Arsenal v Bodo/Glimt lineup and Preview: Nelson and Saka, the Wall of PartAka, Strong Defence?

I think we saw enough of Bodo/Glimt (BG) last week to know that they will be hard to beat at their own plastic turf at the Arctic Circle. Just ask the self-adoring one who got beat there 6-1 with his current bunch of followers of the Eternal City, recently.

Allezkev described BG as a physical team that tries to play FOOTIE. Arsenal cannot afford to lose this game with still two games against PSV to come. Therefore, I don’t think Arteta will opt to make too many changes from our fine victory against Liverpool. The confidence needs to be high and a win give us a very firm grip on qualifying in the group. So Arteta will go for safe, I think.

It’s hard to predict the line up but I am expect something like the following starting eleven:


Soares, William, Rob, Tierney

Partey, Granit

Saka, Ode, Nelsoni


The likes of Sambi, Tomi, Marquinos, Vieira and maybe a Hale End Academic are likely to get between 10-30 minutes, I reckon.

Looking forward to this one!

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners 🌋 🌋 🌋

By TotalArsenal

49 thoughts on “Arsenal v Bodo/Glimt lineup and Preview: Nelson and Saka, the Wall of PartAka, Strong Defence?

  • Arsenal: Turner, White, Saliba, Holding, Tierney, Sambi, Odegaard, Nelson, Saka, Vieira, Nketiah

    Subs: Ramsdale, Hein, Partey, Gabriel, Martinelli, Cedric, Tomiyasu, Marquinhos, Xhaka, Edwards, Smith, Ibrahim

    Ibrahim is a good prospect, being developed as a No.6

  • That’s quite a strong team with maybe one eye on technique and the conditions.

    Mikel Knows

  • (4-5-1)??
    white saliba holding tierney
    saka odegaard lokonga vieira nelson
    strong … and (very) young team anyway
    COYG (hope I’ll get a stream!)

  • White – Saliba – Ska – Odegaard off
    Tomi – BigGab – Marquinhos – GabMart on
    2-0 I’d have bet on it, not so sure now
    Reiss didn’t hide, he initiated the goal move, ain’t that good news?
    Fabio looks like he feels a bit under the weather – might be more comfortable somewhere on the right, from where he can bend deadly balls into the box …
    Kieran seems a bit “lost in translation”, in that difficult-to-process LB-LDM position
    Energetic Eddie had very slim pickings to feed on, hope he’ll have more to prey on in the 2nd half
    They’re robust, focused, well-organised and their through balls can hurt us
    COYG, but beware …

  • The 3 points is what’s important at this point, in these types of games.

    Couldn’t watch it as I had to drive my daughter back to school in Waterloo.

  • From previous thread, great idea on offer, Stuart.

    For the first one, I’d say 7/10 for the song and 7.5/10 for the video, just because it looked well done for the 60s.

    Happy to have others score along, TA.

  • Sorry about the delay, GN5. I guess the 9 game prediction replaced this in my memory.

    Leeds United v Arsenal * A (1-3)
    Manchester United v Newcastle United * D (3-3)
    Southampton v West Ham Utd. A
    Liverpool v Man City * D (2-2)
    Tottenham v Liverpool Women A
    Real Madrid v Barcelona H

  • 3 points and escaped without any injuries on a bouncy, slippery pitch with groin strain written all over it.

    A few hairy moments but in general our game management was spot on and Arsenal leave Bodo having conceded six goals less than Roma.

    Even Man City have to win ugly occasionally the priority is the win.

    Onto Elland Road

  • On one hand it was a really poor game with a strange – and ineffective – line-up, strange – and ineffective – substitutions, lack of tactics, and unlike my brother Kevin I wasn’t blown away by the game management either. Apart from the unsung Lokonga and Holding the entire team (including the substitutions) played sub-par, albeit nobody played particularly bad. We missed another chance to allow the academy players a few minutes of debut, but that was quite expected. The display was unexciting, the overall experience was disappointing.

    On the other hand we did win away from home (with a remarkably luck goal), after 3 games we have 5 points and a game in hand over the 3rd team of the group, we maintained our signature unbeaten streak in the EL group stage, kept a clean sheet (however quite fortunately for the first time) and avoided injuries. So if anybody would have offered me 3 month ago, that such game would be the least entertaining experience in the first quarter of the season, I wouldn’t have hesitated to accept that.

  • Apart from the fact that we escaped with all three points, the other positive for me was that we finally got to see Turner being tested. It is to his credit that we kept a clean sheet although I admit that some of their attempts on goal helped too!

  • Sorry for the delay GN5

    Leeds United v Arsenal * A (1-2)
    Manchester United v Newcastle United * D (2-2)
    Southampton v West Ham United A
    Liverpool v Manchester City * A (1-3)
    Tottenham v Liverpool Women H
    Real Madrid v Barcelona H

  • Leeds United W
    Southampton W
    Nottingham W
    Chelsea D
    Brighton W
    Wolverhampton W
    West Ham W
    Brighton W
    Newcastle D

  • A well balanced comment, PB.

    The team did the job on a difficult pitch against a well organised team, with an enthusiastic crowd.

    I liked the way Arsenal kept BG away from our defenders for most of the game and that one goal was enough. A few Gunners didn’t make the grade but I will not be harsh on them givrn pitch and opposition.

  • OX10, good observation re Turner.

    I really liked the way he owned the space behind the defence with well timed runs and ball gathering. Distribution is a work in progress but his reading of the game was good.

  • Agreed, Total, while it is difficult to point out from savings statistics, Turner read the game really well, and rushed out to clear through balls exactly when needed. So he had that additional cover supporting the defenders (despite his underwhelming distributions statistics).

  • Ugly game. A chore to watch. Everyone was off their game, including
    Guys who should feel thrilled to get some playing time like Eddie and Vieira… Fabio was actually invisible … and for now, that’s a bad sign for those who wanted to see him play in Xhakas CM spot alongside Ødegaard. Even Øde was below par !

    I guess these things are contagious because of the team nature of football.

    Sambi was decent and glided past some opponents which is one of his strengths.

    Xhaka was our only dependable player that played up to his normal level when he came on. Our Iron Man.

    Turner was proactive which I appreciate. Keep building confidence Matt.

    If Bodo were up to the level of any bottom half team in the prem, the way we played, we would have lost by at least 2-1.

    This bad performance may end up being good for our focus because I was fearing a letdown against Leeds after 2 big, emotionally draining wins.

  • J, all fair points. I think playing Big Rob, right footed as he is, as our left CB, really didn’t help our defensive solidity. This was, though, the only reason BG had some chances against us, as I thought the team did well to take the game to them and away from our box.

    It may not have been pretty but it was effective.

    I did also expect more of Vieira, Eddie and Nelsoni but they often looked too isolated to me, which was a team thing I reckon.

  • Xhaka, our iron man… I love it. Made me think of the Black Sabbath song named Iron Man. I have not listened to this song for decades! 😁

  • Have to agree with the general comments above. I almost fell asleep during parts of the game, but, as you all did, saw and appreciated the positives.

    Good call, bro Eris. It seems the vid was a hit with most of the boys, red blooded males that they are. I have a stonker of a song in store for the next post. Prepare to be sixtified…

  • Peter, we visited a stadium where the home team had won its previous 14 european ties, on a pitch that obviously affected the way we play, kept possession for long periods, rode out the dodgy periods, kept a clean sheet with a back four that was playing together for the first time in front of a goalkeeper making only his third appearance, avoided injuries, played below par, won the tie and that was what, ineffective? I’m not sure what more you want Peter, btw what exactly was ineffective about the substitutions? Xhaka came on and improved the midfield, Martinelli replaced the disappointing Nelson and was equally disappointing, could that possibly be due to the surface and our players playing within themselves to avoid injuries and seriously Peter would you really have thrown inexperienced youngsters into a game like that under those conditions? Really??

  • Johnno i5 was an ugly game but it wasn’t a chore for me, I was interested to see how Arteta and the players would deal with such a problematic fixture, I’ve seen too many Arsenal teams, very talented teams at that (on paper) cave under those circumstances so I was encouraged by the resilience we showed. I know it wasn’t a classic but were any of us expecting that whilst we’re in the midst of so many energy sapping games?

  • Johnno don’t judge any of our players from having to perform on an artificial surface, it’s a different game under those conditions, to me the priority was winning, escaping without injuries and having a strong team available for Elland Road this Sunday.

  • I hope that Bodo go through to the knockout rounds and get Man Utd, that’ll be fun…

  • Artificial surface = artificial type of play.

    Nothing artificial about the result – what’s not to like about this team – 11 wins in 12 games is top notch in my books.

  • Kev, I didn’t assume you buy into this narrative, too.
    Yes, Bode/Glimt did win their last 14 European fixture in their turf, but out of those 14 games a single one of them was a rare virtuous victory (against a strong 100M+ team), and maybe 4 other were nice surprises (Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb, AZ Alkmaar and AS Roma ‘B’ team ).
    Please don’t make me an arrogant smug out of this, but we are talking about Conference League Qualifications and group games. The rest of those victories came against clubs where Arsenal U21 wouldn’t have lost a single point home or away alike. We are talking about €3M teams, like Valur Reykjavík (Iceland), FC Prishtina (Kosovo), Zalgiris Vilnius (Lithuania), KÍ Klaksvík (Faroe Islands), Linfield FC (Northern Ireland), and so on, for crying out loud.

    Maybe I didn’t adjust properly to being a mid-table team missing out on European football, but for me those European away victories which I cherish in my memory in the last 5 years were against PSG (2017, it was a draw, but was worth a victory as it helped us winning our CL group), AC Milan (2018), Napoli & Valencia (both 2019), Eintracht Frankfurt & Olympiacos (2019 & 2020), and the 0:4 against Slavia Prague was quite impressive. I’m sorry if Thursday’s game did not make my list of appreciated away wins any longer.

    I don’t look down on Norwegian teams, but the truth is that their Eliteserien is almost exactly as strong as our League One in the UK. And I promise you that I will be equally disappointed if we will win by 0:1 in a similar fashion in the League Cup against Wycombe Wanderers or Plymouth Argyle.

    I don’t see the lack of defensive cohesion a valid excuse, either. Firstly because our defense didn’t play bad at all, Holding did good, and Turner was far better than expected, especially in through ball anticipation. Secondly it was Arteta’s deliberate choice not to rotate the first team defenders in the PL, so any possible performance issue related to the defenders lack of playing time (together) cannot be interpreted as an external limitation or vis major.

    As you said, Martinelli wasn’t an improvement over Nelson, I didn’t see Xhaka solidifying the midfield to be honest, and I didn’t demand Partey to play either. So basically yes, I wouldn’t have minded if Marquinhos started ahead of Saka, Cedric played instead of White, or at least replaced him saving Tomi for the game against Leeds, and I would have no objection if Matt Smith would have given his Arsenal debut in the 84th minute instead of Partey.

  • Pb,
    If we go ahead and wrap up the group early I’ll expect to see Smith get his introduction. I was hoping Cedric would get 20-30 minutes to spell Tierney.

    Are you really complaining though about Arteta not rotating defenders in the league matches?

    CB’s require the least rotation, and I actually think breaking up a successful pair in the league with no fitness issues is poor management.

    Fullbacks, on the other hand, do much more running and we’ve been rotating them nicely, even with our 4rd choice Cedric being out for a while.

    To be honest, if they had taken a couple chances, we could have easily lost, so we were fortunate.

  • I am concerned about Leeds because they can match our energy, at least. We’ll need to be much sharper to beat them. The emotional exhaustion of the past 2 weeks could be a problem, but the poor performance Thursday should have given Arteta enough reason to crack the whip a bit.

  • Evening BKers

    I am in Ullapool/The Assynt for a short break (see picture in post above).

    Yes J, Leeds will be energetic but would that not suit us? They want to play and, as a result, give away space which we will use with our crisp passing and clever movement.

  • Fair enough Peter, as I commented earlier I really hope that Bodo progress then we can see how they do against other opponents, btw, you aren’t smug, you just have a different view on things.

  • Nice exchanges, boys.
    I officiated a wedding down here in West Auckland yesterday for a fellow Gooner. He married a beautiful Samoan girl, who performed a Hulu after the ceremony, coating herself in coconut oil so that guests bank notes stick to her. God, the girl, the groom and the Arsenal were all honoured in the speeches.

  • Hi J,

    I wasn’t actually complaining about the lack of rotating first team defenders. I was merely saying that the fact that Holding has never played alongside Saliba in competitive games is the direct result of the above mentioned lack of rotation, which was an intentional choice, therefore doesn’t quality for an excuse. (In fact that’s the consequence of the OGAAT mentality, but I would rather not provoke TA.)

    Kev, I appreciate you not seeing me as a smug. Unfortunately that happens sometimes due to the monetary/statistical approach I often follow relying on TransferMarkt data. And according to that, Lokonga worth about as much as Bode’s starting XI, and Tomiyasu as their entire team. And don’t take me wrong, they are indeed a lovable little team playing fair and from time to time surprisingly strong, but I won’t expect them to progress from the group. Even if they defeat Zürich on the road and we gather 6 points from PSV they would still have to beat them in Bodø, as their goal difference is largely inferior to the Dutch team.

    Nevertheless they have good chance to continue in the Conference League, so Manchester United is safe from them, but not from Barcelona. 🙂

  • Stuart, I watched the England v Samoa match today in the Rugby League World Cup played at St James’ Park. The Samoan haka before kickoff was a thing of awesome beauty. I’m glad I’ve never had to face one though! The Samoans looked like they really meant business but I’m afraid that they were royally stuffed by England so I hope that didn’t help the Samoan bride’s day. I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament, especially the second semi-final which is being played at the Emirates – I have tickets!

  • It was a fun wedding, indeed, Total. As Ox pointed out above, the Samoans know their moves. They have dance, song and prayer at the heart of their culture. The bride started her dance, she was joined by her two sisters and then one by one all of the women folk. It was unrehearsed but appeared totally choreographed. The way they wove together was truly beautiful and very moving. As much an act of worship as it was a spectacle.
    Ox, the English have a chance, as do the Kiwi’s, but those Aussies have quite a team at present. Enjoy that semi. If the Kiwis are playing, I’ll be with you in spirit, mate.

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