Arsenal v Man City Preview/Lineup – Reunion of Two Attackers, Elneny or Ceballos, Return of Holdingho?

“One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil. And why, then, should you not pluck at my laurels?” From Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche.

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Yes Master and Pupil meet again and the former is feeling mighty and on top of the crest of the wave of sweet success. But Arteta knows his former master inside out and he has an almost fully fit squad at his disposal this time round (only Partey is unavailable). So I expect us to give Pep’s boys a good game tomorrow afternoon. Mikel will need to invoke that spirit of last season’s FA Cup semi-final, when the team were just magnificent.

Lethal Aubameyang Sends Arsenal to the Final | Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City | Emirates FA Cup 19/20 – YouTube

I think the big picture will be similar to that game. Arsenal will need to sit back and be disciplined and then play the ball out of the back with confidence and quick, incisive passing. There will be opportunities for our attackers with balls over the top too. We may even dare to press them high at times and take the game to them, but in general I expect Arteta to make us hard to beat and play a few tricks on his former master.

Predicted Lineup:

I have a feeling that Laca will get a start again. He should be fully fit and rested and be able to give the defenders something to think about. Auba will relish another game against the team he scored such a good brace against in the FA Cup semi-final, and I think we will need Laca’s ad Auba’s experience in this game.

This should also be a good game for the return of Holding who just like Laca has been rested for a few games. Big Gab has regained his bounce and form again and seems to be the most natural partner for Holdingho. Tierney or Cedric may get a start and either of them would do a good job. Still Tierney has that little bit extra needed for a game like this.

In midfield it will be Granit plus either Elneny or Ceballos. Again, Elneny has been rested for a while and I expect him to start now. We need his discipline and tidiness, and he is the more natural partner for Xhaka. Ceballos will be a great option from the bench, but Arteta may well start him once more. We just will have to see.

Up-front we need invention and fearlessness and that is exactly what both Saka and ESR have to offer. Maybe Arteta starts with Odegaard instead of ESR, but I reckon it is more likely that Emile gets to run between the lines and give us those much needed short breathing spaces when the relentless Blue Mancunians are all over us.

COYRRGs!

By TotalArsenal.

31 thoughts on “Arsenal v Man City Preview/Lineup – Reunion of Two Attackers, Elneny or Ceballos, Return of Holdingho?

  • Yes Total/Johnno, those Portuguese sports tabloid comments should be pinned up on the dressing room wall prior to our ‘home’ leg in Athens, I do hope that Pierre reads them and responds…

  • I expect Holding to play. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t also Lacazette will probably start, but I could see another line of thinking where I’d do a false 9, definitely not Lacazette though. Ødegaard maybe?

    I’d go with Elneny over Ceballos against this juggernaut. I guess most would consider it too disruptive to go back to 3 CBs and grind it out for this one game?

    Martinellis energy could be handy. Smith Rowe is looking like he could use a slight break. We definitely needed to bring in the support for him, and will still need to do that for next season at least.

    With the work Pepe has been putting in, and the fact that he’s hungry for a start, he might be worth considering too.

    Basically a few different ideas, and glad i don’t have to make the hard decisions.

    Watching some podcasts, and reading online analysis, hearing more people sharing my initial observations on how Ødegaard reminds them of Ozil. We forget what magic Mesut could be. I was such an admirer when he was at Madrid, and thrilled to have him.

  • 1 Leno
    2 Bellerin
    16 Holding
    22 Pablo Marí
    3 Tierney
    34 Xhaka
    25 Elneny
    7 Saka
    11 Odegaard
    19 Pepe
    14 Aubameyang (c)

    Substitutes
    33 Ryan
    17 Cédric Soares
    23 David Luiz
    6 Gabriel
    8 Ceballos
    12 Willian
    32 Smith Rowe
    35 Martinelli
    9 Lacazette

  • Nice preview Total,

    The team Arteta has chosen looks strong – and so does the bench.

    It will really be a gauge of where the team are today – playing against the best in the league will show all of our strengths and weaknesses.

  • Can I just say Brendan Rodgers is an impressive manager.

    On the lineup, I like it. Little bits of Artetas reasoning apparent. My thoughts about Pepe being hungry to play, tracking back well and winning duels can be handy. Also that ESR maybe needed a rest.

    Credit to Arteta on the choice of Mari, because maybe he’ll have a little added motivation against city. Shows that he really thinks about every angle when choosing lineups. Let’s just hope the players can do it on the pitch. City can be so exhausting.

  • Hey guys, good comments. I like the lineup and it’s not far off my thinking. For me rather Laca than Pepe but he will add an extra option for over the top balls.

    CoyrrGs ⚽ ⚽ ⚽

  • Good last ten minutes and something to build on. Missing ESR’s Glue and industry. A real shame to concede that simple goal so early on, but all to play for.

  • Holdinho was asleep early on, unfortunately. Not sure why Saka on left and Pepe right. I guess Mikel has some reasoning behind it. I feel like it’s a waste to have Tierney and him on the same side, I like Saka as the outlet on the right.

  • Chasing them around so much has our guys tired clearly. Extra subs would’ve been nice for a game like this. I’d want Martinelli, Cedric among others, maybe Dani.

  • The way they’ve been steamrolling other teams, without the early mistake, we might have held them to a nil-nil. We never looked like a threat of scoring. This is a tough stretch we’re in now. Have to take some positives and regroup.

  • Johnno, I think that Arteta played Saka on the left in order to give Tierney some support, it didn’t work initially but that’s my thoughts on why Saka was on the left and Pepe on the right when the opposite would have probably suited them better.

    As for Brendan Rodgers I think you would get on well with a good mate of mine J, he’s been banging on about Rodgers as Arsenal manager for the last two years, he’s not an Arteta fan so we disagree, but you gotta admit that Rodgers has done a brilliant job at Leicester.

    Despite a start which had me fearing a bit of a thrashing we eventually came back well and probably deserved a draw, but our final ball was awful and our finishing was poor. I’d like to see how Arteta would do with the quality of players that Guardiola has, but he’s got what he’s got and if the club spends this summer treading water we’ll carry on being as we’ve been these last 10 years.

    Benfica this Thursday is probably the most important game of the season for Arteta…

  • Kev, I like that Arteta said after the game today that the Benfica game is like a final. It really is the right attitude. This is a very hard year to try and win the Europa league, but we should at least be getting past them, because they’re supposedly not up to their normal level of late.

  • TA, why are you letting go the player ratings posts?
    Is it about the genre itself? Or do you have too much on your plate for such ongoing commitments?

  • Its a measure of the levels we have fallen to see that Auba unable to resists Jon Stones body check couple of times. Remember we had a specimen called Thierry Henry who brushed aside the likes of Ramos for that Real Madrid Goal, Zanetti for that Inter goal, Carragher for that Pool goal. Sadly we abused him as well and his mentor Wenger and now we are satisfied with Auba who offers nothing for a team build up and constantly gets brushed aside by a defender.
    Remembering Thierry and Arsene, salute you gents and the joy you gave us.

  • I think they are not adding anything to a proper football discussion and are generally used by the blog sphere to give a couple of players a good kicking.

  • Morning all,

    I agree with Total on the ratings, they are completely subjective and one mans view of the game from a TV screen – which is clearly not the best way to assess everything that happens during a game. However is the only way that the majority of us us see the game.

    What I miss is not Total’s numeric ratings but his sage opinion of how the players performed, which gives a fine insight to those among the readers who did not get to see.the game.

  • Here are the results of last weekends competition – which turned out to be the lowest correct predictions of the season:-

    ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’
    For the weekend:-
    1st JW1 with 3/6 plus 4 bonus points
    2nd Gooneris with 2/6
    3rd Total & GN5 with 1/6
    Last Kev & PB with 0/6
    ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    For the season to date:-
    1st Gooneris with 88.33
    2nd JW1 with 76.66
    3rd Kev with 75.00
    4th PB with 72.66
    5th GN5 with 63.33
    6th Total with 59.66
    7th Le Gall with 27.33
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

  • Here are my choices for this weekends games:-
    ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’
    W.B.A. v Brighton
    Leeds v Aston Villa
    Newcastle v Wolves
    Leicester v Arsenal
    Chelsea v Man U
    Sevilla v Barcelona
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

  • I’m not going to vary it too much this round:

    W.B.A. v Brighton – away
    Leeds v Aston Villa – away
    Newcastle v Wolves – away
    Leicester v Arsenal – away
    Chelsea v Man U – away
    Sevilla v Barcelona – away

  • West Brom vs Brighton… draw
    Leeds vs Aston Villa……. away
    Newcastle vs Wolves….. home
    Leicester vs Arsenal…… home
    Chelsea vs Man Utd…… away
    Sevilla vs Barcelona….. away

  • Here are my predictions:-

    W.B.A. v Brighton – H
    Leeds v Aston Villa – A
    Newcastle v Wolves – D
    Leicester v Arsenal – A
    Chelsea v Man U – H
    Sevilla v Barcelona – H

  • W.B.A. v Brighton: Home
    Leeds v Aston Villa: Home
    Newcastle v Wolves: Home
    Leicester v Arsenal: Draw
    Chelsea v Man U: Draw
    Sevilla v Barcelona: Home

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