Arsenal v Standard Liege match preview and predicted score

Europa League football returns to the Emirates this evening with Arsenal facing off against Belgium outfit Standard Liege

Arsenal are now on a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions and while there have been some disappointing performances in that run it is still a confidence booster for the players.

Winning becomes as much as a habit as losing does and Arsenal will be looking to continue their momentum.

Some fans were disappointed by the draw at Old Trafford but the players appear happy with the result. For three of the last four games at least there have been no huge errors by any individual player. That is an improvement as well.

There is now competition for most places and that is another added bonus, players can not expect to retain their position if they continue to make mistakes.

On the face of it, Arsenal is in very good shape for the visit of Standard Liege this evening.

Standard will not be walkovers, they are unbeaten in their last five competitive games with four wins in those games. They beat Portuguese side Vitoria 2-0 in their opening Europa League group game and will no doubt pose problems this evening.

But there is a significant gap between the top teams in Belgium and the top-six in England and if Arsenal plays to their true abilities then they will win. Of course, that depends on whether Arsenal does, in fact, play to their level.

A lot will also depend on what sort of team that Unai Emery puts out, if he goes with the silly diamond formation then expect Standard to take advantage down the flanks. If Emery focusses on his wing-backs as a form of attack and at the very least starts Kieran Tierney, then we will see a very different game.

I do expect Emery to be attack-minded in this game, no three DM’s and some decent width is what I anticipate seeing this evening and a very strong Arsenal performance.

Predicted Score

Arsenal 3-1 Standard Liege


  1. I predict the following:
    1) No matter, which team UE selects the usual suspects will criticise although they will have at least a dozen different line-ups as the “right one”
    2) If we have a good game, it will be because Freddie Ljungberg was in fact the man in charge
    3) If we have a bad game, it is Emery’s fault
    4) Xhaka will be criticised no matter if he plays or not

    Even so, I will look forward to the game, and I hope that it will in reality be one more step in the right direction

    1. I predict the following
      1)no matter what team Emery selects the usual suspects will be bigging him up to be some kind of master coach .
      2)if we have a bad game it will be because Freddie Ljungberg was infact the man in charge .
      3)if we have a bad game it will Ozils fault (ThirdmanJW will lead the banners ).
      4)Xhaka will be criticised for Ben if he as a good game ,because let’s all agree on one thing “he’s shite”.
      Even so I won’t be looking forward to the game or watching it .

    2. RB Salzburg nearly beat Liverpool at Anfield so who knows what the result will be.
      I am keen to see Bellerin Holding and Tierney get game time.
      Am also looking for players to stake a claim to challenge Xhaka and Torreira at DM.
      And to see who can be our new no 10 to replace Ozil and Mkhitarian.
      Also we need Martinelli to cover Auba as Lacazette seems to be injury prone.

      Bellerin/AMN Mustafi Holding Tierney .
      AMN/Torreira Willock Ceballos
      Nelson Ozil Martinelli.

      1. So Agu-As you rightly point out,RB Salzburg nearly won at Anfield.I didn’t watch the match but from what I understand they went there with the sole intention of attacking Liverpool and not being frightened of them.This is of course the polar opposite of our performance at Anfield where Emery sent out a team to defend and not concede.The humiliating capitulation was there for all to see.
        Soas someone who has done nothing other than spout out at every opportunity of how Emery is the saviour and how he is the answer to all our prayers,I’m interested of your thoughts on why a smaller Club with vastly inferior finances can perform where Emery could not



    saka martineli

    Smith Rowe

    Willock Torreira Guendouzi, Aisley mn

    Tierney Saliba Holding Bellerin Chambers


    substitutes, NELSON PEPE


    1. I hope he plays fullbacks and not wingbacks😜
      Anyway, I’m hoping to see Martinelli start tonight and a Freddie inspired win.

    2. Pepe should start this match, he needs to gel with the team, let’s just hope Freddie pick him because he’s the Europa league coach.

      1. My thoughts too.
        This kind of game at home can give Pepe an opportunity to do well and build up confidence.
        But, trust Mr Emery, Pepe may not even be on the bench111

  3. My problem with Arsenal now is the coach, 1. He didn’t have a philosophy as a coach. 2. He don’t have a future plan. He has good players but he s making them to suffer for nothing. I don’t know why he is not using Ozil. As far as am concern, the only player that can help the attacking line for now is Ozil. I will continue having hope on the team. I wish them good luck tonight.

  4. Why does everyone think Freddie is in charge for Europa fixtures? I read an unsubstantiated rumour that he took charge for the Carabao cup (no proof offered) but that didn’t mention Europa and with Emery’s history with the competition I find this rumour doubtful 🤷‍♂️
    I’m confident that we will not only be seeing a more balanced, attacking side tonight but that we will see more of it going forward from now on…. KT and Bellerin are vital for every system Emery likes to play. Every time he has tried with Kola and AMN we got burnt which is why I believe he has been trying to compensate with the midfield….. Only time will tell I guess.

    Not the line up I’d necessarily go for but the one I think we might see tonight:

    Bellerin Holding Mustafi KT
    Willock Torreira
    Pepe Ozil Nelson

    1. The rumour about Ljungberg is not only without proof and doubtful. It is pure fantasy dreamt up by Emery haters, that don’t want to credit him for anything that he does well. Sad, really.

        1. 1) He improved our league position after taking over a sinking ship, and at the moment it has improved further
          2) He took us to the EL final
          3) He managed to get us more points against the other top 6 teams
          4) He (and the rest of the team) have implemented a forward looking plan, that rapidly is changing our whole line-up with a mix of new players and young players

          You really didn’t have to wait,. You could have realised yourself

          1. 1)league postion 5th ,great that’s an amazing achievement.
            2)he took us to a final where as soon as we faced a top team we got embarrassed ,name one top team we faced on the way to that final ,please dont say Napoli.
            3)what does that have to do with where we finish in the league so because we got more points from stronger teams that makes it ok to fck up against the lower teams .
            4)not even sure what any of that means .

        2. Brought a bit of fight and passion back to the team, secured 5th place with square pegs in round holes, currently has us in 4th place after facing 3 of our top 6 rivals, has improved players (Bellerin, Holding, Guendouzi)…. Might not be getting it all right but not like he has done nothing for us 🤷‍♂️

      1. Anders S- I get what you are saying but do you not feel Emery is deserving of the criticism he is getting? I’m not buying into the “we are 4th in the League “ nonsense.We are not playing well and after a year in charge I just cannot see the improvement he was to bring through hi “Elite Coaching”. Our line ups are bewildering at times, we have no consistent team pattern of play, and defensively we have gone backwards under his reign, as if that was even possible.I don’t but the Ljungberg taking charge-he knows the younger players better than Emery and there is nothing wrong in the No2 directing players, something we never saw Steve Bould do.But in my mind,Emery is on borrowed time and he seems to me to accept that.With a more attack minded game plan at OT on Monday we would have easily beat Utd.But this Coach is too timid and the performances reflect this

        1. Phil…. Can’t you see how our fullbacks have massively hampered our performance? Everytime AMN or Kola go forward a simple ball over the top finds them out of position. This in turn draws either a midfielder or CB out of position to try and cover which leads to more spaces for opponents to exploit. Without his first choice fullbacks how is he meant to play his attacking system? That’s why he has been playing more defensive and relying on our pace to try and counter but that just leads to more individual player errors because of the increased pressure…. Its a lose lose situation.

          With a bit of luck this will be solved by time international break is done and then Emery is free to truly build his squad…. I don’t think its much to ask for him to be given that opportunity before we write him off 🤷‍♂️

          1. A fair point-but is the coach not able to set the team up to defend as a unit when the FB pushes up? No doubt Bellerin and Tierney will improve is defensively but they also go forward at every chance as well.Will Emery just sit back and do nothing or will he actually put some thought into this?

          2. I think that he will…. We have seen him implement pressing at times but it comes unstuck with what he’s had so far, with the defense shored up he can put players in there more natural positions instead of looking for the workhorse combination to cover the gaps. I could of course be wrong and he really is everything some people think he is I just feel he deserves the opportunity to prove it either way without so much hate.
            Really its only been 7 games since he got the players he felt he needed and not all of them have even been able to play yet and he still hasn’t seen us completely collapse like some of our rivals surely that earns him a bit more patience from some on here?

        2. Phil – I think criticism of Emery can be right and fair. Personally, I am also concerned about our lack of improvement defensively, as I really don’t see us becoming challengers for the title, unless we improve dramatically defensively. In fact, I don’t think we will challenge for the title before we have the whole team defending with pressing Emery seemed to try that in the beginning and for some reason he stopped. Although, we actually saw it again against Man U.
          But I also think he should be given time, because he did take over a team that had been on a constant slide for several years. He has managed to not only stop the slide, but to take us forward.
          I would say our transition from changing an all-dominant manager, who had to go sooner or later, has been fairly succesful and could have gone much worse. So calling for a new manager now, is really ot clever, IMO.
          I see absolutely nothing wrong with assistant coaches getting involved. I like it. But the people claiming Ljungberg is suddenly the man responsible for better line-ups and better play are simply full of ….

          1. Good points Anders-but just how much time do we give him?Lets see what Bellerin Tierney And Holding can add to us defensively.Freddie? Love his enthusiasm but let’s not get carried away with him taking over if Emery does go.Look at OGS at Utd.That was a heartfelt appointment which is proving a mistake.I see Freddie for the future.Let him stay as a No2 and learn his trade first.Ive a good feeling about him in time.
            Good comments from you and MadHatter.Good to see you supporting the Manager.Im just very frustrated with him unfortunately

          2. Phil – I like your comments. Because it is not a black and white situation. Like I said, criticism can be fair and right. I.e., I think the Watford game was a horror show, and criticism should also fall on Emery for that. But he should also get credit for us going to Frankfurt and getting a 3-0 win. He should also get credit for fielding a completely new team against Forrest and getting a comprehensive win. Instead som are trying to give the credit to someone else.
            The Man U game is a prime example, that you can look at in different ways.
            Would we have won with a more “adventurous” line-up and more attacking tactics? Maybe, but we could also have lost and the truth is, nobody knows. It is all theory. Yes, you can say it was timid selection and tactics, but the other side of that coin, is that the manager had enough guts to start a teenager up against Ashley Young. He also had enough guts to throw in youngsters like Willock and Nelson, when the game was on the line. It is not all one-sided.

  5. Logical conclusion : if there are Emery haters, there must be Emery lovers.
    Why else would people support a manager who is just not good at what he is supposed to do? Naive excuses like he has improved the team, better than previous regime etc without taking into account 200million was spent to get us closer to ManC not ManU.

    1. 200 mill spent…. 72 million on Pepe who is still finding his feet and could be performing better, 25 million on KT who is just getting fit, 35 million on Saliba who won’t be here till next year, 8 million on Luiz who could be better if he wasn’t under so much pressure, same for Martinelli who is magic but has competition from Saka…. That’s 148 million right there…. Don’t trot it out like a figure proves anything.
      Not an Emery lover by the way…. I’m on the fence, but won’t write him off until he’s had a fair crack

      1. Nothing was spent last year? Add that and you’ll reach the 200million.
        And all this is my fault now? Or Wenger’s? Ozil’s? Just kidding.

        Did you see Salzburg play at Anfield yesterday? After that maybe we both should watch our performance in Anfield this season. We were a total shambles, where we couldn’t defend when the coach selects the team that are meant to defend. Contrast that with Salzburg being 0-3 down and how they equalised and fought till the end.
        I’m at a loss to understand why millions are spent on attacking players and then the coach decides to 1. Not have anyone to provide them service. 2. Sets the team up to defend, with three DM’s. 3. Two hotheads Luiz & Sokratis paired together time & again.
        How is one supposed to tolerate this after 45 games?

        1. You remember what happened when we tried to attack Liverpool with the fullbacks we had available last season right? Were their replacements available this time when we faced them? Nope only just returning now. So he tried something different and it nearly worked if we had been a bit more clinical.
          Same goes for Luiz and Sokratis pairing….. Them or Mustafi….. Holding and Mavro are only just returning to fitness and Chambers is only just making Emery take notice of him with the chances he’s been given.
          3 DMs…. Or probably our most stable midfielder, not a fan but one thing Xhaka has is he doesn’t flap around like some youngsters do at times (they’ll grow out of it), and two mobile midfielders to cover the gaps that keep happening, hoping between them they can pick out a pass to set the forwards going?
          Not much has changed in his selection options in those 45 games except losing the ones he was relying on….. Until now, if he still does the same when he can finally play how he wants with everything he has I will agree with you.
          Until then I back the manager 🤷‍♂️

          1. I will not stop you from backing Emery as much As I wouldn’t stop calling him out for his glaring gaffes. Please remember Wenger also had several injuries to deal with, as are other managers like Ole.
            Ole is not a great manager, but he put out a team that robbed two points from us, just because our man chose not to attack. He team was set up so bad that there was no service to even Auba. Pepe came out looking so bad and Saka was a saving grace due to his skills. Just citing the ManU match isn’t enough without revisiting the other two draws, against Spurs at home. We all know Spurs is struggling this season so why didn’t we attack them at home?
            Of the right back were so bad, why didn’t he try what Conte did successfully 3yrs ago at Chelsea, where he went for a back three? You mean to say Chambers playing in between Sokratis & Luiz can’t defend? AMN and Kolasinac are decent going forward, so that objective could have been achieved too. I won’t go into the other aspects of his management and some leaked murmurs from the dressing room, but Emery must thank Auba for saving his job so far.

  6. @Viju…. I’m not going to defend every decision he makes because I don’t agree with all of them myself, but I can see his choices have been limited until now.
    If we play to our strengths and attack a simple ball over the top finds AMN and Kola out of position 9/10 times, this drags a midfielder or CB out of position, leading to more gaps to be exploited. Agreed its on Emery to structure the team to compensate, and he’s tried to find the right combination to do so hence his ‘tinkerman’ moniker but when it happens every time mistakes will happen eventually…. Keep it up and we get hammered 🤷‍♂️
    He sits deep to temporarily compensate with a team that isn’t built to sit deep and silly individual errors start to creep in and it’s ugly, worrying stuff like we’ve been seeing.
    We have a team to do great things and Emery had a hand in putting it together, surely he should have chance to have it all fit and healthy before we write him off?

  7. Arsenal fans of all people should know by now that a team moving forward is seen from how they play…even if results don’t come instantly.

    1. Leicester by merely looking at how they approach games and by their style of play are progressing. Same with Sheffield Utd and Norwich the newly promoted teams.

    2. Lampard’s Chelsea even after selling many star players are playing some good football.

    Remember Leicester and Chelsea have new managers who have already instilled a style of play in their teams after < 3 months. Ours is being given 2 years…
    Even Klopp's and Guardiola's teams had a particular style of play building up to when it started yielding results.

    With the way we're playing now…one thing is for sure… We're not going to improve our position we achieved.

    Finally, people are forgetting that if under Wenger things were bad, they are just gonna get worse. You can simply judge from player recruitments (Torreira, Guendouzi etc), player departures (Cazorla, Mkitaryan), tactics, self-belief that this guy prefers "mechanics" to technically gifted players.

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