Torreira, Ozil, Auba On to Keep Top-4 Finish Alive: Arsenal v Brighton Preview

Four of Arsenal
Our last two fixtures for the season are today’s match at home to Brighton and Burnley away the following Sunday. They are winnable games. If we win the two matches the results of Manchester United’s remaining two matches become irrelevant to us. They would finish below us.

Chelsea’s last two fixtures are at home to Watford and Leicester away. That’s a more formidable pair of games than ours. If Chelsea who, like us, are battling with the extra work load of the Europa competition should as much as suffer a draw in one of their matches, goals difference would decides who between them and us finishes in the top 4. That is assuming we win our two winnable games. If they lose one of the games we are surely in the top 4 assuming again we win our winnable games.

Tottenham who have an uphill task in their 2nd leg away match against Ajax in the CL semi were beaten at away to Bournemouth yesterday in a match they lost two players to straight red cards.  They are in a rotten place at the moment. Their last Premiership match is against the inform Everton. If they lose or draw to Everton and we win our winnable games we are in the top 4.

These scenarios are not in any way far fetched. As a matter of fact I consider our top 4 chances more likely than not and nobody is aware of that more than Emery.

From what our boys have been saying it is clear that they are up for the fight of finishing in the top 4. They too know there is still a corridor of hope and being a coach that resonates with his team expect Emery to send out the strongest team he can under the circumstance. At this moment the Premiership and the Europa routes to Champions League qualification are equally in his sight.

Maitland-Niles would serve his one match suspension. Koscielny who has played the most minutes since the games started coming thick and fast was so knackered in the last game that he was substituted with 10 minutes left. Cumulative fatigue seems to have caught up with him so he should be exempted with a start on the bench.

When Kolasinac and Maitland-Niles are available, Emery favours three central defenders. With Maitland-Niles suspended, Emery might opt for a four man defence, particularly as it is a home game where he usually wants his team on the front foot. In the back line should be Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal and Jenkinson or Litchsteiner.

The defeat suffered by Cardiff yesterday has assured Brighton a place in the top flight next season. They would come at us with some extra springs in their steps. As a response to that, I expect Emery to start the fresh legs of the duo of Iwobi and Mkhitaryan. At #10 should be Ozil who plays his best football at the Emirate. With three attacking midfielders on the field, one of Laca or Auba might be benched. Laca worked his socks off on Thursday as he usually does and could do with a substitute role.

Expected line up:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Leno~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lichsteiner~Mustafi~Sokratis~Monreal
~~~~~~~~Torreira~~~~Xhaka~~~~~~~~
~~~~Mkhitaryan~~Ozil~~Iwobi~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~Aubamayang~~~~~~~~~

Bench: Cech, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Elneny, Nketiah, Lacazette.

This is the last home game of ’18/19. It could prove crucial to our season. All hands are needed on deck. It is a must win game as the top 4 race heads to the wire.

COYRRG!!!

By PE.

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30 Responses to Torreira, Ozil, Auba On to Keep Top-4 Finish Alive: Arsenal v Brighton Preview

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers PE and well done for doing all the previews in recent months: really appreciated. It is a must win game of course, and let’s hope the team are up for giving the home support something to remember for the rest of the ‘summer’.

  2. Pony Eye. says:

    TA it’s always a pleasure any bit I can do for Arsenal and BK.

  3. Pony Eye. says:

    One more reason why we just have to win today: Emirate send off party for Cech and Ramsey.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    And possibly Welbeck, PE?

  5. Pony Eye says:

    Possibly.

  6. allezkev says:

    Mavropanos to start perhaps?
    Give Willock a run out maybe?
    Nketiah, give the boy a start?
    See how we go then makes changes if we have to…

    It’s going to be like Rourkes Drift at the Mestalla next Thursday, extra time possibly?
    I’d hate to see us run out of legs because of a game against Brighton.

    We could win our last two EPL games and still finish 5th.
    Falling between two stools is a concurring nightmare to me, as I’ve seen it before…

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    OGAAT or OWAAT one win at a time, Kevski. 🙂 And a win makes you feel good and forget the pain and tiredness. We cannot afford to only half care today. The next game is not until Thursday after all, and the Valencia sun will do them all good. UTA

  8. allezkev says:

    I sincerely hope that you’re right on that score Total and if we finish 4th and win a trophy, then happy days, but I cannot forget seeing Sokratis and Xhaka running on empty last Thursday, and with Koscielny in the red zone, that concerns me.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Papa worked his Soks off, Kev, and Granit is just not 100% fit at the moment (been a long season for him after the World Cup games last summer). But they are big boys and want to do well till the end.

    Ultimately, I reckon we cannot afford to be picky and need to try and win each game. Emery can take three players off as well.

  10. goonereris says:

    Fine preview, PE. Very odd situation to be in; knowing two wins in the last two games don’t guarantee top 4. Chelsea and United are both ahead in their early games so, we need to win in this round to keep (things in) the status quo. Well, we brought it upon ourselves by snubbing, at least, three opportunities to get into pole position.

    As for the team today, depending on how seriously Emery takes the game, I won’t be surprised if we see Mustafi at left back with Kos/Mavropanos and Sokratis at centre back, with Monreal at right back. Anyway, I’ve long given up on trying to second guess Emery on selections; if it won’t be Mustafi at right back, I think Carl Jenkinson will be preferred over Lichsteiner.

    Auba must be allowed to make a play for the golden boot and should start, with Iwobi and Mkhi on the flanks to supply the crosses for him to shine. This will be a tense game but once it opens up, the scoreline could be anyone’s guess.

    Let’s just do this!

  11. Pony Eye says:

    Chelsea leading by 3-0. Our top 4 chances gets dimmer.

  12. goonereris says:

    It would seem Carl Jenkinson is not fit today; Lichsteiner starts at right back. Team has Leno, Lichsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhi, Ozil, Auba and Laca.

  13. goonereris says:

    Team sheets:

    Arsenal: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

    Subs: Cech, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Elneny, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Nkeitah

    Brighton: Ryan, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo, Stephens, Bissouma, Gross, Jahanbakhsh, Murray, March

    Subs: Button, Bong, Balogun, Kayal, Knockaert, Locadia, Andone

  14. Pony Eye says:

    Would have preferred the results so far today the other way round i.e. win for Manu and loss for Chls. Hope we beat Brighton to keep our hopes alive.

  15. Pony Eye says:

    Good effort by the Post. 4:2:3:1 only missed Laca for Iwobi. 10/11.

  16. allezkev says:

    Brighton don’t have a lot of pace up front Eris, not sure about their bench?

  17. njk84sg says:

    We should not have made those freaking mistakes but somehow we tried only to attack through the wings. Which their huge centre backs ate everything up.

    Emery is just short of being the good candidate for Wenger’s replacement. At least not for me after the win in mid week.

    We have to win it at Baku at all costs.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    That still hurts. Next PL season cannot come soon enough, as this is one to forget very, very quickly. How can we play so badly with the quality of Leno, Sok, Xhaka, Tor, Ozil, Auba, and Laca all on the grass? v Brighton?!

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    I know the view is that the players are letting Unai down and they are definitely not without blame. But I am most down about the Spaniard’s ability to make us play football the Arsenal way and get the best out of the players. I had higher hopes in terms of the quality of our football and the lines we would be able to see now, compared to where we are now. Let’s hope we do win the EL and then the BoD will have to make a strategic decision re Emery’s position and the budget he – or somebody – else will be given.

  20. goonereris says:

    What can I say? It’s been a long time since I have seen such disappointment on the occasion of the last home game of the season. My memories were more of good wins and a joyous atmosphere afterwards; the kind Cech, Welbeck and Ramsey would surely have preferred as they were sent off by the club and team mates.

    I thought we looked listless after going ahead and only started showing required urgency after we conceded that needless goal. That is a habit which is becoming common with this team; we hardly go for the kill, unlike the previous years when we are often accused of “poor game management” on the occasions when we concede because we left our rear too open, in the pursuit of more goals. If ever there was a game we needed to shed this new habit and go back to the old ways. In the end, we played well and did deserve to get the 3 points but in this game, it’s goals that win you the 3 points, and we failed to take our many chances.

    I hope these boys can handle the pressure at the Mestalla and the one to come in Baku, because it may all come down to that final game. All I can say is good luck, boys.

  21. goonereris says:

    If ever there was a game….. , it was this one against a lowly team and at home.**

  22. njk84sg says:

    I am unsure about Edu coming back as our DoF..
    Definitely he would not help with directing the play and the tactics, then what will he do?
    We need one with a keen eye for players and their development, yes, but the main thing currently is how we can get back our keen eye for a goal, which we have gone backwards.

  23. goonereris says:

    That was magical at Anfield tonight. Klopp must be truly proud of his work. Barcelona were out of sorts (not that they’ve been convincing in Europe, playing away from home) and were dominated physically and tactically.

    That’s the kind of fight you want to see in our team. It’s looking like the EPL will have champions of, at least, one European club trophy.

  24. allezkev says:

    I can’t stand Liverpool but huge respect to them for their spirit, endeavour, courage, ability and unity, not least with their fans, who they have a great connection with…

    And then I think of our lot and how much I’d love to see the same from my players.
    Well let’s see what they can do in Valencia this week?

  25. goonereris says:

    In other news, the U-18s missed out on being crowned U-18 Premier League champions earlier today, after a 5-2 defeat by Derby County in the national final at Pride Park, Derby’s home ground. At least, they were champions of the Southern division.

  26. allezkev says:

    Eris, when it was 4-2 we missed a penalty, if it goes 4-3 then who knows?

    After the missed penalty we then hit the bar…?

    The Derby goalkeeper made some good saves, both John Jules and Coyle missed big chances, meanwhile the Arsenal goalkeeper was at fault for 2 of the Derby goals…
    So it goes…

    The score line is a bit deceptive…

  27. njk84sg says:

    Kev, the only sentence that i can think of to say to the lads is Victoria Concordia Cresit.
    We need the lads to live up to this motto. This is the Arsenal way.

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey fellas…

    Sorry, but this IS NOT TA…

    Instead it’s 17HT, and, for better or worse, I’ve written a NEW POST

    Go and check it out, or at least click on it and start commenting over there, under the…

    NEW POST…

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Well, I thought that would come up in TA’s blue box, but, as always, W(hat TF) do I know?…

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    And that one did…Sorry guys…

    NEW POST…

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