FC Zurich v Arsenal Lineup and Preview: Time for Matthew Smith, Marquinos and Vieira.

Tonight (early kick off!) Arsenal are playing Zurich to start their European campaign. There’s more romance in playing the lesser European competitions, as we meet often unfamiliar teams in unknown cities. The CL is so predictable and set up in such a way that the big clubs will have a very strong chance to reach at least the last eight. The Europa League is much less predictable and it gives the supporters a great opportunity to travel and discover some unknown beauty of that great continent, mainland Europe.

Zurich is a city full of bankers – and feel free to change that first letter to a ‘w’ – but it has a rich history and plenty to offer. For a start, there are 1200 water fountains with high quality drinking water. Muesli was invented there. It’s the birthplace of Dadaism which had a huge influence on surrealism and post-modernism. You will find James Joyce’s grave there and the largest church clock in Europe.

But Arsenal are actually not playing in this fine city, but up the road in St Gallen. The Diamond League athletics event is in town so the football has to be played somewhere else.

Most likely, and rightly so, our wider squad will be used, although I expect Mikel to totally rest only a few first team players. A good start in the EL is important and for that we need to take it seriously from the first game.

Proposed Lineup:



M Smith-Granit



I would expect Mikel to not start with so few first teamers, though. Maybe more like this:






A solid defence, another chance for developing a good partnership between Sambi and Granit, and trying out a new attacking combination…… What is not to like about that?!

Bring it on.

By TotalArsenal.

30 thoughts on “FC Zurich v Arsenal Lineup and Preview: Time for Matthew Smith, Marquinos and Vieira.

  • What about Rob, TA?
    I like your lineup, but I’d vote for:
    (I’d very much like to see Ben in midfield, in case Thomas – who is rumoured to be on his way back btw) gets injured again soon …
    and I wish Granit were rested, too; with Switzerland international duty ahead, taking him out of FACup – EFLCup games, as well as of the EL group stage, will be barely enough to call his 2022-2023 schedule “sane”

  • I think Xhaka can play but with a bit of a handbrake on. Just to give structure to the team. Maybe Zinch will play in midfield instead of Granit?

  • A match in Switzerland with no Xhaka?

    Never gonna happen fellas, Granit will play and exert his usual control probably alongside Albert, they don’t have to do 90 minutes but just get us off to a solid start.

    How about starting Eddie and Jesus as a pair and then take Gabby off on the hour?

    I don’t think Arteta will mess about too much, Vieira will start and yes Rob deserves a game to give Saliba a breather, I’d protect Zinchenko and Odegaard so soon after their injuries so Tierney in and Ben White looked a bit shagged-out last time so rest him,

    I’ll be disappointed if we don’t keep a clean sheet and score at least 3 goals.

  • My major worry is current injures in the DM positions. Xhaka‘s importance cannot be underestimated. We will be in trouble if he gets injured. Especially pending Partey’s return.

  • Rob Holding and Xhaka will be sure starters and I won’t be too surprised if we start GJ9 too. A solid backline and a fearsome forward line will be a must, to keep the hosts at bay.

    I read some place that a good first place finish in the groups places the best 8 first placed teams in same pot as the 8 3rd placed teams from the UCL group stages, for the round of 32 draws. If that is the case, Arteta will field a very strong side; and I won’t blame him because this is the first game, people. We’ve got to lay down the law early. So, I agree with LeGall’s line up, but with Xhaka in the middle and a start for GJ9. Changes will be made earlier to give certain players a rest (Big Gab, GJ9, Martinelli, Lokonga) and more game time for the likes of Eddie and some youngsters.

  • Great comments people. Arsenal. Com does not state that Soares stayed in London..

    A start for Gabi J in attack? Could be true but I would not do it.

  • Emile Smith Rowe fitness issues are a problem. Because of him, Martinelli, Ødegaard and Saka will not be able to get enough rest.
    Arteta knows this, and it’s why he wanted Raphinha, Neto or Ferran Torres.

    Vieira will help, but Arteta won’t trust Marquinhos to start league games, I hope he feels he’s ready to start Europa.

    Emile is a great player, but when was the last time that he was completely fit? I mean fit enough that he could start and play 90 almost every week, the way Martinelli, Saka, Ødegaard do? Twice weekly sometimes.. They do put in huge amounts of energy and distance covered.

    He hasn’t played 90, even once, for years now.. let alone successive weeks.

    I hope Arteta will do with Reiss Nelson the same as he did with Nketiah, give him some attention to get him to where Eddie got last season.

    He’s the best developmental manager around .. at the level of Pep and Klopp. I think that we can bring in another player in January.. if we are in contention at that point, maybe we can convince a good wide man to join.

  • Arsenal team news

    Team to face FC Zurich: Turner, Gabriel, Holding, Tomiyasu, Tierney, Marquinhos, Xhaka, Lokonga, Fabio Vieira, Martinelli, Nketiah.

    Subs: Ramsdale, Hein, White, Saka, Odegaard, Jesus, Saliba, Zinchenko, Cirjan, Smith, Cozier-Duberry.

  • Looks like Arteta agrees with you, re a start for GJ9. He is on the bench and Martinelli and Eddie upfront.

  • J, yes we need another goalscorer with experience and confidence. But only if it is the right player
    The world Cup will give A&E a good opportunity to spot the right player.

    I wish we had gone for Dupay. The man needs a home and he would be a dream combo with Jesus. It’ll be January soon. 🤗

  • I’m excited about the 3-4-1-2 formation.
    Especially to see the different contributions on the left and right midfield, as Tierney (LM) is a left back by trade, while Marquinhos (RM tonight) is a right winger.
    I’m also looking forward to see Martinelli and Nketiah as a striking duo, this is also a new concept in competitive games.

  • Entertaining first half. A bit rusty in the passing and positioning but altogether not bad. A poor pen to give away; out of nothing they score the equaliser. Game on for the second half.

  • We had it coming … our passing was painfully ineffective after Vieira missed that lob around the 20th. The boy did wonderfully on our goal though, as did Eddie and the emotional Marquinhos.
    Poor Eddie, there wasn’t much he could do on that pen, the other guy had positioned his leg very smartly
    About Eddie, I don’t get how in such a game we can’t provide him in their box with something “scorable”. Is it down to him? I don’t think so. I don’t want to put all the blame on Sambi, but there’s something about him that puzzles me. His passing is as elegant as can be but he’s neither a DM, not fierce enough, nor a midfield whose straight runs tear a team apart …
    My man of the half would be Kieran, he’s been outstanding, without his heroic block, it’d have been 1-1 minutes before.
    Well, COYG, you’re so superior, put this one to bed quickly, please!!

  • Sambi had a very good 2nd half …
    Don’t get why Eddie was taken out, Marti had an off-night
    3 points, but too tight a win to give Matt Smith some playin’ time … a shame, that
    Bring on the Toffees, COYG

  • Ta will be flying to tonight to UK. Just wanted an info, with the queen passing away will the nation go into a period of mourning. Anything that I should be aware of as I land in England

  • Madhu, I don’t expect you to witness any differences. Officially there will be a period of mourning, mayby some live events will be cancelled, but life should continue normally. Have a safe flight.

  • In the Guardian, too:
    ” Several sports will also hold urgent talks in the morning to decide whether play should resume at the weekend, with most hoping to do so depending on the public mood over the next 24 hours. Many are also encouraged by indications from the government that the palace is not keen to have a lengthy period without fixtures or events.

    However, football may yet be an exception, with the Premier League and English Football League set to meet at 9am to agree a final position. Some in the game are mindful of not taking up police resources or barriers, while others believe a longer period of mourning would be more appropriate. It could yet lead to the entire weekend of games being postponed.”

  • Maquinhos was really good and should have stayed on the pitch along with Eddie.
    It was great to see Tomiyasu and Tierney, I think they both played flawlessly.
    Lokonga was tidy and reliable, and Xhaka was a real leader with plenty of offensive contributions.
    To be honest I wasn’t that blown away by Vieira. And that’s alright, he is a raw talent and it was his first start, but apart from being technically gifted, he didn’t have the impact of the fellow midfielders or attackers (was involved the second least time behind Eddie based on the number of passes). Martinelli was a bit wasteful this evening, but played OK, only the end result was missing.
    Turner didn’t exude confidence, but didn’t contribute to goal conceded either, so it was a good occasion to gain experience.

    Some minor issues: I wouldn’t have left Martinelli on the pitch for the whole game, not because of injury concerns, but Everton rested for the entire week.
    Maybe a coincidence, maybe the quality of the squad, but after Odegaard, Saka, Zinchenko and Jesus came on, we didn’t become a wee bit more dangerous or effective.

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