Arsenal’s defensive injuries continue – Who will play in Lisbon?

Arsenal cruised to a facile 3-1 win over Leicester last night but yet again we were forced to start with Lichtsteiner in left-back for the second time this season. It looks like Monreal and Kolasinac are both out injured at the same time again, and obviously Maitland-Niles is not fit enough to do his understudy duties yet. In fact with Sokratis still in the treatment room we had young Zech Medley on the bench as our only recognised defender.

Emery explained after the game: Yesterday was a very bad day for injuries,”

“We had two in the same position. Monreal and Kolasinac came to training with a small problem, but we did group work today with both.

“This morning the news was that they weren’t OK to play. Xhaka played 30 minutes at left back, but for us, for our balance, it’s better for Nacho or Sead to be OK to play in that position. We are going to look at how they are for the next matches, but I hope they are nearly ready to play, maybe not for Thursday, but I hope near.

“Sokratis was training yesterday and maybe he can be back on Thursday. Now with a lot of matches in a few days, it’s very important for our situation that our preparation is good and it’s very important to give our players time to rest.”

It will be very interesting to see which defenders has to choose from in Lisbon on Thursday. Hopefully we will have Sokratis back, but if not, can Holding and Mustafi play in all three games in the space of just six days? Or will Emery start playing some youngsters like Medley and Osei-Tutu?



  1. gotanidea says:

    I think it would be fine for the GK and the CBs, but maybe they need to replace the other players. Sokratis can come back in the next EPL game

    I predict it’s gonna be 4-2-3-1 again

  2. ackshay says:

    Our defence has been swinging from good to bad this season depending on the match or even in the match. Thank god our attack is deadly, according to my count we have a better goal per shot ratio at 19% plus a goal per shot on target at 45% which is better than any of the big 6.

    our goal conversion rate is 19% whereas the big 6 is at 12-13% which shows how much clinical we have been this season.

    1. ackshay says:

      slight mistake; goal per shot on target is 42%, shot on target per shot is 45% so basically we hit nearly half our shots on target and nearly half of them are goals.

    2. gotanidea says:

      Arsenal are fortunate to have two lethal strikers. But they still need crosses from wingers, because the perfect through balls do not always come from the no 10s

      Emery seems to instruct the fullbacks to prioritize attacking from the wings instead of defending, hence he might think we do not need good wingers anymore

      Bellerin is the king of assists so far and Maitland-Niles can always replace him, but Monreal is aging and Kolasinac is not as consistent as Bellerin yet. Perhaps Arsenal need to chase a versatile left fullback that can play as a winger as well, in the mold of Gareth Bale, Patrice Evra or Jordi Alba

      1. Innit says:

        Kolsanic is a much better defender than Bellerin
        Also Kolsanic has hardly played this season

        But I agree with you in terms of Bellerin attacking. He is really good

  3. Atid says:

    Tolaji Bola, was pulled out of the u23s last night suggesting he will be going on Thursday.

  4. Bur says:

    I though Xhaka was better in left back than in midfield. Bellerin was poor in the first 30 last night but he made good after the og and excelled in the 2nd half.

  5. Grandad says:

    Emery might well use Lich and Xhaka in the full back positions against Sporting on Thursday.Xhaka did well when he moved to left back against Leicester and the fact that he does not have the legs to bomb forward helped to solidify the left side of defence where teams have had success against us this season.I thought Torreria and young Guendouzi controlled central midfield where we had struggled in the first half.A very impressive second half performance all round .It seems to me any issues concerning the goalkeeping position have been put to rest as Leno is clearly a very able stopper.

    1. Abel says:

      Leno’s reflexes are superb! Made a couple of sliced clearances but no major heart in mouth moments ala Cech.
      He has benefited from being eased in slowly, away from the pressure of the press.
      Kolasinac is actually almost as poor as Bellerin in defence. He is a better wingback than Bellerin though as his whipped crosses are a tad more accurate and he does possess a powerful left foot.
      Bellerin has benefited this season from the apparent lack of width on the right side of our attack, hence he always has space to run into and has been instructed to play pull-backs as they are more accurate than his attempted high crosses.

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