Arsenal V Liverpool: Preview/ Lineup – AubaCazette to Rattle The Teeth

So we are finally above water again and a mouthwatering Saturday evening game v Liverpool is awaiting us.

It is very hard to just live for the ‘football day’ but we should really forget about our position in the table, whether Odegaard will sign a long contract or not, whether Aguero will join us and all that sort of ‘future’ stuff; it is all about enjoying the journey itself and it is always good to play Liverpool and try and beat them. I will put one of my favourite Pirsig quotes up again: “To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.” Arteta is presenting us with lots of shoots of green and I am loving this season.

See the source image

We know that Klopp’s boys have been running around like a wounded puma trying to find its appetite and bite again, lately. The Teeth has a formidable team and we have to be very wary of them. At one point they will find their form again and somebody will get it in the neck badly. Let’s hope it will not be us. We know they like to dominate the game and press high but they are missing NvD badly, not only for his defensive capabilities but also for his tempo setting/ leadership qualities. Every good team has a player who makes it play to a certain tune, and Van Dijk is that for Pool. The much misunderstood/valued Xhaka is that for us, and the bad news is that he was unwell on Friday and may be missing today. Granit has played a couple of games with the Swiss national team and looked already knackered before the international break, so it would not surprise me if Arteta simply has to rest him tonight. That would be a blow.

Now a fully fit Partey and Elneny partnership could fill the void but it is always hard to tell how any player will perform after having been away on international duty for almost two weeks. It looks like Pool will lose Wijnaldum at the end of the season and I must say he has been playing well below par in the last few months for club and country. It looks like he will be going to Barcelona for free but I would not mind him at Arsenal at all. Not going to happen though. However, I think if we keep the Pool midfield quiet – and Wijnaldum should be our main focus for silencing – we can do some great damage to them tonight through our counter-attacks and turnovers.

Tierney was awesome for Scotland and our other ‘rising’ full back, Soares, seems to also have played well during the interlull. I am looking forward to our battle of the wing-backs with Pool, which is just as important as the one in central midfield. Both Saka and ESR will be assessed today and I doubt they will play much if at all. So on the wings I expect both Auba and Pepe to play. If they are prepared to put the work in, they should really benefit from the space that Pool will give us behind their high press. I have started to doubt whether Laca and Auba should start in the same team again but tonight it would make sense to play AubaCazette. Auba is simply best when launched into space and a high press is ideal for him. Klopp knows this of course and will be wary but changing his style of play he will not: look at those fake, brilliant teeth, this is one determined man!

Luiz is out and so Arteta needs to decide who to play next to Big Gab. It really is time to give Holdingho another chance. So here is my predicted (and preferred) line-up for tonight:

Come on You Rip Roaring


By TotalArsenal.

58 thoughts on “Arsenal V Liverpool: Preview/ Lineup – AubaCazette to Rattle The Teeth

  • Thanks for the preview, TA. It will be just our luck to be meeting Liverpool at a time they seem to be getting into form but, there is no right time to meet any side so long as we play a committed game and believe we can get the 3 points.

    It is my hope that we are playing some mind games with the stories about our players’ fitness situation; I’d expect Klopp to prepare to go against the lot: Saka, ESR, Xhaka…. that’s how you prepare. So, it is left to be seen if it is games or fact. We also have a Thursday Europa league date with Slavia Prague, which may affect selection and attitude today. Liverpool equally have a date with Zidane’s Real Madrid. Hopefully, we get to see both teams play without inhibitions.

    If Luis is unfit, I’d also like to see Holding and hope he comes in with a point to prove. Cedric should play at right back unless there is any concern with his fitness after national team exertions. Auba has to start and so does Laca. Pepe or Willian? Hard to pick between both as they both can be hot one day and disappointing, the next. We’d see how it goes with Arteta. I suspect he would pick a few surprise names, seeing as he was hard at work in London Colney with some of the squad and academy players; such close work may cause him to see some good in Chambers, Mari, and the like.


  • GN5, that was a fine piece you put up in the previous thread. Always heart warming to read some bit of history about the club we love. Also, the pics and columns from way back gives one goose bumps.

    Nice comments in the thread too.

  • From the Arsenal site:

    David Luiz

    Right knee. David has experienced discomfort in his right knee and is being further assessed.

    David will not be available for Saturday’s match.

    Bukayo Saka

    Right hamstring. Bukayo did not join up with the England national team and has been receiving treatment over the past two weeks.

    Bukayo will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability.

    Emile Smith Rowe

    Right thigh/quad. Emile developed tightness in his right quad on international duty with England Under-21s.

    Emile is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability.


    Left calf. Willian is now back in full training and available for selection.

    Granit Xhaka

    Granit was unwell on Friday morning and missed the day’s training session.

    Granit will be further assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability.

    All other players in the men’s first team squad are currently available for selection.

    I saw pics of Saka in training on Friday, along with Willian and Pepe. Saw a lot of Bellerin but no Cedric (of course, the pictures posted are only samples), so it is possible Chambers shall continue at right back unless Bellerin showed Arteta something new during the international break.

  • Morning all,

    Thank you for the comments on my post yesterday. I was unable to participate as I had a known reaction to my Pfizer vaccination – but after a days rest all is fine, and I’m happy to have had my first shot – the second one is due in July.

    As I remember it I simply stood outside the players exit and was lucky enough to to get the autographs of those great players. The woman’s autograph was my brothers girlfriend who thought it would cool to write her name on my program, she never did understand why I was so pissed off with her.

  • Hahahahaha! That’s a funny story, GN5. Well, Stuart has his answer right there. Not George Best’s woman but GN5’s brother’s girl taking the Mickey, probably. 😅

  • Cheers Eris. I think the Pool European game may be a bigger influence on the team selection than ours which is not till Thursday.

  • Well, well football is so unpredictable. I didn’t include the Chelsea v WBA game in our weekly competition as I thought is was an obvious home win – then WBA go and turnover 10 man Chelsea 2-5 – does to show ya!

  • Sorry to hear that GN5, most in the U.K. have had the Astra Xenica and a few have felt a bit woozy afterwards although the effects have been as varied as the recipients, all the same it’s good to hear that they’re rolling it out in Canada. Yes, yesterday’s post was a lovely stroll down memory lane, what a great team they were, everyone, players, coaching staff and manager seemed to peak in the same season.

  • Johnno, I’m not sure that Arteta had any other option last summer with Torrieira and Guendouzi, for as it was he had to already sideline Sokratis and Ozil as there were not spots for them in the squad.

    Guendouzi is very much all about Guendouzi, he burned his bridges with his behaviour post the Brighton game and if Arteta had not acted then his authority would have been gone.
    As for Torrieira, I believe that he had options in Italy but choose Madrid, if he’d gone to Serie A he would have probably played many times and maintained his value. Also his wife hadn’t settled and if your wife isn’t happy, as many of us know, then it’s not a recipe for a tranquil home life is it?

    I think that we can make a profit on Guendouzi but probably not to the level that he’s worth because of his suspect personality and as for Torrieira it’s going to be difficult, but I’m sure that Arsenal if they have to sell at a loss will insist on sell on clauses just in case Lucas decides to return to Europe.

  • Great news about Ainsley T. I’ll try to watch later to analyze. Is he playing central midfield? We never used him there, the few times we did, his passing was way off, pretty disappointing. Maybe he just needed a run of games for sharpness.

    Eris I much prefer Holding over Luiz against Liverpools front anyway. I would not try Chambers at fb against them, remembering his problems with rapid wingers.

  • He plays in midfield indeed and has mainly a holding role. He really likes it there and seems to have a good relationship with his fellow players. He put in some fine tackles too.

  • Chambers earned the start from Arteta.. I hope to be proven wrong in my worry. If so, and he puts in more good performances till the end of the season, it might free us up to bring in some cash for Bellerin without having to spend to replace him. Fingers crossed.

  • Chambers for Soares and Ceballos for Elneny. Nice to see Calum getting another game. Pepe needs to help out a lot though. Ceballos… Well I hope he has a blinder.

  • No blunders from Dani I hope. Pool pounce on any mistake faster than any team except maybe City.

  • Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Ceballos, Pepe, Odegaard, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
    Subs: Bellerin, Willian, Cedric, Pablo Mari, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Ryan, Martinelli.

    Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson, Thiago, Fabinho, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
    Subs: Wijnaldum, Keita, Adrian, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Jota, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Rhys Williams.

  • Taking into consideration that Luiz, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe and Saka are all unavailable due to minor injuries this is a ridiculously strong line-up. I have high hopes for keeping point(s) at home against a struggling Liverpool side with incoherent defense.

  • We’ll see. As J remarked we are in Dani’s hands now. If he concentrates then we don’t have a(n obvious) liability in the line-up. If we manage to lead we can bring in Elneny to improve defensive stability, if we trail we have Martinelli, Nelson and Nketiah to add some firepower.
    The middle part will be indeed tricky, as Partey, Ceballos and Odegaard had limited opportunities to create synergies, but both the Tierney-Auba and the Chambers-Pepe partnerships could cause troubles for Kabak and Phillips.

  • I’m ok thanks for asking T.

    So far my big observation…. Aubameyangs hair looks ridiculous. Sell!

  • Well, we are getting outbattled and our passing lacks precision. Really missing ESR and Saka and XhakA of course. But defence is battling well and Arteta will hopefully give them all the right instructions to improve in second half.

  • That was an easily forgettable 48 minutes, lots of long balls, lots of running, lots of pressing but precious little football…

    Regarding Tierney, well thank you Scotland for playing him for the entirety of your games…

  • Let’s hope nothing serious with Tierney.
    In half time we are indeed looking second best, but this is acceptable against the champions.
    Nobody stands out from Arsenal, maybe Partey looks a bit better than the others, although TA seems to be right about the midfield struggle.
    There is a good chance this game could end 0:0, but could be a single-goal match as well. I don’t anticipate a plethora of goals though.

  • That wasn’t grafting to get a result, for me; it was just sheer lack of quality and confidence in a few of our players. It was always going to be a hard for players who haven’t had games but expected to come together and be coherent in their link ups.

    Again, for this one, I would like us to play out from the back with confidence. Hoof ball doesn’t help us with the front three we have not great headers of the ball.

    I hope a few will see why Xhaka is a key element in the way we play and affect our possession stats. Partey and Ceballos are not taking up positions where the CBs can find the easy pass. Xhaka knows how to do this so well.

    If Pepe can’t keep hold of the ball, bring on Nelson or Martinelli. Enough of defending so deep on our ground.

  • I just hope it turns out to be the proverbial game of two halves for us. We need to ask the Pool defence some questions, for Pete’s sake. Too easy for them, so far.

    Get Odegaard on the Ball more and try to play to have some possession time too.

  • To be fair I am a granit fan but we have come out like this or worse as we did against West Ham with him in the lineup some of the players are just underperforming to such an extent where Mikel has to be questioned more and I am an Arteta in kind of guy by the way. Too many times we start like this and we seem to revert to a defensive posture only to play better when we they find themselves a goal down. If you can play better after conceding you should show some of that before going behind.

    I have wondered lately do we have a psychologist as part of our team I have seen those employed to great effect but maybe I am just shooting in the wind for answers. I may be a little harsh but even with injuries I expect more and I have seen teams like Leicester play better with loads of injuries.

  • On another note it was nice to see that Chelsea could not handle going down a man against lowly West Brom even with all their squad depth and quality just as we were pretty nailed on to lose with ten men,

  • Well that was v poor all round. It looks like Arteta had his mind on Thursday’s game, and the team knew it. Pool wanted it more and our passing was so poor. Elneny struggled to get into the game and before we knew it it was all over.

    Too much respect, too much tactics, too little fight and quality. Ooh dear 😕

  • Liverpool played up to the type of level that they delivered on a regular basis last season when they won the league at a canter and Arsenal played up to the kind of level they delivered before Christmas when there was talk of a relegation battle…

    I am an Arteta in man also and one poor game isn’t going to sway me from that, but that has to be one of the most unimaginative, lacklustre and boring performances that I’ve seen us put in under this manager and he needs to sort it out and sort it out bloody quick…

  • Thursday much more important in my view also. One note: at 0-0, Arsenal sub in Elneny, Klopp brings on Jota. No more comment.

  • I did feel for Ceballos as he cannot be too happy to be subbed off before the hour mark….like he was to blame for our inability to keep the ball, whereas it was the entire team playing beneath their potential.

    I hope those positives turn out to be so, TA. Such a defeat before a major game in Europe can cause more damage than good.

  • Unbelievable performance abd the result says as much. What a rediculous performance if there is any professionalism in the team they should be ashamed. Arteta had 2 full weeks to rest and work on his tactical side, kind of take stock of his team and plan ahead. So much for his so called smartness I think he is trying to way toi smart. Come on this Liverpool team is devoid of defenders and till the first goal I saw two shots on goal. A tame header from pepe in the first half and a decent effort from Cedric in the second half.
    If Arteta doesn’t know his players yet can’t play a half decent game against a side struggling to put 2 central defenders this is atrocious. Whats wrong with Martnelli if he cannot get a start with this team I don’t know when will he.
    Disappointing performance , atrocious technical ability of players, no modicum of footballing intelligence from players. Poor performance throughout.
    Someone pls tell me if Leno could come put for the cross oh first goal. Jota what a buy from Liverpool.

  • Well, on Ceballos: while he might not be happy with being substituted around the hour mark, it’s quite a good case for him that after he left the pitch the dam broke and the team conceded 3 in 30 minutes.
    I don’t see too many tactics here, nor did I see the focus on Thursday. It was the strongest XI we could possibly field if we insist to stick with the 4-2-3-1 which probably was a mistake, and the complete lack of tactical preparation or awareness. But I’m not an Arteta guy. At all.
    Let’s hope we can win the Europa League – of which we have quite a chance. Otherwise there is no justification to keep Mikel.

  • I thought the tactics were OK but the players let him down. Ceballos and Partey were outplayed in midfield and Arteta should not have started with the former in deep midfield. But I also thought Partey was below par. The injury to KT was a blow though and we just got nothing from Pepe and Auba who are uncomfortable with the ball in tight spaces. On top of that Ode had nobody to combine with and thus was isolated, just like Laca.

    I have said before that we struggle to win a game without XhakA in the team, but I am glad he had some rest.

    Upwards and onwards. Extend that contract of Arteta.

  • If Arsenal do reach the Europa League final in Poland, we will have then played 13 more games this horrible season.

    Having already beaten Man Utd and Chelsea this campaign we should really have no fears in facing them again.

    The teams left in the Europa, with the greatest of respect, are all beatable if our team is switched on and as we are very much still a cup team I’m still quietly optimistic on that score.

    The 8 EPL games left will be nowhere near to the intensity we faced from a Liverpool team that rediscovered its best form at the worst of times for us.

    So we can still have a successful season if the players buy into what the manager wants and we don’t suffer anymore injuries to key players. I just hope that the players still do buy in?

    Even if we’d actually been on our game we might well have still lost to Liverpool so as debilitating as it feels we maybe need to park yesterday’s performance and focus on the prospective 13 games we have ahead of us.

    I’m still an Arteta man but the outcome of the rest of this season and the manner in which we negotiate it could well determine if that remains the case going forward?

  • Oh dear. What a shame. Just as we entered a crucial stage in the season; what are the odds he’s played his last game for the season?

    And Joe Willock scored to get the draw for Newcastle against the Spuds (he must be buzzing) ; I did feel it would be a draw but didn’t have the conviction to predict so. 😁

  • Hi Eris, It’s a sad event for Luiz he has been our defensive leader and yesterdays awful game shows just how much he will be missed. Good for Willock he was very aware of where to be on his goal and sped past the Tottering defense to bang the ball into the back of the net. It stopped them moving into the top four and Joe couldn’t avoid displaying his satisfaction in the post game interview.

    I cannot think of one commendable performance yesterday – it reminded me of our wilderness years when we were mid table no hopes.

  • Arteta has failed to improve the team and no individual player has improved under his tutelage. Willock, Mainland-Niles, and Saliba are playing well yet he could never give them games. We need another coach before we buy and sell players. He has seen through 3 transfer windows so he should be having an established team. How does he keep on changing the centre backs? We have the players but not the coach.

  • Did you lot see that Gary Jacobs piece in The Times about Arteta needing to sell Saka to raise funds this summer, I mean when did The Times become a clickbait site? I saw the headlines and just thought you know sweet feck all buddy.

    These scribblers really are a piece of work…

  • I wonder if the time is right for Arteta to maybe bring one or two more youngsters into the squad for the league games, a bit of youthful enthusiasm perhaps?

    And if Luiz is out for the remainder of the season would a switch to a back three in some games help?
    Just putting it out there for the tacticians…

  • Morning all,

    Here are the results of last weekends competition:-
    For the weekend:-
    1st Kev & GN5 with 4/6 plus 2 bonus points each.
    3rd Eris, PB and Total with 1/6
    Season to date:-
    1st. Kev with 108.0
    2nd Eris with 106.33
    3rd PB with 89.66
    4th GN5 with 86.33
    5th JW1 with 77.66
    6th Total with 70.66
    It looks like a two horse race with Kev & Eris swapping the lead, the rest of us have a high hill to climb (just like the Arsenal)

  • Here are my selections for the next weekends games:-
    Manchester City v Leeds
    Liverpool v Aston Villa
    Burnley v Newcastle
    Tottenham v Manchester United (correct score game)
    Sheffield United v Arsenal
    Frankfurt v Wolfsburg
    There will be two bonus points for the correct score between Spurs and Man U.

  • About time I win a round again:

    Manchester City v Leeds: draw
    Liverpool v Aston Villa: draw
    Burnley v Newcastle: draw
    Tottenham v Manchester United (correct score game): 2-1
    Sheffield United v Arsenal: away
    Frankfurt v Wolfsburg: home

  • Here are my predictions:-

    Manchester City v Leeds – H
    Liverpool v Aston Villa – H
    Burnley v Newcastle – D
    Tottenham v Manchester United (correct score game) A (0-2)
    Sheffield United v Arsenal – A
    Frankfurt v Wolfsburg A -D

  • Manchester City v Leeds: home
    Liverpool v Aston Villa: home
    Burnley v Newcastle: away
    Tottenham v Manchester United (correct score game): 1-1 draw
    Sheffield United v Arsenal: away
    Frankfurt v Wolfsburg: away

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