Arsenal set for awesome starting XI against Norwich – Pick your line-up

After our nightmare early fixture list and the problems caused by injuries and Covid, things are gradually improving for Mikel Arteta as more and more players become available for selection.

As outlined in my previous post, Arteta has got some of his most important players back on the training pitch this week, including Ben White and Gabriel teaming up at the centre of defence, and our much-missed midfielder Thomas Partey is finally back in contention as well.

So, what sort of starting XI can Arteta choose this weekend to ace Norwich?

It appears that Arteta now has a choice between Leno and Ramsdale between the sticks, with the new boy giving the impression he will be promoted this week.

I am certain that White and Gabriel will be in the middle of defence, and Tierney is a shoo-in on the left. With Tomisayu unlikely to play so early, it could be Tavares or Maitland-Niles on the right. If Arteta goes with 5 at the back I can see Holding as the anchor in defence.


Although Partey is looking good, we know that Arteta has been cautious in putting him straight back for 90 minutes, so I am expecting an attacking midfield against Norwich, maybe with Elneny and Odegaard if we have 5-2-3 (my fave formation).

Up front I fancy Pepe and Smith-Rowe on the wings with Aubameyang in the middle.

So here is my preferred line-up for Saturday…..

Maitland-Niles Gabriel Holding White Tierney
Elneny Odegaard
Smith-Rowe Pepe

Which is your preferred line-up?

Tags Arsenal v Norwich City


  1. VasC says:


    Let’s see if your favorite 11 outfield players set-up gets the FA’s nod against Norwich’s 10!!! 🤞

    1. VasC says:

      I prefer a conservative 4-3-2-1. No wingers and wing-backs. Laca as a false nine with Pepe and Auba always stationed in the opposition half, even if we don’t have possession.


      1. AFCMickey says:

        Come on, be serious…If Arsenal park the bus against Norwich then the season is in real trouble!😹

        1. Salisu principal says:

          Yeah mate you said it all

        2. VasC says:

          I don’t see no bus in here. I just clipped the wings and wanted the team to move through the middle of the pitch. Crossing the ball from the wings wasn’t fruitful in the past, given our forwards lack of aerial prowess.

          After witnessing how Tony pocketed our Rolls Royce, I’m still not convinced of his suitability as a CB in a four man back-line. And Partey is simply too unreliable based on his recent history with us.

          With ESR and Saka in the middle, the team can confidently move the ball at pace. And there isn’t anyone in our squad at link up and quick one-touch play as good as Laca.

          With Laca as a false nine, Auba and Pepe as our forwards who can cut inside and shoot with their stronger foot, we can expect at least a couple of goals. This ain’t no parking the bus, mate.

    2. Admin Pat says:

      LOL Formations was never my strong point!
      But i was talking about 5 at the back really and that doesn’t even get called that (Well I have now!)

  2. siamois says:

    I’m sorry but”awesome”that’s pushing it!

  3. gotanidea says:

    What I’d choose won’t matter to Arsenal, so my prediction is:

    ……………………… Leno
    Chambers . White . Magalhaes . Tierney
    ……………. Partey …………. Lokonga
    Saka ………….. Odegaard …………. Smith-Rowe
    ……………………… Lacazette

    1. Loguran John says:

      This one might work out except Chambers

      1. gotanidea says:

        White will need another tall defender to protect him from aerial duels, in case Norwich use a towering target man

        1. Kedar says:

          What’s the use of that Tall defender when he can’t even beat Gündogan in air

          1. gotanidea says:

            Hopefully Chambers works harder on his heading skill, otherwise he can’t be a good EPL CB or RB

    2. ja says:

      Put ramsdale at the post and I am with you fully

    3. vilho Elias says:

      Chambers if he put in that position , we will lose again.

      thank you

    4. Arsenal2win says:

      Spot on GAI, my preferred X1 with the available players.

    5. Sue says:

      Almost perfect, gai, but for me it has to be Auba…. then bring Laca on later 🙂

      1. gotanidea says:


        1. MalayBushBoy says:

          You’re the bes GAI.! Used to disagree with your opinion. Just realised how smart you are. Remind me alot of my big brother. IMo you’re even qualified to be one of the directors of the AFC. They’ll surely benefits alot from your thinking. My 1st comment on been dedicated just for you. 😁

  4. fairfan says:

    A home game v bottom of the table Norwich is probably as good a place as any to blood the new recruits.
    Mind you lose and the fan will hit the shirt.
    So if fit and available.
    Tomi White Gabriel Tierney
    Partey Albert
    ESR Odegaard Saka
    Leno Chambers Holding Tavarez
    Elneny Pepe Martinelli Niles Nketiah

    1. Grandad says:

      You have read my mind fairfan , but no Laca?

    2. Theo says:

      This is the best off all suggest starting 11 I can see here .

    3. Yossarian says:

      Yeah, I like the look of that

  5. Val says:

    I would pick






    Subs – Laca, Leno, Holding, Pepe, Tiramasu, MArtinelli, Elneny

    I think he has to play this team, start with the strongest side we can to try build some momentum

    1. Declan says:


    2. Loguran John says:

      Perfect for me

  6. Declan says:

    Tomi/AMN White Gabriel Tierney
    Partey Lokonga
    Saka Aubamayang ESR

  7. S.J says:

    Partey has to be treated with caution because he is proving to be injury prone since he joined us.
    It will be wise not to start him in a highly competitive match. He can come in for second half. There are no easy matches in the English league.



    Smith. Odegaard. Saka.

    Lokonga. Elneny.

    Tierney. Gabriel. White. Tomiyasu.




    Saka. Odegaard. Pepe.

    Lokonga. Elneny.

    Tierney. Gabriel. White. Chambers.


  8. Malaysian gunner says:

    Awesome lineup?Any line up for me will do as long
    as the gunners win.Dont underestimate rhe canaries.
    They are underdogs and will go all out.
    Shd the gunners be unable to win,MA could be out within 24 hours

  9. Mark says:

    Don’t care as long as Lacazette plays through the middle

  10. jon fox says:

    Any line up that includes dross such as Elneny cannot possibly be called “awesome, Ad PAT.

    Though it is “awesome” that Xhaka cannot play and Bellerin has left, never to return.


    But, Elneny apart, your article is essentially correct, even if “awesome” is stretching it much too far!

  11. Odi says:


    Tomiyasu Holding Gabriel Tierney
    Odegaard Partey Smith-Rowe
    Saka Lacazette Pepe

    I don’t like the double pivot defensive minded midfielders. A single pivot like Man City’s with every player defending together.

    1. Adajim says:

      I’ll love to see this, but am afraid it’s gonna be 4321, I’ll be gutted if we revert back to 3-4-3, or 3-4-2-1

      1. Odi says:

        Yes 4321 is good. What better game and team to start this formation against. Arteta tried it second half of our game against west ham when we were down, and we killed it, in fact it was one of our best performance and we equalized and almost won. It brought out the flare and freedom to play expansively in Smith-Rowe and Odegaard. I personally think there is no better team to try this formation with. The 4231 makes us too cautious and boring. We are the Arsenal, we should be blazingly attacking win or lose, we need our tradition and style of play back. Its the effort for me!

        1. Malaysian gunner says:

          Its s must win game but if the gunners are slow in the attack,they could be for a surprise.The reason the gunners get hammered in the big games is because they are predictable ie attack all the time.No balance between attack and defence.
          If Arsenal do go gof a new boss ,its better they get one with a proven winning record.
          Otherwise it will be back to square one

  12. Mtoto wa Mungu says:


    Tomi/AMN White Gabriel Tierney
    Odegaard Partey ESR
    Pepe/Martinelli Auba Saka

  13. Joe. S says:

    Do you call a team with Elneny, and Maitland Niles awesome?

  14. SM says:

    I wouldn’t let Elneny go a country mile near a starting place for Arsenal. Lokonga who is now a full international all the way.

  15. Aaaaarrenalllll says:

    Tomi – White – Gabi – St Sweaty
    Aurther – Partey
    Saka – Odey – Smithy

  16. Arsenaler says:

    Tavares Chambers Gabriel or (White)
    Partey AMN
    Auba Laca. Saka

  17. Adajim says:

    Am surprised no one included Martinelli in the starting 11.
    Very soon now we might be welcoming articles about How Arteta hate him, has agenda against young players like Martinelli

  18. Gaz says:

    Aaron Ramsdale
    Tomiyasu White Gabriel Kieran Tierney

    Nicolas Pépé Partey Ødegaard Saka

    Aubameyang Emile Smith Rowe

  19. Jo-Gunz says:

    …………………… ……..Ramsdale
    Tomiyasu……….White…….. Magalhaes Tavares
    ……………. Partey …………. Lokonga
    Saka ………….. Odegaard …………. Smith-Rowe
    ……………………… Lacazette

    1. joshua kunga says:

      thats perfect…changes will only appear to tierney for( tavares) if fit and auba for ( laca).period

      1. Jo-Gunz says:

        👍 I agree and wouldn’t be worried about the changes as it still would be a strong team.
        I however believe that Tavares and Laca would provide much sharpness and pressing.

  20. Emmanuel Omar says:

    i prefer this lineup
    travers , benwhite, gabi, triney
    samba party
    auba lakazid saka

  21. Tony. Duncan says:

    My team would be. Ramsdale Tomiyasi. Tiernney Gabriel. White. Loki go. Parted. Saka. odegaard. Pepe. Auyenbang saw

  22. Franko says:

    Against Norwich: First 11 for me. 4-2-3-1







    Scorpion Formation 4-2-2-2






  23. Sean Williams says:

    I hope we don’t play Elneny, he is bog ordinary. If he is fit I would like to see

    Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney
    Partey, Lokonga, Odegaard, Saka, Pepe, Aubameyang (Lacazette)

    I don’t think it’s an awesome team, but they should get the better of Norwich.

    1. monicarsenal says:

      I like this line up you gotanidea……

    2. monicarsenal says:

      Pepe should always be a substitute in this line up for laca or saka

  24. LtDan says:

    Just hope Arteta has seen the light and not bought a bunch of expensive backups. Got all this new blood but will decide to let his ego get in the way of common sense (much like Wenger)and take what we are led to believe is one last punt and put out a side of tried and tested failures to prove that he’s right in his selection and tactical approach. Wenger used to do the same. Players like Rosicky always gave us forward momentum but the boss decided only to use him as a backup when we were away to Sunderland……’s nil-nil and 13 mins to go. We huffed and powder puffed through the game, been out sussed by Mark Hughes and his men. Then Wenger thinks Rosicky will save us. Ego over practicality.

    Hope Arteta doesn’t do the same. I don’t wanna see no more chambers, elneny,Pepe,nketiah, bologun, xhaka and as little of Leno as my delicate disposition can take. Let’s star anew. New players, new line up and method, new ethos to how we go about things. The time for ego and experimentation is over!

  25. Biscuitbum says:

    This is it! The first game when there can be no excuses if we don’t win, and probably win well. With Gabriel back to partner White, my only concern is at right back, where Cedric or Chambers might get the nod. Tomiyasu will probably be on the bench. We need to boss the midfield, and put them under pressure, create the chances and put them away. Norwich have been leaking goals like a sieve, and we need to take advantage of that. Ramsdale is said to have told friends that he’s in, but at this stage, although I’d like to se Ramsdale there, Leno will do.

  26. JW says:

    I wonder if Arteta has the cahones to play Ramsdale!

    If he makes a mistake that leads to a goal, that in itself might be the end of Arteta’s career at Arsenal, seeing Ramsdale was HIS choice.

    I think he will play Leno.

    I believe Arteta will play Ben White hoping he has a good game (since Ben, at $50m, must be the great White hope).

    The team I think he will pick is:

    Chambers, White, Gabriel, Tierney
    Partey, Elneny, Odegaard
    Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

    I think Saka and ESR will be on the bench, but Saka (and possibly ESR) will come on in the second half.

    Result: Arsenal 2 Norwich 0

    Auba and Laca score the goals

  27. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

    Partey(if fit)/Niles
    ESR(if fit)/Odegard
    Pepe. Lacca. Saka

    Anyone with fitness doubts, may be better on bench, even if I prefer him.
    There will flexibility to throw one of the new centerbacks or Chambers to midfield, I prefer to Tamsiyasu at the back (especially center) because he has the height compared to Calum and White.

    I would ve put holding since changes in the back line is not favorable but holding and Gabriel wwre not good together last season and Mari seems to be shaking/out of form.

  28. instrooments says:

    ………….. ESR……………..ODE………………
    ……………….. Lokonga………………………
    Tavares… Gabriel..White….Tomiyasu
    …………………. RAMSDALE………………


    ESR……….. Aubameyang………Saka
    …………………. Odegaard……………………..
    …………Lokonga ……… Partey…………….
    ..,………………………. Leno…………………………

    It’s about time to try all the arteta players for a change……..partey and Tierney can come in later due to their recent return from injury

    1. monicarsenal says:

      ESR will be absent elnny OR AMN will fill the fold to support lokonga n make partey rest fully fit and For tough matches

      1. Bockarie m conteh says:

        I prefer Martinelli to start instead of Aubameyiang

  29. Quantic Dream says:


    1. TrueThinker says:

      Tomiyasu. White Gabriel. Tierney(c)

      Lokonga Maitland-niles

      Pepe Ordegaard Saka


  30. TrueThinker says:

    Tomiyasu has to play, making a debut away to Burnley is not ideal, after which we play the derby, if he doesn’t play against Norwich he might not make his debut for three weeks

  31. Prof.Wenger says:


    Holding White Gabi

    AMN Lokonga Teirney

    Saka. Ode. Rowe

    1. monicarsenal says:

      Prof.wenger ode or esr should be substitute so to come and calm the game around 60s mins, , elnny should prove himself after all he is going for free

  32. Terry imbor says:

    if laca is not starting, arsenal is going goaless in this one again.

  33. Angus says:

    Preferred line-up is:

    Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney
    Partey Ode
    Pepe Auba Saka

    Whether all those players will be ready to start is a question.

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