominic Thompson (?), Mustafi, Welbeck, Olowu (?), Saka (?) with maybe a couple or three biggies on the bench for an emergency, that lot in whatever combination looks the likely lads for Wednesday imo”

Let’s dissect the thinking around this a bit:

  1. We have certain starters for the UEFA games and they need a weekly game to stay fit and focussed, so they are likely to play again on Wednesday: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Welbeck, Holding and Elneny. I reckon they will all start.
  2. There are a few youngsters who need game time: Nketiah, Willock, Smith Rowe
  3. We need a LB other than Nacho, who of course needs a rest. So I go with Allezkev’s recommendation of Dominic Thompson.
  4. I reckon that adds up to 11! 🙂

So the predicted starting 11 will look like this:

submit football lineup

Maybe Emery plays Mustafi again and spares Holding or move Elneny next to The Curls; we will have to wait and see. I may have gotten this totally wrong but somehow I feel I haven’t. Should be a good game for those who’ll be there.


By TotalArsenal.

49 thoughts on “Arsenal v Brentford: Starts for Willock, S-R, Nketiah and Thompson? Preview/Line-Up

  • Thompson aint going to be in the squad, he only been training with first team cos he was not part of the u23 squad, Bola has that slot, Thompson was not in first team training today. Pleguezuelo, Willock, Smith-Rowe and Nketiah the young lads involved today. Kolasinac and Jenkisnon both back in full training.

  • I do love the odd midweek game and I don’t think your line up will be too far off, TA. Can’t say I’m too excited by Willock. Maybe I’m alone in that sense but I feel he has yet to produce anything near the flashes of brilliance we’ve seen from ESR, Nketiah, and Nelson. I would rather use those minutes to expierment with Iwobi in a B2B role or keep Elneny fresh.

    I do like the idea of Elneny slotting in at CB, however. We need a good passer with a bit of composure. I think we tried him out there sometime last season and he looked decent. Granted it was in a back 3 and likely against similarly weak opposition.

    Lichtsteiner Holding Pleguzuelo Thompson (no idea here)
    Elneny Guendouzi
    Iwobi ESR Welbeck

  • TA ….. no reason why it cannot be as simple as that. The simpler the more beautiful. Though folks like me have a way of complicating things for themselves. Like Mkhi is back to full training and so would start. Again like Emery would like to take further look at Elneny at the double pivot role with Guendz like he did at pre season. Mustafi pairs Holding at CD.

    Thompson or Bola at LB but as Kev has pointed at the former, Thompson it would be.

    Lichst Musti Holdn Thompson
    ——–Elneny. Guendz
    —-Welbz — Mkhi — Iwobi

    I think Emery would be keen to prolong his winning streak as long as possible. He strikes me as a very competitive fellow.

  • Emery doesn’t look like he is one to experiment too much, seeing as how Mourinho lost at Old Trafford to Frank Lampard’s (see what I did there, RE: master losing to former protégée?) Derby County. However, I feel he will want to see Martinez (even make him league cup keeper), since Leno has a chance in the Europa league and FA Cup.

    I also think Auba will start alongside Iwobi and Welbeck; Mkhitaryan, Guendouzi and Elneny in midfield; Mustafi, Holding, Lichtsteiner and Marc Bola to complete the defensive four. The likes of Nketiah, Willock and Emile Smith-Rowe to come on to finish things off when we look comfortable. So (hope it comes out well aligned):


    Lichtsteiner – Mustafi- Holding – Bola

    Elneny – Guendouzi – Mkhitaryan

    Iwobi – Auba – Welbeck.

    Subs: Leno, Monreal, Pleguezuelo, Torreira, Nketiah, Willock, Smith-Rowe

  • PE, were you able to see the games yesterday? If so, via which provider? Of course, I’m taking it for granted that, like me, you’re in Nigeria at this time.

    It looks like Multichoice are determined to frustrate with the failure to get rights to the Europa league and Carabao cups. Perhaps, they are feeling the competition.

  • Reading that Kolasinac has been in training, so if he’s deemed fit, he may just have some game time at left back.

    It must also be recalled that Arsenal lost 1-2 to Brentford in a behind closed doors friendly at the Emirates, in 2018/19 pre-season (July ?). They will already be feeling confident so it will only help to douse that early.

  • Eris … couldn’t find it anywhere to watch. Have checked the Multichoice schedule for today and it’s again not there.

  • They don’t have the rights for Nigeria. Going to be the same for the rest of the season. So, what was the increment in subscriptions about?

  • 17tino, I’m hearing ya and yes they always charge a reduced entrance price for the League Cup, approx £10, so you have a stadium full of ‘newbies’, mainly families with young kids, which is great for introducing the next generation to the Arsenal experience.

  • I think that you’ll find that Jenkinson and Kolasinac are doing light training, but our medical team have really upped their game so our walking wounded are returning a lot sooner than previously was the case.

    Pleguezuelo was recently injured playing for the U23’s but as he was involved in training yesterday he must be ok again so he’s another who could be involved this evening.

    Monreal needs a definite rest with Watford coming up but I wonder if Kolasinac will be ready for the trip to Baku next week?

  • Eris, I’ve not seen Bola play, so you could be right about him being involved as he’s been playing for the U23’s, as 17tino wrote yesterday going for four competitions is a bit of a stretch, so Emery has to carefully balance his resources.

  • It will be either him or Pleguezuelo; on the off chance Emery doesn’t think Kolasinac (how did the hype around this chap fade away, so fast?) is ready for a game. Four competitions is maybe a lot to focus on, but Emery won’t want the winning streak to end so soon because he didn’t take the opposition and Cup so seriously. Better to drop away later into the season to focus on the Europa and League, some time in 2019.

  • Eris … That makes a lot of sense. Emery is still getting to know his players and understsnd combinations. So every opportunity has to be utilized well. He also knows that losses can prematurely put him under too much scrutiny. Wins also build confidence that get everybody believing in the project.

  • We play a strong line up tonight.. Hope all will go as good as prediction..
    Cause we will meet Watford two days later..

  • Confirmed.

    Lichst, Musti, Holdn, Monreal
    Elneny, Guendz.
    Mkhi, Smith Rowe, Iwobi.

  • I just forget.. that we have a very strong second team.. hehehe..
    We make 9 changes starting eleven..

  • I thought Auba rather than Laca would feature tonight because he was subbed off against Everton. Monreal has to be very careful tonight; big risk Emery is taking there though.

  • The lads did well and poor positioning from Leno failed us again from the free kick.

    Welbs did very well from the start and deserved to score more, but a brace is good enough.

    This season the players did better from last season, and they were more involved. Even Ozil did better to help the team.

  • Happy to win.. hehehe..
    Good for Welbeck, but not for Nketiah..
    Tonight only Rowe (youngsters) that allow to play.. So much different in Wenger Era..
    And Leno almost made a big blunder mistake that can burried his career..

  • One phrase I recall from the commentator late in the first-half–
    that I’m hoping to hear often and for many seasons:

    “Smith-Rowe has not stopped running…”

    The young star-to-be chased the ball relentlessly at the point– with good presence in the angles taken– in pressing Brentford. The visitors made more than few solid attacks after ES-R was replaced by Lacazette at 65′.


  • That was a tricky tie, Brentford are a small club but they have a really good team who play a good standard of football all on a limited budget, I would compare them with say a Bournemouth. They could quite easily be opponents of ours in the Premier next season.
    Emery certainly isn’t taking any chances, it looks like our youngsters will have to work really hard or be very special to get a look in. I honestly thought that Eddie would get a game yesterday evening, but he didn’t even get a run fronoff of the bench.
    I only saw very brief highlights but Iwobi had some good moments, he seems to be growing under the tutelage of Emery and his coaches.

    Alternatively if the news is to be believed, the contract talks with the agents of Ramsey have broken down. So it looks like Aaron will leave next year. C’est la vie….

  • Kev–
    I was pleased to see just how good of a match it was. Not some sort of training exercise– but competitively useful.

    I’m in disagreement with HT– on the need to vacate this cup comp ASAP. For instance– with Kolasinac on the bench yesterday, and a return to play by Mavropanos (hopefully sooner than later)– these matches will make our subs match-ready in the case of need going forward.

    This season is different. Yes, winning is important. But developing the club’s persona is currently even more so. If everybody is ready? Anyone can play when called.

    And– there’s intrinsic value in all silverware. 😉


  • Well JW, I’m always extremely careful about disagreeing with 17tino or else he’ll batter me with words 😄 – but I’m in agreement with you, we need to be competitive across the board as I’m not sure that we’re in a position to pick and choose where we have success yet and Emery will want some reward to cement his position this season.
    Six wins on the trot is impressive form regardless of the sniping from the media.

  • I woke up early this morning, got my coffee, and… found someone on the internet disagreeing with me, two people, in fact… I had a busy day scheduled (offline…) but now I’ve canceled everything… Prepare for a battering… 😉

    J-Dub and Kev… You guys have the long-term perspective–or at least you’ve been around the block a few times–so you should know better. Not about arguing with me, but about not letting your heads get clouded by the fun of…winning. It IS nice, and we should all live in the moment, BUT this is late September and I will take ALL (and any…) bets that we will not win each and every match that we play this season.

    Regression to the mean, a wise man once told me, WILL happen.

    We’re staring up at Watford (in the league table) and it would be sweet to reverse that view, much as Spurs had to reverse a scoreline (and win a penalty shootout) last night in their league cup match. OGAAT all the time and the matches (since those first two) keep getting tougher. As long as we keep winning our confidence keeps increasing and the squad keeps looking deeper and stronger. Very nice and may it last forever… Again, I’m taking bets…

    What happens when we lose? A branch of my wife’s family comes from the Greek island of Ikaria. The very soil there is formed from the remains of he who flew too close to the sun…

    The more I watch things unfolding this season the more impressed I am with Liverpool (and Jurgen Klopp and Boston Red Sox ownership). Their winning streak (a tad more impressive than ours) ended last night on a golaso from Hazard. For all the reasons I suggested (bottom of the last thread) they have avoided a congested January/Feb AND can even rest and rotate just a hair better here in the autumn while hardly denting their confidence and maybe even reminding themselves that golasos (and other forms of bad luck) can go against you. Of course, I didn’t actually watch the match, but I heard about it and I’ve seen the excellent goal… (Fun to watch–for other reasons–is the situation up that at Moo-Chester United… For a lumbering cow, he’s a sneaky one and snuck out of the league cup he has… Win some in the important comps and Jo-Say will be just fine…)

    Bottom line, the extra matches (for us, here in the autumn…) are good but, because it will be our fate to advance to the round of 32 in the Europa League we’ll already have two extra elims in February. Who will be our Ostersunds this next time around?… Maybe the answer is that we need to leave the league cup in the quarter-finals, though I would argue that anytime we can go out with heads held up reasonably high, we should (hope to) do so.

    Actually, checking the fixture list we’ve got two manageable home matches (So’ton and B’mouth) around a potential League Cup final. In other words last February’s miseries shouldn’t be a worry. Then again, Ostersunds at home *seemed* a winnable fixture… For me, I’d much rather be winning early rounds of the FA Cup come the new year…

    Finally, let’s remember that winning these domestic cups (even the more prestigious one) does NOTHING for you. Just ask Arsene…or Antonio Conte or Louis Van Gaal, etc., etc…

    So, to all Gooners having a little too much fun with this winning streak…my advice is to lay off the Carabao (East Asian Red Bull) and maybe stick with a cup of (cold?) coffee… Or tea, I guess, (which is actually my preferred afternoon beverage)…

  • Even I cannot resist…

    I listened to the match and it sounded like a good one. Watching the goals I’m liking what I see of a few things, most notably Mkhi and Iwobi on the break and D-Money not fluffing his gimmes. Kenny G(uendouzi) got his first assist (but also gave away a silly FK, an “anti-assist” perhaps?) and Laca got clinical at the end…

    What’s not to like?… Maybe we WILL win ’em all… 😮

  • And Ramsey is gone. My only real frustration with this (aside from the piss poor asset management) is that we weren’t able to secure a proper replacement this summer. Can’t help but think Nzonzi would have been a perfect partner for Torreira. Something to look forward to in January I suppose..

  • Frozen

    Ramsey is not an asset but a human with a will. He was hoping for one of the big European clubs to come and get him but by the looks of it they didn’t. Arsenal offered him a contract and he dithered and dithered and now, after some ineffective performances in front of the new manager, the contract is withdrawn. Rambo will still hope for a big club to come and get him but it is likely that he will sign a lucrative contract for a British club with dreams of making it big (again). At West Ham or Everton his former team mates would welcome him with open arms, no doubt.

    The club have managed this as best as they can – it takes two to tango and Rambo had an inflated view of his worth and now the club are looking forward a new dance partner.

  • Hey Frozen… I don’t think we can worry too much here about “asset management” given that our (former) CEO (somehow…) puts, “Gave lame-duck manager a free $10 million pounds” on the top of his resume…and then fecks off for a better job… Over time, Arsenal contracts should be done (just a bit) more wisely, I think…

    Rambo may (have) be(en) worth some good money but is he a first 11 player? In my view, his space-eating style of play effectively reduces us to 10 or fewer on the pitch anyhow… No, no, he’s not that bad (of course…unless he goes to a rival…) BUT, I think we might function better as a team with Elneny or Mkhi in the weekend 11s. The former (I think) has a similar strong engine and was bought to spell Rambo for his serial hamstring troubles. The latter got AR’s (fat) contract and all we had to give up was the guy who disappears onto his haunches while shaking his head at his (woeful) teammates. Alexis may be the “better” player, but those two counterattack goals (these past two midweeks) orchestrated by Mkhi were better than anything I remember Alexis doing on the break. Finally, I think there must be a few “all-round” midfielders with strong engines (and the associated good body language who tend to stay clear of soft muscle injuries) and we should be able to take a punt on at least a couple of them with the money save. Already, I’d put Kenny G(uendouzi) in that category… We’re in a transitional season anyhow so the changes (will continue to) ring…

    But that’s only if he goes… I think, er, fear, that this saga has a LONG way to run before it’s settled…

    It would leave only Jenko as part of the (legendary?) Brit-core that the marketing department tried to sell us… Wowsa…

  • There is no good or right in staying on in these competitions. Somebody in office today pointed out, wisely I thought for such a young man, that the last few years more often than not teams that won the league also won the league cup that year. !So Klopp and Merinho are doomed already muhahahaha! 😉

    Emery just likes winning and long may it continue – we are gaining respect among the rival fans, so well done Unai

  • Gonna have to disagree with you on this one TA. The boards incompetence in managing our players contracts coupled with Ramsey’s “will” (we can save that debate for another time) to hold the club ransom will surely cost us a few million and impact our spending power in the transfer market (see: this summer).

    However you want to look at it, you can not deny the fact that this is simply poor business. And, with the Kroenke takeover complete as of yesterday, business interests will influence our club now more than ever. To be clear, I don’t blame Ramsey. He saw what happened with Alexis and Ozil— both scenarios resulting in ridiculously lucrative contracts— and thought he’d shoot his shot. A reasonable tactic. Will it pay off for him? I’m not so sure. Like you said, I think he over estimated his bargaining power.

    In either case, the club loses because the people making decisions didn’t have the decisisveness or balls to ship him off sooner.

  • Frozen, but what if no club put in an offer that was acceptable to Ramsey? The power is totally with him – the club cannot make him move… You seem to think that they can, or had an opportunity to do so, but there is no evidence re this…

  • Fair point. Could well be the case. Would be in line with Ornstein’s follow up tweet about how Ramsey ultimately agreed to our mega offer but ended up withdrawing. Also mentions that a free transfer in the summer is the most likely scenario. However, it’s hard not to feel like leadership could have been a bit more transparent with him about where he stands which might’ve made him reconsider the seemingly (if any) undesirable offers from other clubs.

    I guess my only question to you now is: how do you go about managing him until then? I think it would be in the clubs best interest to keep him out of our best 11 (which I don’t necesssrily he should be a part of anyway) and let him do his thing for our cup games.

  • When Unai Emery was brought on– he said all the right things regarding the current players in the team, goals, style– all of it. PR that was necessary, considering the recent fan-fed coup.

    Four months, 8 matches (plus what, 4-5 additional friendlies and pre-season contests?)– and several dozen training sessions? Emery, probably about now– has his first true gauge of the individuals in his charge.

    Did anybody think we’d be this far removed from AW in four months? I didn’t. Did anybody think we’d come away from Alexis, Ox, Wilshere, all leaving– with Henrihk Mkhitaryan and £40M? I’m pretty good with that. Considering what that group has done elsewhere– and what Mkhi is supplying here (and Aubameyang as a bonus?).

    Get a grip folks. Cuz’ I am flat thrilled with the rebound results so far.

    IMO? What Ramsey gets from us if he does sign? Is payment for his previous service. It was good. But not £200k-£250K per week good. Not to mention? Emile Smith-Rowe looks like a 1-to-1 replacement for Ramsey in about one year’s time.

    Since this season must be considered transitional– in many senses of the word for Arsenal? If Ramsey leaves for something in January– or walks on a Bosman next Summer. It’s hasta la vista Aaron– from me.


  • I would suggest that this could be a fine topic for a new post…Frozen? (Retsub?… Is Retsub also a big Jenko fan?…)

    I’d do it myself, but it’d just be a rehash of the absurdity (I see…) regarding Gazidis… That he was not positioned with replacements for Wenger–or a structure for our new management-by-committee–in Spring of 2017 when we ONLY missed the top 4 by a point AND beat City and Chelsea to win our 3rd FA cup in four years…(And now we–or at least the smarter folks–set our sights lower… 😦 ) seems like CEO malpractice (to me)… By comparison, little things like Ramsey’s contract (which is a molehill vs the mountains of Alexis’ and Ozil’s contract issues–and the Alps of Arsene’s situation…) are nothing… If we were to sue Gazidis for the decade of salary and bonuses he took from the club we’d have a few million quid (the lawyers get 1/3, however, of course…) My hunch is that Stan has bigger fish to fry…or send over to his taxidermist for stuffing…

    As do I…(I hope…) We just booked a(nother) venture south of the border (at the American Thanksgiving) and there’s a kayak involved… I’d post some video but it would be NSFV (not safe for vegetarians)…and maybe not impressive enough for Stan’s hunting channel…

    Plus, we’ve got another game to win, er, play, in just 45 hours or thereabouts…

  • Didn’t see your post, J-Dub, before I hit the button…Sorry… And worse, now I have to say that I agree with you… Arghhhhh… (But I still say, out at the quarters of the league cup…goshdarnit…)

    Gotta hit the trails before the sun gets too high… Don’t wanna fly too close and all that…

    Happy (almost) Friday…

  • I don’t know who his to blame for this mess, except to say it wasn’t Emery he merely inherited the problem. Personally I think the major issue was the size of the Ozil contract. I am not a great believer in stats but I would be surprised if Ramsey’s statswerent similar to Ozils. He may not be as pretty to watch but in a. Tough away match up Norf on a cold winters evening. Give me Ramsey over Ozil any day. I guess he sees the type of contract that Some of the players are coming in on and wants his fair share. Seems reasonable to me.

    If he does go he wil have given 10 years and he certainly will not go to West Ham. T A if he does dinner is on me. Let’s not forget two cup winning goals as well.

  • Tough away match oop norf?… Even on a sunny afternoon in California…I think I feel a virus coming on… 😉

    And, I’m not a great believer in stats either… but…well, I wrote a post about it a few weeks back…

    As we begin the mythologizing of Rambo, I think it’s actually possible (unlikely but possible…) that AR wants more than just a big payday and that maybe having a more significant role on a more competitive team is something. If those teams won’t bite, maybe he could get a bigger (i.e., longer) contract back at his boyhood club, Cardiff City…

    Question for those over there…but venturing into politics (maybe, just a bit)… What’s going on with taxes for the highest earners in Britain? It’s always been mooted that British players don’t want to play in the continental leagues because of the tax rates… Just curious and wondering if this is a continuing issue (if maxing out the payday is a goal)… Also, are the people in charge (Tories/Brexiters/help me out here) promising tax cuts and golden showers, er, a trickle down of riches for everybody?… Again, just curious but I also don’t want to get into trouble so I should probably just do my own research…

    I still think somebody should do a post about it…but, like I said, I also think there’s plenty of time and that this saga has a long way yet to run. This “news,” smells (to me) of the tail wagging the dog…


    …which reminds me… TA, is Henry (the dog) still doing the Santi-dance? I just recently noticed that our current mutt just hunches over and gets it done…

  • Yes Aaron Ramsey has said in the recent past that he would like to try his hand (or feet) on some foreign fields like his esteemed team mate G.Bale.
    But I wonder what he would do if Real Madrid made him an offer and Man Utd offered him a lot more, my guess is Aaron would soon be a Red Devil. You see I don’t take a lot of notice of what footballers say because at the end of the day it’s all about the money.

    And good luck to him, I have no problem with that at all, I really don’t, just don’t bullshit us…

  • Emery has said and continues to say all the right things, he’s been the consummate politician.
    I just wonder if he’s had second thoughts about Aaron, especially as he has to work to a tight KSE fixed budget?
    Likewise Mr Director of Football Raul might have also decided that Sven can take that Ramsey salary and invest it more wisely on players with lower financial expectations who can deliver as much as Ramsey?

    Maybe we have people in place now who can deal with contracts in a more progressive manner?

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