Arsenal team all-but named? Only one player yet to be given the nod

Arsene Wenger revealed plenty of information on his upcoming line-up to face Tottenham Hotspur, and it pretty much leaves just one spot up for grabs.

The Gunners will make the short trip across North London to Wembley on Saturday to take on their noisy neighbours, and will be full of confidence after their 5-1 demolition of Everton only last week with their new-look attack out in full force.

That win has definitely left Wenger with little option but to try and name an unchanged side, but there  will have been one forced change, one player is pushing for inclusion following his return from illness.

Petr Cech had to be taken off against the Blues last weekend, and despite midweek reports insisting he would be ready to take part, Wenger insists that he will not take the risk when he has a fully-trusted option in David Ospina at 100% fitness.

Nacho Monreal was another doubt this week after getting a kick during the previous outing, but he is expected to be fully ready to feature, as the manager stated, while Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere will also be in contention to play having returned from injury and illness respectively.

“We should have a similar squad to Everton,” Wenger said. “Maybe Welbeck will be back.

“We are not sure with Cech, he has not practised. I don’t know if he should be available.

“Nacho Monreal should be alright.

“I will not take any risk (on Cech) if he is not 100 per cent for because I have full confidence in David Ospina.”

The French boss went onto talk about his new additions in Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who will also be expected to start for the second consecutive outing.

Wenger said: “It gives a new hope when fresh players come in.

“But the most important is the team performance. You want a positive history.

“At the start to gives you a swing but after it needs to be backed by performances of the team.”

Alexandre Lacazette will not be too happy with being overlooked to play a single minute against Everton last week with new signing PEA overhauling him from his starting role, but Wenger is not worried about his striker.

He added: “You do not have to understand too much. What you want is for everyone to be focused to win the game.

“In this game (Everton) he didn’t come on because we had a problem with the goalkeeper.”

All this information leaves us with little confusion over 10 of our 11 starting positions, and you can fully expect Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey to be selected as the 11th, and I’m leaning towards the Welshman on last week’s performance.

Expected XI:

Bellerin  Mustafi  Koscielny  Monreal
Xhaka  Ramsey/Wilshere
Iwobi  Ozil  Mkhitaryan

Has the team already been decided? Am I wrong to believe that Iwobi is certain to keep his role after the win last week? Would you pick Jack or Rambo for the crunch tie?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Aubameyang Monreal Ramsey Spurs Wilshere


  1. I dont know why Iwobi is receiving much hate from this site, The poor lad has been doing his best and improving even with an assist last week…The lad basically made Moses useless against chelsea and still gets much hate? Iwobi is a young lad and can still improve but not with this hate.

    1. Firstly, it is NOT hate but criticism. They are entirely different things and the silly use of “hate” when meaning someone does not rate or like somone is just daft. This is the sort of misuse of language that results in overhype. EG calling a new player world class when he has had just a handful of decent games, as happened, stupidly with fans saying Bellerin was WC. Wrong, totally unhelpful and sad. In my view, even Koscielny when at his best, a while ago now, was short of WC, though clearly our best defender by a distance. Not surprising, given the lack of serious competition for that title. Iwobi has too many deficiencies in his game to be rated as anything more than a still young player who can at times show promise. No more than that. If players have the necessary character to make it to the top and stay there, comments from fans -who are, in a free country, free to speak their mind, esp since our club charges so much to attend and for goods – will not prevent him making the grade. I believe Iwobi is still mentally very immature and needs to grow both physically to strengthen his body and in mind before he has a hope of making it as a top player. He also needs more self belief which comes only from WITHIN. Will he do so? Personally, I very much doubt it as I see very little determination and fight in his play. In fact he seems to suffer from Walcottitis!

      1. Like Ferguson said about Inzagi, “he was born in an offside position”, I would say “you were born in an whining position”.

        1. Another one who uses language incorrectly. Whining is what some animals do. I use words to fully explain my exact thoughts. I presume by “whining” you meant criticising, which is exactly what you have just done. SEE THE IRONY?

          1. WHINE – “complain in a feeble or petulant way.”

            Agree with the rest. I would love for Iwobi, Holding, or Chambers to succeed, but I would rather see them making that progress on loan, so they don’t ruin our season while they’re still unreliable.

            Welbeck and Xhaka, though – hopeless now.

      2. Yes we don’t hate, we criticize – Wenger, bould, ospina, chek, bellerin, monreal, kos, per, chambers, xhaka, wilshere, ramsey, holding, ozil, webeck, laca, auba, mickey, iwobi, elneny, the board, kroenke, and the groundsman, the tea lady and the list goes on for the so called Arsene out fans. Be a gunner and respect Arsene

  2. Lacazette should play in place of Iwobi, either as a left winger or as a second striker alongside Aubameyang. I believe he can offer us more depth than Iwobi.

    1. My thought mate. Iwobi should just take a rest and we get to see Auba, Laca, Mikhi and Ozil in the same team.. Wenger smokes something to have this kind of favoritism to some few average lads

    1. Iwobi should not play ANYWHERE at all. Nor should the MERTESACKER playalike, Xhaka. Cumbersome, slow, immobile, slow to sniff danger. To be fair Merts was quick enough to see danger but just couldn’t move like a normal player, even a slower than usual one. I would like to see a race between Merts, Xhaka, and Nelsons Column. I’d back old one eye!

      1. Iwobi can play anywhere, how many times do other big teams members go back to defend! Our defence is terrible and I think Wenger uses him to help both defence and attack!!!!

          1. Sue exactly my words – Sometimes im chocked how Iwobi after the team has lost the ball by him or Ramsey, can stand still looking at the game like a spectator.

        1. Why play Iwobi to assist our defending?What is this boy actually good at?Defending- he tracks back to be fair to him and does what is asked of him.Creativity-I’ve not seen anything from him .Be honest in who you would rather see in midfield other than Iwobi and you would never have him in the side.Out wide -No real pace to speak of and any decent full back would have him in their pocket.Attacking midfielder-not a chance especially now we have signed Mikki.Up Front -never in a million years.
          I believe he gives us work rate and a certain amount of balance when played out wide.Is he good enough?No and never will be at the top level.If Wenger had that much confidence in Iwobi he would not have bought Mikki.

  3. Ramsey is going to start. You just don’t bench a player who scored a hat trick unless the player is Lukaz Podolski or Lucas Perez!

    I think Lacazette will start..

    Lacazette Aubameyang Mkhitaryan
    Ozil Ramsey Xhaka
    Monreal Koscielny Mustafi Bellerin

    1. I want to see
      Bellerin mustafi koscielny Monreal
      Wilshire ramsey
      Mkhitaryan ozil lacazette

      Ospina chambers kolasinac Niles xhaka iwobi welbeck

      But I think wenger will select xhaka and iwobi in place of wilshire and lacazette. He might also choose elneny or Mertesacker over chambers on the bench

      1. This team has no balance, its just our most inform players on the pitch. It’s the sort of thing you do on fifa.

    2. So you are basically saying “don’t bear LUCAS (LUKAZ) if you want to play for Arsenal, no matter how it’s spelt?

  4. The starting 11 for the Everton game combined well. Almost perfect. Keep this 11. unless Cech not match fit.

  5. Predicted XI:

    …..Koscielny . Mustafi . Monreal
    Bellerin . Ramsey . Xhaka . Kolasinac
    ………….Ozil … Mkhitaryan

  6. Iwobi?
    Why Iwobi when we have Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Aubameyang and Lacazette. No injuries at the moment

    No hate towards him. He is a useful player but not a starter especially against a top team like Spurs.

    I honestly would not start Xhaka either. Again no hate, but he has not been deserving of starting matches

  7. Hell, lets play 3 at the back Xhaka, Eleny as CB, Adelaide at LWB, Nelson at RWB and Iwobi LOL ???. Bench Lacazette too

    Note Wenger has actually implemented these tactics during the season (but not all at the same time)

  8. I like Iwobi, but I think he is inconsistent. But then I think Wenger uses him to do his bids. He plays right, left, and sometimes come to help at defence which some of this big players do not want to do. Even he sometimes play in the middle. He is the one doing the dirty job for Wenger. I think we should not be too critical of him. But I will like to see Lacazette instead of him!

  9. Lets not get hasty here. Im $hitting myself cause its a must win for us. Tottenham are a good side and im sure we’re capable of an upset. However, we are crap away from home. Whatever team wenger picks will have to give 100%.

  10. Back 4 picks itself as stated, then Wiltshire and Ramsey in front of them, yes Iwobi, Ozil and Mikki, then Auba up front. I have been a big critic of Iwobi but since Alexis has gone seems to have come into his own a bit and has defended well too. Unfortunately knowing Wenger, he is likely to leave out one of Auba or Mikki, and play Laca or Xhaka!
    Wenger out! and whiners and whingers ?

  11. Not having a football brain makes the diff between becoming great and average, Iwobi, Ramsey, Walcott, Chamberlain, Xhaka, Coqueling, Welbeck are all very slow in the mind, besides them being talented players

    To be honest i rate spurs midelfield a lot, and Mousa Dembélé is someone i would like to have at Arsenal, belgium has sure some nice talents


    Ramsey needs to play as as the Libero and run like the headless chicken he is, attacking and defending as much as he can, we need make sure that we score first, so they open up only to be cought by the batmobile on a nice counter in return maybe, hehe

  12. Let’s leave the manager alone to do his job. He is in the best position to know players’ strengths and weaknesses, when and when not to play them. Let’s stop moaning and just support the team. That’s just what they need to thrive.

  13. Lacazette for Iwobi; Kolasinac for Xhaka. 100% discipline and commitment as this is a “must win” game for the Arsenal!

  14. Ohhhh og12 and walcot Yas gone ,the new target is iwobi? Out young accademy graduate who yas the potential to be the face of this great club in no distant time,jezzz, do we have a more than members of just arsenal? How more terrible.csn one be? Do they even watch football or they just come here and mention names randomly? Iwobi who had an awesome match against Chelsea,he even made Moses (one of d best wing backs in d league) looks stupid,iwobi who had an amazing match against Crystal palace,,iwobi who was one of our best players against everton with that wonderful assists should be dropped for a player who has bn abysmal for the last 2 months just to massage ur ego? seriously we have a bunch of pathetic moaners in this group, what a Terrible fan Base, what will u benefit from destroying the young guys confidence? Iwobi is the best dribbler in our team, he takes players on,he opens of spaces, dude can play in very tight spaces, he brings balance to our team,he’s physically strong,on numerous occasions he has used his massive frame to shade players and initiates attacks,the reason we brought aubu is solely bcos laca has bn disappointing, y should we play laca out of position just bcos he costs allot of money? It’s very painful we have some dudes as fans

  15. Please compare the game statistics for minutes played ie goals and assists for the two players. Lacazette has not been disappointing and is a proven goalscorer in his first season of EPL. Aubameyang was bought because the planets aligned re availabilty in the january window and the price was right for the player.

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