Vitoria v Arsenal – 6 November 2019 Preview & Line-up
After dropping four costly points at home in two PL games, the manager and boys will be happy to be in sunny Guimaraes for their fourth EL group game. Having said that, there is 70% chance of rain around kick-off time (15.50 BST) so the pitch may well be wet and fast.
The Portuguese gave us a big scare a fortnight ago but we were saved by the bow and arrow of Pepe, who turned a losing position into a winning one with two of the finest bullseye-freekicks.
It was clear that we underestimated the opponent at the home of football and I am sure the boys will be much better prepared tomorrow. Now we can sit back a bit more and force the Portuguese to come at us, and then we can pick them off on the break. We can put out a team to be very effective at this; and as I am expecting Xhaka to be returned to the starting-11 for this away fixture, and a few in-form youngsters to be chomping (or champing) at the bit, it should be a good game to watch.
This would be my preferred line-up (and I don’t think it will be too far of Emery’s either):
I want to see the Luiz/Holding combo in action. Robbo needs to play RCB and Luiz is our best LCB. Kola and Bellerin are no-brainers and Xhaka to get help from Willock in protecting the defence and do the B2B stuff. ESR to play a bit more ahead but helping out in midfield as much as possible too. Up-front we have the mobile beast of Saka, Laca and Martinelli, who can dance the Chulas and all get on the score/assist sheet. Some may argue that Pepe should start, and I would not mind that either, but I feel that he could do with a break and start again after the interlull.
As most agree, the cup games are a breath of fresh air compared to the PL games, and let’s hope Emery doesn’t mess things up with his late and strange substitutions this time.