3-4-3 | Lacazette with Five Youths in MF/Attack: Arsenal Preview/ Line-up


See the source image

Contrary to popular thinking, we have not yet qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League. However, it is unlikely that we would not. For us not to qualify, Standard Liege would have to beat us by at least a 5-goal margin as well as Frankfurt win its match.

How is Freddie going to approach the game? He’d want to win not only to top the table but also for the confidence of the team. At the same time he’d be thinking of fresh legs for the Sunday match against City. Not only is the chance of our finishing in the top four not entirely extinguished (we are 7pts from top 4), meaning we have to keep straining for maximum points in the EPL, but a poor result on Sunday would be a big set back to our recovering confidence. All things considered, Freddie is likely to rotate heavily in this match against Liege.

Unfortunately we have a number of players out or doubtful. Tierney is out for an expected three months with a shoulder injury. Mustafi is out, suspended. Bellerin, Holding, Ceballos and Xhaka have been ruled out for this match. Kolasinac who is our only available left back is not likely to be risked, particularly as he was carrying a slight strain but had to be played in the West Ham match when the team lost Bellerin and Tierney. All these, particularly the left back issue, mean that Freddie has some balancing work to do. By my calculations he might be constrained to go for a back three.

This looks a good team that is composed mostly of players who, instead of being short in confidence, are craving the opportunity to prove themselves. We might be set for a successive away win.

I have a feeling that Martinelli’s goal against the Hammers has put us back on the highway.

joe w and marti new


By PE.

32 thoughts on “3-4-3 | Lacazette with Five Youths in MF/Attack: Arsenal Preview/ Line-up

  • That is a great line-up, PE, albeit a bit light in the centre of midfield (but by necessity). What is up with Mavropanos? if fit, I would expect him to play, as we need to keep our CBs as fit as possible for Sunday. Definitely Sok needs a rest imo.

    Not sure (and too keen) on 3-4-3. With the full backs being very attack minded it will leave a huge gap in midfield, where we are not playing mids known for their defensive abilities. Ah well, all will be known in just 10 hours (note: early kick-off).

  • like your line-up a lot, PE
    i’d just rest calum, give a chance to mavropanos, and see what bukayo can do in “pépé” position (left-footed right-wing); something like:
    should be a pleasant arsenal evening – i particularly look forward to seeing emil and reiss play again

    but more importantly: today’s the day for UK voters; i sure hope most of you will sing “oh, jeremy corbyn” all the way to the polling station – and not only because he’s an arsenal fan
    believe me, a labour victory today would be a tremendous boost for activists outside the uk, namely sanders voters in the us, and mélenchon voters here in france
    your vote(s) can make a real difference today; don’t let the opportunity go by

  • Thank you for the post PE,

    Given Hector is so fragile can we play AMN 3 times in a week? I would rest him.and Kola. If we can score then progress is assured, Liege will not score 6 (hopefully)

    Don’t forget it is an early kick-off

    Massive game here in Copenhagen tonight with FCK taking on our local Swedish rivals, Malmo.

  • Great post and line-up, PE.

    Just 2 comments/observation.
    Since Mustafi is suspended and Holding is still/again injured, we must “re-use” defensive players from Monday. My choice would also be Sokratis and Maitland-Niles (to rest Chambers and Kola against Man City) and would enlist Mavropanos as above suggested.
    The other change I propose is not a switch of players, just a switch of positions, as Nelson is a hardcore winger, while Smith-Rowe is a genuine left midfielder (according to TransferMarkt) with a hunger to lead and support attacks.
    So my proposed line-up is very similar to yours (hoping that Martinelli gets a well deserved rest):


    This would be quite a potent XI from those players that don’t get regular first team football.

  • 4-5-1 for me:
    AMN – Chambers – Luiz – Mavro
    Sm-R – Guen – Torr – Will – Nelson
    ———— Lacazette ——————

    We need to learn lessons: play tight and compact and as a snickers unit, boss the midfield, create chances and take at least one. If it is 3-4-3 with Guendouzi and Willock in the middle we will get smashed. Nobody wants that.

  • The post’s and all the comments’ line ups are all guaranteed to win. Our approximate 2nd string always look so charming.

    Mavro is almost completely off my rader. Today is good to test him out. He should have ironed out his issues with the passing game. As for tackling and aerial duels he’s top drawer.

    Even us (the fans) seem to have regained the spring in our steps.

  • Mavropanos – as well as Medley recently – are the key contributors that Arsenal U23 rose to leading the PL2 chart (now they are second, but still not bad from a team that recently “lost” Saka, Willock and partly ESR to the first team).

    The U23 team conceded 3 goals in their last 4 games. That don’t make Mavro and Medley necessary mature enough on the PL or EL level, but definitely worth giving him/them a chance.

  • Ainsley Maitland Niles is not a right back, he is a midfield general who can boss that area of the pitch. He has done it before. What I will say for your proposed team is that you will get a lot more movement and running out of this midfield than we presently have in the so called first team selection.

  • Well you both more or less had your wish/prediction and let’s hope the boys will do us proud.

    I predict a hard night but we will probably not lose with the dreaded five goal margin.


  • I’m pleased by Ljungberg’s mature team selection. 🙂

    While this team lacks midfield creativity – at least I expect more pressing and defensive support from Willock and Guendouzi than assists – Saka, Nelson and Smith-Rowe seem capable to dribble themselves into (positively) dangerous situations. So albeit this was not a strong suit of the late Wenger-era, I expect serious wingplay today.

    Would you need a link to follow the game:

  • 7.45
    2-2; weird game, but bukayo’s definitely our wonderkid n°2
    how do you fellow arsenal fans feel about a bukayo-eddie-gabe front three, i wonder??
    weird group, actually: vitoria’s away win comes as no surprise imo; they’re out, last of the group, but they made a bigger impression on me than eintracht/standard
    well … city now
    big test for freddie/our lads, just hope it doesn’t come too soon

  • We combined well, and could have gone at least one up before the liege goals and there were suspicions of handballs from us before the goals but overall good game from the lads.

    Saka is imposing himself on the pitch and did not put a foot wrong.

  • I liked the will and determination our team often played yesterday, however the tactics and the performance were far from the eye-pleasing Wengerball.
    It was amazing that when Sokratis was replaced by Martinelli, we had 8 (!) players on the pitch from the 18-22 age bracket (and Martinez doesn’t have hundreds of PL or international matches behind him either).
    But it also meant that the lads lost many body-to-body duels against their more muscular opponents. And our defense didn’t really click, but that was understandable as Mavropanos played for the first time in the team since ages, and I was glad seeing him playing along his mentor Sokratis. And Mavropanos was playing quite well, leading the statistics of both clearances and interceptions.

  • It was great to see the youngsters, they are our future. It’s understandable that the continuity was suspect but that was to be expected and will get better over time. It was the ideal game to give them the experience they lack.

    Lacazette is obviously an unhappy soul – it must affect the rest of the team who would be looking to him for leadership and instead they get sulks!

    Saka and Martinez are already stars and , to our benefit, they will get better and better.

    I’m a big Freddie fan but we desperately need an experienced manager – Ancelotti anyone?

  • GN5, Ancelotti can only be short term, but he is not a Total Football type of manager.
    Sticking with Freddie while we look for a long term manager will help the players and fans.

    And to Pb, Mavro is very shaky, but understandably so. We conceded 2 goals that ricocheted off our defenders, and although he had an ok game, he needs more game time to be able to be better.

  • njk, with all due respect with a record like this I would take him on whatever term we could get.
    UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1999

    Serie A: 2003–04
    Coppa Italia: 2002–03
    Supercoppa Italiana: 2004
    UEFA Champions League: 2002–03, 2006–07
    UEFA Super Cup: 2003, 2007
    FIFA Club World Cup: 2007

    Premier League: 2009–10
    FA Cup: 2009–10
    FA Community Shield: 2009

    Paris Saint-Germain
    Ligue 1: 2012–13

    Real Madrid
    Copa del Rey: 2013–14
    UEFA Champions League: 2013–14
    UEFA Super Cup: 2014
    FIFA Club World Cup: 2014

    Bayern Munich
    Bundesliga: 2016–17
    DFL-Supercup: 2016,[138] 2017

    Serie A Coach of the Year: 2001, 2004
    Panchina d’Oro: 2002–03, 2003–04
    Ligue 1 Manager of the Year: 2012–13 (tie with Christophe Galtier)
    IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach: 2007, 2014
    European Coach of the Year—Alf Ramsey Award: 2003
    World Soccer Magazine Manager of the Year: 2003
    Globe Soccer Awards Best Coach of the Year: 2014
    Premier League Manager of the Month: November 2009, August 2010, March 2011, April 2011
    Globe Soccer Awards Best Media Attraction in Football: 2014
    Enzo Bearzot Award: 2014
    FIFA World Coach of the Year runner-up: 2014
    Miguel Muñoz Trophy: 2014–15
    France Football 8th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2019
    Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2015
    A.C. Milan Hall of Fame
    A.S. Roma Hall of Fame

    Cavaliere OMRI BAR.svg
    5th Class/Knight: Cavaliere Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana: 1991

    ITA OSI 2011 Uff BAR.svg
    5th Class/Officer: Ufficiale dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia: 2014

  • I’m also against the appointment of Ancelotti.
    All of his success were achieved as the league’s undisputed top team’s manager. I don’t want to make it seem bagatelle: this is indeed a skill and a real performance. To keep world class players remain hungry for additional titles and silverware, to find out how and where to further develop your team, to systematically weaken the opponents by buying their key players, etc. He is just like Guardiola or Allegri, but plays less attractive football. 🙂 But Arsenal unfortunately don’t need that type of competence at the moment. What we need now is the type of manager who can make a #5 team to become #2 (Nagelsman, Pochettino). Or maybe a manager that makes a #2-3 team #1 (Klopp, Simeone, Mancini, Wenger).
    We could see, that Ancelotti failed when took charge of Napoli, as probably Guardiola would fail if he would take over Villareal or Wolfsburg. If we cannot get Nagelsman I would rather go with Arteta. He is a black horse, but has the decent personality and intellectual capacity to become a great coach. He had a great mentor too.

  • Arteta– all day long– for me too.

    There is nothing about his makeup– that gives me pause.
    And there is something– about Mikel Arteta– which exudes the possibility of greatness. Can’t give it a name or tangible descriptor– just a sense. That sense, that if we are going to take a risk– it’s with him Arsenal should place their wager.

    We should have started with Arteta in May 2018.


  • I have nothing against Arteta either as an individual or player, but he is unproven as a manager, his only credentials are that he has been the understudy of one of the best.

    This is a critical time in the clubs history, why would we possibly risk our future by putting a novice in charge?

    Here is Ancelotti’s league record – it may well be among the best in football, take a particular look at the positive goal difference and the points won %.

    Reggiana W17, D14, L10, GF45, GA36, GD9, Pts% 52.9
    Parma W42, D27, L18, GF124, GA85, GD39, Pts% 58.6
    Juventus W63, D33, L18, GF185, GA101, GD84, Pts% 64.9
    Milan W238, D101, L84, GF690, GA357, GD333, Pts% 64.2
    Chelsea W67, D20, L22, GF241, GA94, GD147, Pts% 67.6
    PSG W49, D19, L9, GF153, GA64, GD89, Pts% 71.9
    Real Madrid W89, D14, L16, GF323, GA103, GD220, Pts% 78.7
    Bayern Munich W42, D9, L9, GF156, GA50, GD106, Pts% 75.0
    Napoli W38, D19, L16, GF127, GA 73, Pts% 60.7
    Totals: W645, D256, L202, GF2022, GA 963, GD 1081, Pts% 66.2





  • Manchester City have been handed a triple injury blow ahead of this weekend’s clash with Arsenal.

    According to the Mirror, both John Stones and Sergio Aguero will miss the match through respective injuries.

    Aguero has been sidelined with a thigh injury and this will be the sixth straight City game he has missed.

    Pep Guardiola confirmed neither player will be involved, while David Silva is also a doubt for the game.

  • You are a funny man GN5– 😆 hat-tip from me sir.

    Though I’ll have to disagree with you on the assessment of Arteta. He’s played under the greatest manager in a generation. He then apprenticed under another great mind who knows how to setup and operate the biggest of clubs in several leagues– and learned what is required to win a PL title.

    If Arsenal are going to take a risk? Measure the possibility of greatness– and a restoration of the club’s traditions– equal parts of the wager.

    With Arteta you might get both.
    Ancelotti may find some success here– but this is not a given. Much harder to do so now in the PL– than the version of the league he won 9 years ago. Bringing in Ancelotti means the last vestiges of the club’s last era of glory will be forever lost.


  • Evening guys.

    Well not much to say about last night match other than Saka showed how calm and collected he already is. It was a poor game to watch and we managed to give a poor playing SL a two goal lead… until Saka took over. A game to forget other than that young man’s fine assist and very well taken goal.

    Re manager discussion. I support anyone we get. Arteta would be a massive gamble and Freddie already is more experienced… so why swap them? But if Mikel gets the job we will know whether he is nr1 potential.

    No doubt Ancelotti will be a very qualified manager. Not my type but would also be good to see how he would manage the team.

    I am keen on Nuno, though, but you knew that already! 😀

  • What am certain I don’t want are the biggest name coaches. I’d rather have another Arsene Who and none attracts me more than Arteta Who.

    Everybody who comes close to him, including Wenger, thinks highly of him in his understanding of tactics and man management, the latter being such an important element in coaching. Arteta has been fascinated with coaching right through his playing career and in fact has been doing that all along. I remember how all the young elements at Arsenal like Oxlade always expressed their gratitude on how Arteta helped them to improve their game. Arteta is a natural.

    Arteta has grown his tactical mind not so much by cramming up books on tactics, stuffing his head with dead information. That can only make one superior to the layman. Arteta’s is living. Pep loves him. He knows that Arteta has enriched him with his vision of tactics. Talk of original visions and names like Rinus Michels and Arrigo Sachi come to mind.

    Am looking at the longer term, not the next match and that’s why it’s Arteta for me. We need a coach who can rebuild, not a coach who can only ride on an already made team. We are not an already made team.

  • Passionate views, PE, passionate views..

    With conformation bias we can find all sort of plusses for Arteta, and maybe you are right, but the fact is he is unproven and currently just a nr.2, and we as a club need an experienced manager who can set something up for the longer term. Freddie and BFG have also worked with the best managers and between them have won a lot…. I thought Arteta was an ok captain, but perhaps too introvert for leadership of a footie team…

    There are better options than Arteta but it could also go horribly wrong very quickly (and we still need 18 points this season). Let’s not mess this one up again is all I am saying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s