Arsenal v Champions Preview/ Line-up: 4-5-1 with Auba central – Time for Willock and Nelson?

Arsenal v Liverpool – July 15th, 2020

Liverpool v Arsenal 

Our first game against Liverpool was on October 28, 1893 – a Division 2 home game at Manor Road before 7,000 fans – they gave us a rude awakening and beat us 0-5.

The Arsenal team on the day –

Billy McOwen, Andrew Hannah (c), Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Douglas Dick, Jim McBride, Matt McQueen, Malcolm McVean,  Harry Bradshaw, Jimmy Stott, Hugh McQueen.

(Note – I enjoy bringing to light the names of our players after 127 years in the dark, it looks like many of them were Scottish – I’ll do some research).    

 The Pall Mall Gazette wasn’t impressed with the referee, reporting on October 30,1983: “The referee was the same gentleman who ordered two players off the field in the Arsenal v Walsall match. Many people considered that he acted in an extremely harsh fashion on that occasion. On Saturday he went to the other extreme and was too lenient. Hence the rough play.”

So BKer’s it’s now a proven fact that we have always been the victim’s of poor refereeing – how many other teams have suffered for 127 years?


Unlike a majority of Arsenal fans I’ve always had a soft spot for Liverpool as my wife was born in Liverpool and my in-laws are devout Liverpool fans. Over the years my in laws managed to get me into five Arsenal games at Anfield and I was always treated well despite being among thousands of Liverpool fans – I found the atmosphere to be electric and wished we had the same level of support at Highbury.

In the mid nineties I helped to turn a struggling local pub into a soccer pub (my son took care of all of the electronics and installed all of the TVs)  once word got out the turnaround was astonishing with four main groups of fans, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. The only trouble we ever had was from the Man U fans and had to call the police in several times, the Man C, Liverpool and Arsenal fans were friendly and just enjoyed watching the games and being among soccer fans.

Many of the Liverpool fans ended up as personal friends and we still meet on a regular basis. So it’s always been difficult for me to understand the animosity between Arsenal and Liverpool fans as my experience has been the exact opposite.

Liverpool have run away with the Premiership this season and with three games left they are an astounding 23 points ahead of the second placed team – Manchester City. Arsenal is way back in 9th place, 43 points behind.

Our games against Liverpool have always been difficult to predict with our last home win being on April 4th 2015 – I anticipate a nervous Arsenal team but I hope we get a result for both us fans and the new boss. The only trophy hope left to win is the FA Cup and I think it would be fantastic to see Arteta use the final three league games give some more of our younger players the opportunity to show their skills in the Premier League.

Arsenal v Liverpool EPL – Home Games
Date W D L GF GA
31-Jan-93     1 0 1
26-Mar-94 1     1 0
12-Apr-95     1 0 1
01-May-96   1   0 0
24-Mar-97     1 1 2
30-Nov-97     1 0 1
09-Jan-99   1   0 0
13-Feb-00     1 0 1
21-Aug-00 1     2 0
13-Jan-02   1   1 1
29-Dec-02   1   1 1
09-Apr-04 1     4 2
08-May-05 1     3 1
12-Mar-06 1     2 1
12-Nov-06 1     3 0
05-Apr-08   1   1 1
21-Dec-08   1   1 1
10-Feb-10 1     1 0
17-Apr-11   1   1 1
20-Aug-11     1 0 2
30-Jan-13   1   2 2
02-Nov-13 1     2 0
04-Apr-15 1     4 1
24-Aug-15   1   0 0
14-Aug-16     1 3 4
22-Dec-17   1   3 3
03-Nov-18   1   1 1
Total : 9 11 7 37 28


Arsenal v Liverpool ALL – Home Games
Date W D L GF GA
Div 2 0 0 2 0 7
Div 1 31 22 13 107 56
EPL 9 11 7 37 28
Total : 40 33 22 144 91


TA’s Preferred Line-up…

Would be nice if Arteta mixed it up a bit and and go 4-5-1 v Pool with nice bit of width in midfield. This is my line-up but please give us yours!

Liv v Arsenal lineup


24 thoughts on “Arsenal v Champions Preview/ Line-up: 4-5-1 with Auba central – Time for Willock and Nelson?

  • Top stuff, GN5. I am with you re respecting Liverpool and the fans, but I know not everybody feels the same. They definitely are deserved winners of the PL title and I hope they have an off day tomorrow. 🙂

  • there are many things i like about your lineup, ta
    i just think mikel won’t give up his 3-4-2-1, and i’d like to see rob/lucas back (saturday, kola was at fault of course, but luiz’s lack of pace alongside son was painful to watch, imo).
    lastly, i would like bukayo to be less “peripheral”, i would very much like to see him in the very pulsating heart of the team; so i’d go for:
    i’d be very happy with a draw tonight, and mikel could pick a more attacking team saturday
    thanks for the post, GN … and i hope your dad’s better, ta

  • Resting Xhaka is not a bad idea as we need him fresh and focussed in the weekend game of the season. I like your line up too, LeG, and maybe Arteta will go for it.

  • Re my dad, it is a long way to recovery. This is a message I sent to GN5 yesterday and summarises what happened to my old man over the last few days…

    My dad had an operation on his bladder last week and whilst he was recuperating he got a heart attack.. Three days later he was sent home only to throw up there within hours and having to be admitted to hospital again. There they discover (for the first time!) that all his intestines are full and he has not been to toilet for over a week… The next day, after he throws up again, they realise that his rectum is damaged and decide to operate him straightaway… and during this operation he has another heart attack… they then decide he needs to have his main artery widened straightaway for which he is driven to a neighbouring hospital in the middle of the night… Somehow he survived all this and is now recuperating whilst also being nursed for a lung-infection in his right long. You could not make it up! I am going to travel to Holland on Saturday and support him in hospital as much as I can. Will keep you posted re blog.

  • oh, man …
    what a bitch life can be, sometimes
    my thoughts are with you and your family; your pa’ll need your strength, and all the love you’re about to give him

  • Just read the post Gunner N5 and as usual it was very good, I won’t stretch the antipathy debate in respect to your Mrs and her family all I’ll say in conclusion is that I’ve visited Goodson many times and Anfield even more times and I’ve found the Everton fans equally vociferous but an awful lot more friendly than the Liverpool fans and I’ll leave it there….

    That said, Liverpool have a great team, a great manager and an impressive management team in Fenway backing them and if we get a draw I’ll consider that a fantastic result.

  • Good heavens Total, just read about your Papa, how much can one man take?

    He obviously has what we call a strong constitution to be able to come through such a succession of complications, a heart attack is enough on its own, thank god for the Dutch NHS or whatever you call it in the Nederlands.

    Please send him our heartfelt good wishes and hope for a speedy recovery and keep us up to speed when you’ve visited.

  • Best wishes for your Dad’s health TA.
    Will second Kev’s sentiments as well.

    Last weekend a lifelong friend lost his long bout with MS.
    Monday morning, I learned my stepmother had passed of natural causes too.


  • Your dad is the real hero in this fight. Keep the fight alive TA’s dad.

    Speedy recovery. Hero is an understatement. There is no word that I can think of to describe your father.

    If the Gunners can have even one percent of the fighting spirit we will be on a winning streak.

  • Hi Total,

    As usual I’m one of the last on the blog, I really miss the early action, but (for many reasons) I’m happy we chose to live in Canada.

    Total, it sad to see you and your family go through such a difficult time. Your Dad must be both exhausted and deeply concerned about his condition. He is lucky to have a son who exudes such a positive outlook, keep your chin up and let your Dad know that all of your friends on BK wish him a speedy recovery.

  • Hi jw1, I am so sad to hear about the passing away of your step-mother and good friend. That is an incredible double whammy for you and so sad. I hope they will have a beautiful farewell from you, family and friends and that you will be able to overcome the sadness and loss over time.

  • Thank you all for the warm, supportive words. I think i said on here before how my granddad, my dad’s dad, used to fight with bears at the Aachen funfair for money and fun. He survived 39 years of working in the coal mines and made it to 75 somehow. My dad is a more gentle type (and I am even gentler) but he showed he had that spirit of his dad when he faced such incredible adversity.

    He is improving every day but has a long way to go. His diet is restricted but he is bribing us all to smuggle in a piece of Limburg fruitcake, with whipped cream if possible… Such a gangster! 😀

  • Mustaifi and Kola rested? I dont think they are being ‘punished’ for their poor performance last weekend, but it will be good to see Holding and Tierney as CBs in this game, assuming that Saka and Cedric will be our wingbacks, with Nelson, Pepe and Laca in attack… Unless it is a 4-4-2 formation today…

  • NBC not showing the game. They’re pushing people to sign up for the new streaming service. I’ll end up owning every extra video service out there eventually.

  • Thanks TA. Glad to hear your Dad is pining for sweets– that’s a good sign I think!


  • Jonnie–
    If you have NBC on Xfinity or Comcast– Peacock is available via a voice prompt with your remote. Then navigate to the channel inside the service. Bad news is no rewind or pause.


  • Just watching Pepe looking busy but getting little done, I am thinking AMN can’t do much worse; in fact, he will pose a more potent threat offensively and defensively, which Pepe isn’t offering.

    I was happy when he joined but, I never saw this lazy and cowardly side of him. He may go on to score now, but it won’t change that view of him, by me.

  • Well done, for sure. That was a strange sort of game, watching us so deep at home and without ball retention. Needs must, I guess and with an eye on the FA cup to come.

    Arteta has done his old side a favour there, keeping Liverpool from having a chance to beat their points tally.

  • My love for Kieran Tierney is growing in leaps and bounds. He may not have silky skills as we love them at Arsenal, but the boy’s got heart, something our team lacked at Spurs.
    He kept Mo’ Sallah quiet tonight and was generally an influential cog in the defensive wheel for us. Martinez’s calm mien also seemed to help our defending.

  • french “pundits” are all over us for playing that deep, with almost no possession
    when stoke, west brom, or bolton pulled that kind of trick against us and won the day thanks to some pgmol setup, they painted them as heroes, and our lads as weaklings
    there’s no such thing as a lockdown for anti-arsenal bias, obviously
    having said that, this is not my favourite kind of football, and there’s certainly not much future in that, but right now I’m very proud of the lads, and I’m particularly happy for reiss, he took his goal like a natural born cold-blooded killer; may this give him the confidence he needs, he’s an outstanding lad
    citeh now; if I were mikel, i’d sure tell the lads a few things about ali-foreman and the “rope-a-dope” …
    as for your ‘pa, ta, his own fighter’s genes will pull him out of this in no time …

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