Arsenal’s Premier League team will be very different to Europa League Team

I already see in the comments on this site that some fans are suggesting that Bukayo Saka, Emiliano Martínez, Joe Willock etc should be started in the Premier League game on Sunday for Arsenal but there will be huge changes for the match against Aston Villa, that I am certain of.

Bernd Leno will return in goal, I just cannot see Unai Emery making any other decision on that, also, David Luiz will keep his place in defence and Sokratis will be brought back in as well, Emery rested him specifically for the Villa game and if he did not risk Holding last night why would he risk him with a start on Sunday?

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac will also start as the wing-backs, again, I just cannot see the manager changing that.

Upfront you have to think he will start Mesut Ozil alongside Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, I mean, he did rest him, didn’t he?

In the middle of the park, you just know he will stick with Granit Xhaka and bring back in Matteo Guendouzi, so that leaves one midfield spot and the chances are that will be Dani Ceballos.

So, where is there a place for Martinez, Willock and Saka? I am afraid to say that the bench is the most likely place for the trio.

Emery showed last season that he treats the Europa League and Premier League as two separate entities and he will do so this season, he is a horses for courses type of manager.

That also means we are unlikely to see Torreiraa, Mustafi or Chambers given starting spots.

So, while last night did see some great and much-improved performances from some players, I doubt it is enough for their current status as fringe players to change.


  1. I wondered why he took Holding but didn’t even put him on the bench and think he may start. If Leno plays I’m hoping he watched Martinez’s command of the box and clearing his lines whilst not faffing around playing out. Xhaka will definitely start and I’m hoping his good performance last night is the start of a different attitude. Chambers could possibly keep his full back spot as he didn’t have a bad game. If Saka doesn’t start he will definitely come on a some time.

    1. It’s five seasons too late for Martinez. He should’ve had his chance in the 14/15 season above Ospina after Ospina showed he was no better than Szczesny. That was the chance for him which I believe had he been given he would have been starting today. I’ve always rated him but looking at the current situation he’s going to play second fiddle for a long time. A real shame

      1. You’ve said this previously Kev but it’s certainly not too late for him. In fact Leno needs to learn from him! Just one bad display from Leno and Martinez will get his chance. Otherwise we will get good money for him and another team will gain an excellent keeper.

        1. I don’t ever see us dropping Leno for Martinez for an extended period. It’s a shame because he has done well in all his loan spells and the club rated him highly thus never selling him. If I could wish someone got his chance it would be him

        1. That is why you give players a chance and not write them off.
          I always appreciate coaches who are willing to take a risk with young players based on their talent because I know it’s not easy. Looking back I didn’t want Cech in the first place prior to 15/16 and I believe Martinez should have gotten the nod over Ospina who should have been sold long before his time

  2. I think you could be spot on. There are still two other competitions the FA & Carabao cups. Some of these fringe players will start in those. It can be a difficult job to satisfy everyone player all the time because in a match, there are only 11 starting spots plus 3 spots for subs.

  3. well generally the Europa game was well played by the young lads, saka in particular gave his best, pepe still not to my expectations, Smith looked more confident, same to willock. Now I have currently observed that the arsenal problem isn’t in the defence as it is claimed over and over. The lack of man marking and pressing from the front allows the opponent to access our defence more often than frequently. I think the players should seize being lazy and put in some more wok on the pressing, this can reliever the defence from constant attacks hence exposing it.

  4. Yea definitely, it’ll go on like this, even though we all know the Europa league squad will be different from the EPL squad, I’m sure we won’t see a stable squad or formation in the Europa league just as we don’t even know our first steamers in the EPL.
    I didn’t see the game, I won’t see any Europa league game, the shít bores me. Though I just followed up by reading different articles and reviews after it, and one thing was obvious, we struggled again to hold the midfield line not to mention the defense. The number of chances Arsenal gave away is alarming.
    Though special shout out to Saka, one who I’ve always believed in and echoed my support for.
    Regarded as the most talented n most rated among the youngsters by the staffs of the club now due to his age, something David Ornstein revealed himself, and though I get people still think Nelson is the answer to our LW position, such people really don’t know and won’t admit the fact that Nelson needs to be shipped off on loan to an EPL club.
    So immature, and unreliable for someone who has more exposure, the boy clearly ain’t replacing Iwobi as some of you thought.
    That replacement should be between Martinelli and Saka.
    I’ll ship Nelson off to the Championship if I could myself to, I’ve always been vocal about his gameplay even before his loan ended. The boy has too much hype surrounding him, he’s a talented kid no doubt, but he needs to find his feet, needs to grow up and realize he can be better because the world is there for the taking.
    I don’t buy into this crap excuse that he’s better as an AM, even Iwobi himself admitted he prefers playing the AM role but yet he was the only reliable player we had for the left wing. Why shouldn’t Nelson play better there, knowing he’s a winger.
    I’ve watched his games for our academy, watched Saka’s for our academy.
    Nelson should keep on sleeping, Saka isn’t a scared footballer on the pitch and Saka is more decisive than Nelson is with the ball.
    This isn’t because of what he did last night, everyone knows I’ve always said these stuffs about him.
    Anyways that’s bygone, Expect Xhaka-Sokratis-Luiz to start on Sunday and we can resume the weekend giveaway we normally carry out

    1. Nelson as never the answer to our LW problems and I believe the Arsenal management knew of this based on his showing at Hoffenheim which is a club we shouldn’t have sent him to imo.
      I would have preferred Nelson in the EPL or the lower leagues and to a team that want a to actually play football.
      Lots of people are using Saka’s performances to write off Nelson instead of hoping he rather improves.

  5. Arsenal we come very good and I will be expecting a very long victory run (like 21 games) some time this season.I still strongly beleive that the playing time for Luiz and sokrais as central backs we still be limited when Holding is fully feet ,The return of fully fit Bellrin and Thierny will also limit the playing time for Kolasinaic and Niles.
    Both can play as wingers remember.But why I so much beleive in 100% Arsenal squad is the pace from the front 3 and the full backs both for recovery and counter.Emery if smart enough already has 3 strong squads for PM league,Europa and leag cups with stretching any player and without getting rusty if well managed.

      1. I thought they might have shown it on the website, but no. I don’t know if hesgoal might show it.. will check later. I’m dying to see Tierney!! And Hector, of course!

  6. I think in midfield we should indeed bring Ceballos back in but we should bring him in for Xhaka and play him with Lucas Torriera. Bench Xhaka.

  7. OT: Barcelona are trying to sell,Ivan rakizic, Samuel umtiti and Arturo Vidal in January!if true we should try to do business with them especially umtiti and rakizic¡

  8. So his set up for Arsenal’s goal against Watford was ineffective ?
    We shall see how inefficient Emery thinks he is if he does or does not start him against villa .
    God forbid we have 8 defensive players on the pitch Sunday .

  9. Not sure how you came to that reasoning Jon.Ozil played 71 minutes against Watford and was far from being our most ineffective player.Who up front actually excelled in the second half st Vicarage Road? Nobody that’s who? And that was purely down to us getting overrun in midfield.
    So to say he has been as ineffective as usual after just 71 minutes seems to just be a case of you jumping on a player you don’t want in the side.Again.No mention of all the other players who were totally ineffective in that game I notice

    1. Well Jon- with the firepower we have up front ( especially when not if Pepe starts finding his feet ) there is no excuses for Ozil not to produce this season.Im still not having the desire issue but let’s see how things work out.

  10. So you didn’t watch the Watford game then, Jon! For his first match of the season he settled well in his partnership with Ceballos, until Emery decides to take Ceballos off! If the team is told not to play through the creative player, Ozil can’t do much without the ball. Frankly this Ozil bashing is getting tedious, in addition to slagging of some players while propping up others.

  11. For Villa


    Bench: Martinez, Holding, Sokratis, Guendouzi, Ozil, Nelson, Martinelli

  12. I see ozil and ceballos starting on Sunday. Our defense per say is not the main problem it’s the lack of closing down from the attackers when the ball is lost that mounts much pressure.. Hold up play from the strikers too isn’t that great. The midfield too isn’t as compact as one would like both going forward and defending. Emery sets up to counter attack and not hold possession. We are too conservative too as a team. Immediately the ball is lost we drop as many players into the box as possible. We rarely catch strikers offside anymore. The whole team is set up with conservative priorities instead of aggressive ones. You see players ducking out of 50/50 challenges. We really need to change this

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