Brighton v Arsenal Preview/ Line-up: AMN/Joe in Midfield | Saka and Nelson to Feed Auba, Laca nr10

Brighton & Hove Albion FC | American Express Stadium | Football ...

The Seagulls are our second away game in three-in-a-row and we are desperate for a win as to gain some momentum, or should I say lift-off. Seagulls are fine birds, much underappreciated if you ask me. Chiang Yee in his fabulous ‘The Silent Traveller in Edinburgh’ calls them ‘gentlemen of leisure’, and there is no doubt that Brighton is a fine city for leisurely pursuits. However, our boys will have to mean business for 90+ minutes; let the cannon roar and roar and bring those lofty seagulls down and down.

We have to try and forget the damp squib against the Northern Oilers and show what it means to play in that most famous of shirts. The Seagulls are only two points away from safety so we can expect a proper battle tomorrow.

Who is going to play? Well that is the question and as far as I can see there is no clear info re who is injured and who is fit to play. Here is my desired line-up v BHA:

I look forward to seeing Tierney and Bellerin continue in the wing-back positions. With Mari out and you-know-who suspended, I guess it will have to be Holding and Mustafi to play at the back.

In midfield I like to see Willock combined with Xhaka (if fit, which is highly doubtful) or AMN (assuming that Torreira is not fit to play). We need some physical presence there and ability to hold the midfield with some good defensive interventions. Ceballos and Guendo are nice on the eye and they did not have a bad game against Citeh, but they also take very long on the ball and allow opposition teams to (re)organise themselves far too often. I am happy for one of them to play but not both. We also need goals from midfield and Joe is closest of all to get on the scoresheet, so for me he has to play.

joe willock

Up-front I want Auba central and Nelson and Saka on the wings. That would give us balance and good penetration from the wings. Ozil is unlikely to play and normally I would pick him in my preferred team. But reading between the lines of Arteta’s press conference all is not well once again, and I prefer a player who really wants to play. That must be Laca, so I would play him in the nr10 position, behind Auba. But Pepe in the hole is also a possibility.

With MU and Spuddies drawing tonight, Arsenal have a great opportunity to gain two points on both teams in one go. Now there is some incentive for you boys! Win tomorrow and the Spuds are looking up to the Arse and we are just three points away from the red side of Manchester.

I am not sure what else to say. Let the red and white legs do the talking!

By TotalArsenal.

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28 Responses to Brighton v Arsenal Preview/ Line-up: AMN/Joe in Midfield | Saka and Nelson to Feed Auba, Laca nr10

  1. Jnyc says:

    Hey T, After watching this game today between spuds and United, though they didn’t look great, we looked the worst of the 4 teams I’ve seen play after the long break. Not prepared well enough to deal with man city pressure. So that part is on the coach. But this midfield was poor enough to begin with. Not having Xhaka and Torreira makes it worse. I hope Ceballos can handle a lot of playing time. I heard on talksport some criticism of Arteta for not bringing Ozil. I don’t know what’s going on between them, but I’d leave him out against Man City or any other hard pressing team. Though generally i like to see him in the line up. Has Pepe ever played central attacking mid? Willock hasn’t impressed me so much. I like Saka and Nelson on the wings too, so that would give them all more chances.. I still think Eddie will be an incredible striker. Worth mentioning that he and Nelson seemed to have an amazing rapport in the youth team. I know Lacazette is a good player, but he needs to be in a decent functioning team. He’s not the type to excel without support.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Good comments, J, and now I know that I am not alone here! 😀

    I think we know more about Arsenal after today’s game. MC away with two injuries almost straightaway… is maybe not a good way of judging the strength of the team. You are right to point out our issues in midfield and not having either Xhaka or Torros available is a concern.

    I would like to play Pepe with more space available to him. Just so he can gain his confidence. He would be a threat behind Auba and together with Nelson and Saka he can provide the assists too.

    Interesting point about Laca. It all depends on what sort of support you mean. Playing with the likes of Ozil, Giroud, Pepe and Auba should have been regarded as great support up-front but he never really delivers consistently.

    I am a big fan of Eddie and like him to replace Auba in games if and when the great man needs a rest.

  3. LE GALL says:

    not much difference with you, ta
    i think mick might go for:
    leno
    bellerin-mustafi-tierney-saka
    mniles-ceballos
    nelson-willock-aubameyang
    lacazette
    with our five hale end scholars in it, it’d make me very happy
    i’m not concerned about the lineup, actually, “your” XI as well as “mine” should sweep aside a team like brighton, but … i’m concerned with how deep the poison of doubt has seeped into, not only the team, but the whole club
    hope i’m being over-pessimistic, of course
    COYG

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Tierney as CB is a great invention, Legallos! I like it a lot. A natural left footer and Saka to do the wingplay could work. Why not swap Willock with Ceballos?

  5. GunnerN5 says:

    Good morning all,

    I’ve got a busy few hours ahead of me so the at I can be ready for the game, straight after the game my son is picking us up for a fathers day (July 21st) barbecue at his house. We can now meet in groups of ten but a form of social distancing will be in effect.

    It will be the first time we have seen our grand children in over three months and they are unlikely to adhere to social distancing – we are looking forward to seeing them immensely.

    So all in all a good day ahead Arsenal followed by a family get together.

    I like either of your line ups as I feel strongly that this is an ideal time to give our youngsters as much game time as we can – they are a talented group and only game time will prove if they are first team material.

  6. Alex says:

    “But reading between the lines of Arteta’s press conference all is not well once again, and I prefer a player who really wants to play.”

    I’m a regular reader of your blog and I’m a bit surprised by this above sentence. June 16th, Özil posts a very enthusiastic message on his social media about the return of football. June 17th, he is not even in the group, reason: tactical. June 18th, press conference, another reason: physical (but Xhaka started after missing the last friendly and trainings… result > injury after 6 minutes). Same day: Özil showing his disappointment and love for the jersey on his social media.
    Useless to read between the lines to see that MA has got the same memo as UE had when struggling to clearly explain why he was putting aside his best (and only) creative player. The club wants to get rid of him. Simple. It’s common to put the blame on the player you want to get rid of. It’s not class, but it’s the rule.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Sounds like a great day ahead for you GN5. Seize it my friend, seize it! 🙂

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Alex, I appreciate you see it differently. The idea that the club just wants to get rid of him is as easy an argument for me as blaming the player for lack of enthusiasm. Maybe I was wrong to do the latter but I stand by it nevertheless. At one point the benefit of the doubt evaporates.

  9. allezkev says:

    Have a great day GunnerN5, I had my Fathers Day on last Monday, playing hide n seek with a 5 year old is exhausting but a lot of fun.

    Total, can you imagine the meltdown if Arsenal lost today?

    Even the most rabid of Arsenal fans must have suspected that a visit to Man City was likely to see us depart Manchester empty handed, but today is different gravy.

    I’m on board with everyone regarding the youngsters but the need for a result is paramount so I’m expecting a more experienced team in Sussex.

    It’s possible that Arteta went with youth and a system to counter the pressing and movement of City but the injuries scuppered half of the plan.
    Fresh legs and more experienced legs at the Credit Card Bowl might be the plan?
    Ozil, Pepe, Lacazette, AMN, all of them with plenty in their legs against a Brighton side playing its first game…

  10. allezkev says:

    I’m actually more nervous today that I was Wednesday, it was just good to have football back and City is a kind of a free hit anyway but today is serious business.

  11. LE GALL says:

    leno
    bellerin-mustafi-holding-kiolasinac
    ceballos-guendouzi
    pépé-saka-aubameyang
    lacazette
    mick has gone for experience; joe/ainsley/reiss/gabe/eddie/kieran are going to start on the bench
    might be a good idea to bring in young blood after 60 minutes, after all …
    i’d rather he had picked ainsley/joe behind N° 10 bukayo (that, is interesting …), though
    come on, lads, make us proud

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    Todays starting eleven

    Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Saka, Pepe, Lacazette, Auba.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    It appeared we had live blog but now it is gone… 😕

    I could not log on for 40 minutes 17HT due to problems with my laptop. Shame you had to do the commenting on your own.

    Decent enough first half but what a shame about Leno’s injury. Good footie by Saka and Laca should sooner or later score.

    Enjoy the second half guys

  14. LE GALL says:

    another gloomy afternoon
    another refereeing disgrace brought on to you by the PGMO
    how can there still be 10 “gulls” on the pitch : that’s a depressing mystery
    maupay, not even yellowed, for what he did to bernd? come on!!!
    i wish one of the lads stood up for our german wall, and mowed that cowardly b…..d once and for good
    but of course that won’t happen; we’re not “poor” actually, but we are precisely … soulless
    i don’t feel angry, i feel very sad that we should be level at ht with such a team, and i keep wondering where has wengerball gone – looks like a long-forgotten dream
    just hope mick will allow kola to go on with his nap in the dressing-room, and bring kieran in; joe for ceballos would be nice too, but i don’t expect miracles any longer, the spirit of this team looks infected to me, wish i knew to help them summon it up again
    silver lining: bukayo again, of course, he’s definitely The Man

  15. LE GALL says:

    68′
    Nick!!!!
    a strike of lightning, just out of the blue
    thanks so much, lad …

  16. LE GALL says:

    75′
    1-1
    like a nightmare that just won’t end
    might be time for changes, mick?

  17. LE GALL says:

    saturday, june 20th, 2020; 5pm:
    “Either we heal as a team, or we are going to crumble.
    We are in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me, and we can stay here, and get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light.
    We can climb out of hell.
    One inch, at a time.
    You find out that life is just a game of inches.
    So is football.
    Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small.
    You gotta look at the guy next to you.
    Look into his eyes.
    Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you.
    You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it, you are gonna do the same thing for him.
    That’s a team, gentlemen, and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.
    That’s football, guys. That’s all it is.
    Now, whattaya gonna do?”
    well … that’s the quedstion, isn’t it?

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh dear what can the matter be?

  19. allezkev says:

    If I didn’t know better I would have to say that Atkinson deliberately stitched us up today.

    Pepe has his boot removed by a foul and it’s not even a free kick, but the referee then compounds his error by not allowing Pepe to return to the pitch after he’d put his boot back on, then the same guy goes through the back of Pepe, no attempt for the ball he just clears him out and it’s borderline red, but of course it’s an Atkinson yellow.

    Saka gets an arm in the face, again totally ignored. The same bloke who fouls him then gets away with three more bad fouls and doesn’t even get a yellow from Atkinson.
    Don’t worry about Mike Dean, this is the guy who loves to shaft us…

    Maupay challenges Leno when he is airborne and has the ball in his hands with no possibility of winning the ball, but a la Debuchy takes the chance to knock him off of balance and then after Leno had crumpled to the floor Maupay was waving his arms and claiming handball as his intervention had shoved Leno out of the box.

    Where was VAR for forearm smash on Saka?
    Where was VAR for the foul on Leno?

    Was Aubameyang offside? He looked in line to me.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Good and fair comments guys. The refereeing was appalling and we were unlucky to lose. But there was also something missing in the team and I feel strongly that this team is uncertain about the future, as in next season. Two games in and our spine is totally gone. Let’s just see these games out and then Arteta can put his stamp on the team next season. There will be changes.

  21. allezkev says:

    You know what worried me Total, it was the lack of spirit, of unity, of togetherness, I mean the Leno situation, where were his team mates when he was lying injured on the floor, why weren’t they berating Maupay? Can you imagine the reaction of Lauren or Dixon or Vieira or Keown if that had happened to Seaman?

    They all looked a bit limp to me.

  22. retsub1 says:

    Yep agreed guys. Think about Van Nistelroy at old Trafford. Martin Keown became a legend that day.I may be a bit of a broken record but It’s been ages since this tram had a decent leader. At City in the week, when they went down to 10 men with 10 minutes to go, I expected us to at least try to attack them. But nothing.

    Same today, when Brighton equalised we were clueless.

    Kev, agree entirely about Debuchy and I think that when Song took the Portuguese Everton guy out (innocently?) it was similar. None of them meant to really hurt anyone, but taking a guy out in the air or when they are travelling at speed Is dangerous.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Kev, as limp as a hobnob dunked in my favourite taxi-driver’s cup of tea! 🙂

    Hi Retsub, Arteta has a job and a half to do!

  24. pbarany says:

    I feel somewhere between disappointed and depressed. I was waiting for the EPL to resume so much. And I don’t want to be arrogant, but I honestly believe that I could have delivered this 2 away games as a (fictional) head coach with 0 points and -4 goal difference.

    Let me just copy a paragraph from the bottom of JustArsenal’s player ratings:
    Manager
    Arteta – 4
    Starting to lose faith in the Spaniard, his team selection was once again questionable and his obsession with not selecting Martinelli is now starting to be an issue. If this was Unai Emery he would be slaughtered, Arteta should be treated no different.
    https://www.justarsenal.com/arsenal-player-ratings-against-brighton-defeat-deserved-with-no-fight-shown/248938

    I am still patient with Mikel, but this was yet again an unjustified team selection, and an uninspiring, Ljungberg-level performance.

  25. allezkev says:

    Lots of exposure of the picture of Guendouzi with his hand around Maupay’s throat, that has a two game suspension written all over it, Maupay just reeled him in…

  26. Shrillex says:

    Agreed PB. Team selection from the start is very uninspiring, though the lineup should’ve been good enough to win against Brighton.

    An observation from both matches since the restart is the lack of off the ball running & third man runs to provide options to the player on the ball. Players also taking more than 3 touches on the ball consistently showed how slow the play was yesterday. Pressing is much improved though and starting positioning is a lot better in terms of structure.

    A few frustrations from the Brighton match I feel is the absolute lack of responsibility from the CBs and midfielders (Matteo and Ceballos) during the initial buildup play. Mustafi and Holding never looked to play a progressive pass into midfield, passing sideways instead to the fullbacks and each other. It’s a shame to say the same about Matteo because we’ve seen him take control of the midfield solo on many occasions before. Ceballos seems more of questionable tactics (often drifting to the right wing) because we’ve seen how effective he is in transition.

    I’m done ranting for now. Just many aspects of improvements that I hope to see in the coming weeks

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