4-5-1 with Auba CF: Arsenal V Chelsea Line-Up / Preview

The Chavs are visiting North-London again and we are up for a tough battle. I was very impressed with the way they totally controlled  the Spuddies a week ago, as I have been equally impressed with the way they qualified for the next round in the CL and gave Liverpool a proper game in the ‘cup finals’ at the start of the season.


Lampard really has them working hard and playing a fast, energetic and precise passing game. Youngsters Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount (almost 21) have especially impressed me, but Fat Frank has also reenergised the likes of Kante, Jorginho, Alonso and the always impressive Willian.

They really gave the Spuds no chance at their own home and outplayed them for 90 minutes. Arteta and co have their work cut out to win the battle in midfield and then take the game to the Chavs. A win today would of course be great and reduce the gap to the top four to just five points – and what a psychological boost it would give us! But let there be no doubt about it that it will be a hard, hard game for us. Funnily enough, after all the praise above, Lampard is actually experiencing a bit of dip with Chelsea as they have lost four of their last six PL games. So maybe this is our chance to get a big result, the sort of result we are all desperate for.

How will Mikel achieve this? Much of the same against Bournemouth, I reckon, but this time with more sharpness up-front.

Play compact and pass quick and accurately, have always plenty of players were the action is, and let Xhaka, Torreira and Ozil strut their midfield stuff. Laca is due a goal, Auba likes one every game and if we keep it tight when we defend Arsenal could get a result out of this. Could… not should.

How could Arteta line-up the team?

Chambers returns and the rest in defence and midfield pick themselves, I reckon. Up-front we could see a start for Pepe, but I reckon Arteta will give the same four a start as against Bournemouth, just for 60 minutes or so. Arteta is building something and why not stick with the same four attackers and put lessons learnt from the previous game into practice?!

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!

By TotalArsenal.

18 thoughts on “4-5-1 with Auba CF: Arsenal V Chelsea Line-Up / Preview

  • Fine preview, TA, capturing the enormity of the task facing Arteta and the lads very well.

    The game, actually, comes up tomorrow at 2pm or 3pm, UK time, and not today, as reflected. It’s rather though on the teams that have to play on Saturday with only a day’s rest before another round of games. Unless the teams freshen things up, expect to see some drab games or a few injuries should the teams go at it, hell for leather.

    I like your predicted line up, except that I feel Arteta will play either Pepe or Martinelli (if fit), for Nelson. I do like the idea that a good manager will like to give same squad another chance to learn from the mistakes and build confidence, but one change won’t rattle the side too much. I would have liked to see a start for Mustafi but he doesn’t play well beside Chambers (and I’d rather have him replace Luiz, not Chambers); maybe, Arteta plays both Luiz and Mustafi instead?

    It’s not going to be an easy game, local derby and all, but if we stay focused and on the job, I feel we might just nick it.

  • Hi Eris, I reckon Mustafi is quite like Otamendi, so Arteta may want to give the mobile and energetic German a starting position. He could of course play as RB instead of AMN. But yes Chambers and Luiz are likely to start as CBs.

    I like the idea of Pepe starting tomorrow… but if Nelson gets another start then that may do him a world of good… tough choice, I reckon.

  • TA … excellent preview. It was an improved play against Bournmouth but a win would have helped to improve our self doubt.

    I like your line up. Just wondering if 3 matches would be too much for Saka and Luiz.

    One thing nobody is factoring in is that Pepe is able to play in any of the front three roles. It hasn’t worked for him in the PL operating as an inverted right winger. So why don’t we try something else. Some of his highlight plays have actually come in the middle vertical strip where he has spaces on both sides of him (remember how he breezed past Liv Robertson). I believe Arteta would be quick to try him out as the striker where his high ball turnover style and poor ball recovery effort wouldn’t be as big a liability. Instead it could be all £72m asset. And why not tomorrow seeing that Laca seems out of sorts.

    I predict Willock or Martinelli (if fit) for Nelson.


  • PE, thanks. Yes Saka could do with a rest but what is Arteta to do? Play an inexperienced youngster instead?

    I like the idea of Willock in midfield and Pepe up top; that would give the Chavs something to think about!!

  • TA– continuing our discussion from last post on Xhaka?
    As for the situation– I clearly stated the circumstances Granit found himself in were neither of his making– nor in his control. Except– his behavior. He chose petulance and disrespect. Where I feel a captain with greater mettle weathers their emotions in the moment. Then deals with the situation maybe minutes later– out of the public eye. Instead of accepting the situation as pressure– he dealt with it as stress.

    And? This isn’t some philosophical exercise. I’ve been faced with a similar situation. Not of my making. As a captain. In a very public setting. Where I didn’t have the choice to huff off down a tunnel. With scores of people watching, most of whom I would have to face and compete with and against for years to come.

    A minutes-long, chaotic, pressure-packed situation. In that moment– chose to do the right thing by my team, and for myself. Handling pressure. Instead of reacting to stress.

    Granit Xhaka might have been his own hero that day.
    Handling it like a captain.


  • We have to agree to disagree, JW. I respect your view but I believe he acted correctly; but then I am also happy to call myself a homo sentimentalis! 😀

  • Aaaaah!
    I didn’t know what the 2Rs in COYRRG meant, but I didn’t dare to ask.
    Now I know. 🙂

  • saturday, 18.05
    moaningho’s spuds have just been bailed out by the most outrageous var con imagineable
    check it out asap, friends

  • Saw that Le Gall–
    I was in disbelief. Goal disallowed by a geometrically devised dotted line.
    PGMO is outdoing themselves to create doubt with this system.


  • TA .. Ozil ain’t ever going to displace Xhaka! 😂

    AMN. Chamb. Luiz. Saka

  • Absurd VAR decision at Norwich v Spurs. Whatever happened to giving advantage to the attacking player in such circumstances? And the effort to just ensure Pukky was given offside…. curious.

    Yet, again, Kane has shoved the Norwich player who handled for the free kick which gave them the equalizer.

    And as I type that, karma struck against the Spuds: an Own goal for 2-1. Nothing for VAR to do there.

  • Hmmmm, PE. You seem to favour a packed midfield play at home, against a London rival? Even so, why Willock? I’d rather go with our best forward players to peg them back, so I am thinking to play Martinelli for Willock since he works hard too and can contribute to our midfield press.

  • Eris …. doubt that Martineli is fit. Ceballos too. So who else? I really think Laca is not in form. Guendouzi is so unschooleed in team structure. Confident Arteta would turn him into a great. Love his spirit.

  • Guys, I have got a post by the wonderful GN5, and I am going to use the preferred line-up of PE…. so as a late Christmas gift, there will be another match preview…

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