Suarez-Torreira DM Pivot, M.O.I to feed Auba, Ainsley M-N to start? Preview|Line-Up

Tonight is another big game for the Arsenal: Rennes away in the Europa League. Rennes is an old and fine city and have a more than decent stadium. I have no doubt that tonight we will see a good game of European football. A win over two legs will get us into the quarter finals and for this we will need of course a good performance during the first leg.

Rennes had a requested league-football rest over the weekend and will be fresh and focussed. Arsenal, on the other hand, played in a tough NLD last weekend and are awaiting another top-four battle on Sunday. Luckily, we played really well and are starting to get back into a winning groove, and with the right focus and energy we surely should be too strong for our inexperienced, low-flying opponents?!

Arsenal took a strong squad to Western France and we should expect Unai to pick a very competitive team. Yet I also expect him to initially leave out a few players who will start v MU – one or two in each section: Leno, Koz, Kola, Xhaka, Rambo and even Auba?? This would allow us to have a fresh, strong spine which we surely will need on Sunday.

So what does this leave us with (bearing in mind that Lichtsteiner and Elneny have not travelled)?

Predicted/preferred line-up:


submit football lineup

  • Cech instead of Leno!

It would be good to give Kola a break and allow Monreal to get further into shape and form. If Ainsley is fit it would be good for him to get a start. Torreira has to play and I have a feeling that Suarez may start next to him in the Double DM-Pivot (resting Guendouzi, at least initially).

Iwobi could be rested too but I reckon we will need him to start in this one as Laca is not available. Ozil in the hole and Mkhi on the right, with Auba in attack as we do not really have much choice. Eddie may get a chance in the second half and I, for one, would love to see him in action again.

Should be a good game as long as the team treat it with respect from the start!





22 thoughts on “Suarez-Torreira DM Pivot, M.O.I to feed Auba, Ainsley M-N to start? Preview|Line-Up

  • TA, that’s a good team though I wonder about Suarez in the double pivot. As a follow up to my comment in the previous post (last comment before NEW POST) I expect Mkhi and Nacho in your line up to be rested. Kola was rested in the NLD. Suarez to play Mkhi’s role.

    I feel confident of a win and possibly a clean sheet. COYRG!!!

  • Confirmed. 4 changes … Cech, Torreira, Ozil, Auba to start.

    Musti. Sokr. Kos. Monr.
    Torre. Xhaka.
    Mkhi. Ozil. Iwobi.

    This is the “A” of our “A” team. It looks to me that Emery has prioritized the Europa. Makes sense.

  • Cheeers PE. Well I like it, even though playing Xhaka is very dangerous given the Torreira situation. An injury to the Swiss maestro and we are v light in midfield on Sunday. But OGAAT it is and why not take this one deadly serious?!


  • Hey there, PE. Good to have you back.

    Emery keeps making it hard to second guess his line ups. Anyone would expect him to rest a few of these players towards Sunday, but no. He has put out our best possible team, bar Laca and Leno. I guess he is putting down a marker for those who may have used fixture congestion as excuse in the run-in. On Sunday, we may only have Leno, Guendouzi, Laca and Ramsey as changes. Intriguing.

  • I worry about Dennis Suarez’s loan stay here if he’s still to start a game for us. This was to be his best chance, in my view. It’s back to Barca for him then. Maybe, he was used to fire up the likes of Ozil, Mkhi and Iwobi.


  • Word I’d heard Eris– there’s a clause in Suarez’s original contract– when sold to Barca that every time Suarez starts and plays 45+mins– it’s like £100k to City. May be a courtesy to Barca that we don’t start him often?


  • Sounds a ridiculous clause to have agreed to but you never can tell with our clubsides these days. A similar kind of clause was allegedly in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contract with us, which may have resulted in the limited minutes he got, it is suggested. Hard to believe the player will accept such though.

  • From the sounds of it, the game in Rennes isn’t going according to plan, with Sokratis getting an early shower, after a second yellow in the 40th minute. Even with 10 men, I can’t see how we cannot get a draw, at the minimum. Anyway, not watching (just seeing highlights) so, who knows; maybe, they are a better side than thought.

    We are 2-1 down at the moment; their 2nd goal off a Monreal own goal. Cech had no chance.

  • Was watching through the half. We were playing at a winnable level.
    Lot’s of called fouls in the first half. Papa should have read the game better– to avoid his first YC.
    The second was unavoidable– tangled legs, Ben Arfa went down– Sokratis was gone.


  • Game’s ended 3-1 (or 1-3, depending on how you wish to view it). Not encouraging, seeing as we had our best team out there tonight.

    Well, we have to return to prep for United, who are on a roll.

  • Well that was disappointing but nothing lost yet. Back home we will smash them by 5 goals.

    We just are crap at playing these Spursday games away!! 😦

  • I don’t know, TA. We just don’t seem capable of stopping goals the other way, is the problem. Having gotten away with such a scoreline against the mighty Arsenal, you know their manager will set them up to both frustrate and punish our lapses. Mbaye Niang may be available for the 2nd leg too and he is a handful, physically. I also worry that Emery’s sides (at least, his Arsenal) don’t play to score many, unless it opens up.

    We’ll just have to live in hope.

  • It is about tempo and intensity, Eris, and I fully expect us to put the words ‘full’ and ‘high’ before the above. We can take an away goal, so there is every reason to go and attack with no mercy. 🙂

  • TA, I don’t know if we can attack with the person in charge of finishing in a bad run of form. We did the same in the first leg in the last round but Rennes is no BATE. Our weakness is that we over-pass. We do not know when to put the ball into the net.

  • Hmmm. Southampton have achieved that big scalp they’ve been threatening, in recent times. They gave United a fright at Old Trafford before this win versus Spurs today. To think we could have easily had a cricket score against them at the Emirates. Maybe, we are better than most think.

    It will be a humdinger of a contest tomorrow, all round as teams jostle to take advantage of points dropped.

  • And is it just me or do Spurs appear to get favourable decisions by the refs? There were at least two instances where they could have gotten a red card and only got a yellow (in the Vertonghen high foot case, nothing given). Strange when you think we lose Torreira in 3 games for playing the ball and catching a shin due to a reckless lunge by the opposing players. Not to speak of some niggly fouls that are ignored and Kane being offside for his goal.

  • Hi Eris, yes that may well be the case but in the end they still lost and either Arsenal or MU, or both, will catch up on them tomorrow. 🙂

    Pressure now also on Pool to get a win tomorrow. At least the PL is exciting, unlike the French and Italian leagues which are both done and dusted..

  • It’s turned into 4 teams viewing for 2 CL spots. The more the merrier.

  • Actually Eris–
    By chance I’d seen Southampton a few times recently– and have enjoyed watching.
    In midfield, Ward-Prowse, has been on fire with 6 in 9 (several set piece goals in that tally)– and the lanky CB Vestergaard has been good– and good with both feet it seems. Yan Valery is a talent with a couple of goals recently.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing any of them in our red & white– to add depth. Any might have a role in the style UE wishes to play.


  • You have a good point there, jw1. Southampton are a side with ability and on their day, can give any team a game. Then, there are days they just seem to lack interest and allow the opposition so much latitude, you start to fear a right drubbing, as a fan. Like it was today, they were non existent in the first half, leaving me thinking how the spuds can give them the trashing we failed to hand them at the Emirates. Good thing it turned out differently.

    As for players who can make the switch, I also like Oriol Romeu. The kind of midfielder we had needed all those years back. It’s sqeaky bum time for the teams in the lower half of the top six; and for those in the upper half for different reasons.

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