Can you pick Arsenal’s back line against Cardiff? – I cartainly can’t…

Arsenal face the third-bottom side Cardiff this evening desperately needing a win to add some pressure to Chelsea and Tottenham above us in the League table, and just for a change we have hardly any defenders to choose from! I know we are only playing Cardiff, but after losing Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin for the rest of the season, we are a little bit short of defenders.

And now Emery has told us some more bad news before tonights game. [Koscielny and Sokratis] are not OK for tomorrow,” the boss said on “But it is good news for example for Laurent Koscielny because he didn’t break his jaw.

“Sokratis doesn’t have a big injury but he isn’t OK [to face Cardiff], I don’t know how long but I think maybe two or three weeks.

“Mavropanos has been working with us for the past month and has playing with the under-23s. He is in the squad with the possibility to play.”

So who will play in defence tonight? Mavropanos, who has not kicked all ball all season and has only played for us a handful of times, and/or Shkrodan Mustafi, who we all know is inconsistent. What about Monreal who has only started 9 games this season, although the boss seems to prefer Kolasinac although he isn’t really a defender at all. Lichtsteiner, who has started even less with 5 games and must now be our only right back unless Emery prefers to play Maitland-Niles out of position.

Ermm… or maybe Jenkinson? He hasn’t started any League games either…. Maybe bring Xhaka back into defence, as that always works doesn’t it!

Okay I give up. Can anyone give a sensible back line line up that will work for tonight? Because I can’t!

Darren N


  1. Lupe says:


    This backline should be able to handle cardiff at home.

    1. RSH says:

      Agree, but not about being able to handle Cardiff. Not a single one of those players are competent at defending. No matter how bad the opposition, we manage to concede goals. And this was with our starters.

      1. Declan says:

        I agree @Lupe except would have Monreal at left back.

    2. gotanidea says:

      Yes, I think Emery would most likely field those defenders along with Ozil

    3. RSH says:

      Honestly, I wouldn’t be opposed to throwing Monreal in at CB and take Mavro out. Or Mustafi. He’s hardly much better.

  2. Spandle says:

    Iwobi Ozil
    Kolasinac Guendouzi Torreira Maitland-Niles
    Monreal Mustafi Lichtsteiner

    1. gotanidea says:

      3-4-2-1 would be too defensive against a weaker and poorer team at home and Ozil sucks as a winger

      I’d prefer a two-forward formation, since Arsenal usually play well when using it in this season

  3. kev says:

    Just to repeat for the last time Dennis Suarez to Arsenal is a done deal.
    He will join with an option to buy at €25m.

    Arsenal are now trying to bring one of Nkunku or Perisic to the club to play on the wings.

    1. Declan says:

      We know @kev as we also have the internet and also read the site “news now Arsenal” too.

    2. Th14 says:

      Finally some good news

  4. Kenya001 says:

    Hello gonners been injured just like the arsenal defenders after kicking a chair after zcech master class ??? that guy is simply finished …..

  5. dreben23 says:

    I think our fans sometimes are stupid as we speak about football! Have you ever seen Lichtsteiner playing as a CB at Juve or the national team of Switzerland! It’s quite easy to guess our bacline for
    Tonight game and that will be Lichtsteiner and Mustafi I think! ?
    Maitland Mustafi Liechtsteineri Kolasinac
    Xhaka Torreira

    Lakazette Ramsey Aubameyang

    What’s the problem with Arsenal? ?

    Pretty decent eleven I think! ?

    1. Sue says:

      Sorry but have you seen Lichtsteiner play for us??

      1. Break-on-through says:

        If you’re right Dreben23, I must say …I like your confidence. Though, if Kos isn’t playing, I also feel there could be a chance that we see Xhaka there, he’s left footed. Emery used him and he used Litch in there before. I liked neither of them.

        I would prefer Mavro to be eased in, it’s too soon & he is too important for us right now. Kos cannot play weekly, not Europe then weekend game, so Mavro is hugely important to our second half season.

        1. Midkemma says:

          Thinking back on Mavrops games for us, I feel he done better at the left side of CB, he did play on the right in one of the games and didn’t look as good.

          I wonder what Sokratis and Mavrop could be like together, both beasts and communication shouldn’t be an issue… Although pace does concern me.

  6. Colin says:

    I’d play a back 3 (5) in this match.

    jenks/AMN — Mustafi — mavro— Monreal —-sead

    This formation would mean we have “natural” defenders in their respective positions (except AMN but the kid looks good when he goes forward especially like sead) while ensuring that we have some degree of stability at the back (Monreal and mavro are fairly reserved defenders who understand to sit back and watch the play).

  7. dreben23 says:

    We will certainly allow a single goal from the opposite team but we can even draw or win the game by clean sheetl! I think it’s gonna be a draw, sorry guys – 1-1 ? We are not going to win because our players are out of form.

  8. Ken says:

    Monreal elneny mitlant
    Iwobi abumeyang lacazette
    And we win 3,1

    1. Midkemma says:

      I assume you mean Maitland-Niles?
      I read it as Mislintat at first and thought “WTF is our head of recruitment doing in the lineup?”

      1. John Wick says:

        Things have got that bad Mislintat is in the team now ? ?

  9. Sue says:

    I’d expect Mustafi to play – who’ll partner him, I have no idea!! As long as Lichtsteiner isn’t playing I’ll be happy… I see we have the delights of Mike Dean tonight

    1. John Wick says:

      Enjoy the game Sue and don’t throw any water bottles at Dean it must be hard enough being Gollum’s stunt double ?

      1. Sue says:

        Hahaha!! Brilliant!! Thank you John ?

  10. ks-gunner says:

    I would choose charmander bec he the best. Jk there are no many options to choose from and we would go probably with what we currently have which means maybe Xhaka being played again as a defender and some other guy replacing him up front.

  11. Gunner23 says:


    1. Gunner23 says:

      simple 4-2-2-2

  12. Grandad says:

    I cannot believe anyone would even consider Lichstener despite our injuries.While I consider him to be mediocre we have little alternative but to start with Mustafi.Alongside him I would play Mav ,AMN and Monreal who has at least a measure of positional sense which Kolasinac lacks I’m afraid.

  13. ThirdManJW says:

    Please just no Cech, Xhaka, Lichsteiner, and Ozil!

    1. John Wick says:

      Not a fan of Lichtsteiner Thirdman ? ? ?

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        I was, big time…but I’ve changed my mind of late haha!


  14. ger burke says:

    does anybodt have igor stepanovs number. he was a beast in defence!!.i would play igor alongside djouru , with terry mancini and squillachi outside them. a bit of a makeshift defence i know, but, those chaps will fight for their lives against the powerful cardiff city.

  15. John Wick says:

    Obviously it’s gonna be a makeshift defence and no doubt we’ll give away chances, should have enough going forward to outscore Cardiff! Let’s get the 3 points however they come and hopefully secure 2 signings before the window shuts! Then have an actual defensive game plan to stop City running riot on Sunday! Kroenke out! Friar out! Del boy of Peckham out, I mean Lord Harris of Peckham out!!!!!!

  16. John0711 says:

    LOOks like we getting Sanchez and one or the other from nuka or Perisic
    Would prefer the young lad
    And it’ will give us options
    But what about the defence wenger would get slaughtered for doing that

    1. John Wick says:

      Don’t think there’s much out there on loan apart from Gary Cahill John and it seems people would rather Steve Bould play than get him

      1. Midkemma says:

        Isn’t class permanent? Bould > Cahill at defending and chewing gum!

  17. Duncan says:

    Seeing Dennis Suarez looks like his on his way, I doubt that Arsenal will risk playing Ramsey today.
    Especially If reports are true that Juventus is offering 10m to sign him now.

  18. Midkemma says:

    Me personally, I’d go with a 4312 formation, use the CM to offer the CBs the extra protection and pack the CM with players who can win the ball back.


    If Ozil doesn’t perform then sub him at half time for Iwobi, get him to press through the middle like Ramsey did when Auba and Laca was both playing CF (rare occasions), don’t allow Cardiff to maintain the ball. The reason for Kola and AMN in the middle is because they both can push up and create a false line behind the 2 CF, so like:


    Some people have an issue with Ozil, for them, imagine that team but with Iwobi there instead… Or Ramsey…

  19. mayert says:

    whatever squad without mavropanos is a weak squad

  20. Trudeau says:

    As long as it isn’t three at the back I’m happy. Don’t know why but I really hate three at the back with this Arsenal team.

  21. jon fox says:

    Any top club that was serious about making at least top four would LONG AGO – AS IN SEVERAL YEARS, have got not one but 6 decent defenders in, whatever the cost. It is our tragedy to be owned by an appalling man who cares nothing for us. The previous CEO was a self promoting careerist snake of the worst kind and his mishandling of buys and contracts set us back VAST amounts of millions. Gazidis was a horror show and the day this conman left was our best day for years.

    I have already written off this sesson , with Kroenke, Gazidis’s long term damage and our plague of defence injuries destroying any chance we ever had. I retain complete confidence in the admirable Emery though.

  22. ForeverGooner says:

    Torreira/Guendouzi …..Ramsey

  23. GB says:

    Ozil is captain tonight

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