Confirmed Arsenal team for huge Man City task

Unai Emery appears to have opted to alter his formation for the big game today, with five defenders named in the line-up.

I could be wrong looking at the team-sheet, as Sead Kolasinac could well be fielded in a more advanced role, with Monreal at left-back in a back four, but this screams of a back five, with two holding midfielders.

Nobody will blame Emery for trying to give his defence more cover with his side having rarely managed to keep clean sheets this season, as well as the obvious challenge ahead with the fluid football that Pep Guardiola is creating at Manchester City.

Alex Iwobi has once again displaced Mesut Ozil in the starting line-up, with the German regularly being overlooked for first team duty this term, and leaving him out in such a big game as this may well force him to consider his options come the end of the season.

Denis Suarez also makes the squad for the first time, having made the move from Barcelona on loan until the end of the season, and looks likely to make his debut from the bench.

This may not be the best game to be getting your first taste of English football, but hopefully he will be able to help us to earn a surprise three points at the Etihad today.

Bookmakers are righting us off for this tie, with odds of around 9/1 on offer to snatch the win, but a similar performance to the one against Chelsea recently would see us trouble the hosts.

What are your predictions for today? Are the bookies spot on with the odds or do we deserve more respect?

Updated: February 3, 2019 — 4:00 pm

108 Comments

  1. I just hope the midfield can escape the press of City.One reason why I didn’t rate the likes of Xhaka and Elneny that much is because under pressure they give the ball away.Guendouzi is good but is also a slow decision maker i.e he needs more time on the ball.As for our defence they do things randomly so I never really put my hopes on them.Hopefully our players can evade pressure and pressing but in truth this is wishful thinking.
    I go for a 2-0 win to City or 2-1 win for Arsenal.

    1. Elneny looks better in possessing the ball as compared to Xhaka

      If Emery uses 3-4-1-2, I hope they can flow the ball to the wide forwards ASAP

      1. Not in favour of the 3-4-1-2 systemrelativeto the the team.Who creates the chances?He’s just making things more difficult for himself but I just hope we win.

        1. If it is 3-4-1-2, the defenders should create the direct passes in the flanks

          City’s fullbacks like to go up and let their DM to cover the wings, hence Arsenal could capitalize on their tendencies

          1. I think a four back system would’ve been far more appropriate but let’s see.You just get the feeling that he will soon see it as a mistake and revert to the four back system as usual.

  2. Well if it wasn’t a huge task, after seeing the line up it is now!!!

    1. No worries. They just need to park the whole bus for 70 minutes ala Maureen, then Mavropanos could come after the 70′ to score with a header ala Giroud

      1. I’d be happy with that πŸ˜€

  3. I guess its 5 defenders afterall, how do we score like this? Its not as if they wouldnt score even if we parade 10 defenders. Am not sure of this line up

  4. 3-4-1-2 ?

    ………………………..Leno
    ………..Koscielny . Mustafi . Monreal
    Lichtsteiner . Torreira . Guendouzi . Kolasinac
    ………………………..Iwobi
    ……Aubameyang ………… Lacazette

    1. yep hope those fullbacks and mustafi stay alert, those wingers cannot run at us!!

      oh and switch places with mustafi and kos i think that’s the line-up πŸ™‚

      that right wing looks like it’s ready to dismantle lich, hope he has great game they will be running at him, and no sane sub please, that guy scares me!

  5. And then people like Jon Fox want to call other people names for questioning the managers decisions. This lineup needs a miracle and am surely praying for it because United are above us now 😑😑😑😑😑😑😑

  6. Why is Lichtsteiner playing. This could turn ugly

      1. very very ugly!

  7. Amean even if we play like this and City pushes us back naturally we need quality on the counter don’t we ? Confused

  8. Have you guys even seen City’s line-up???
    Please check it out, it is so scary

    They lined up in 3…..2…..4……..1………

    The front five being

    Bernardo……. Debruyne…….. David. S……..Sterling……

    ………………………………….Aguero…………………

    1. Shall we just go home now?? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      1. Bit baffled myself but maybe it’s just a simple 4-4-2.
        Leno
        Lich Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
        Iwobi Torreira Guendouzi Kolasinac
        Auba Laca

      2. No I still have hope after all we are the Arsenal.

      3. it’s ok we are playing 4-4-2 and that line-up that came up was just to rile us up!!…can we switch to 4-4-2 or is it too late, if he gets these tactics on point i would be amazed..hope it’s not a spanking, emery why? don’t you want to get one over him, we can’t match them man to man they are way better than us, we need to soak the pressure and counter, all i can say is:

        defend with your lives Boys it’s gonna be wave after wave!! so happy montreal is back, that is all πŸ™‚

      4. Feels like that Sue, definitely!
        I just hope for the best, that line-up just drained the little hope I had….
        No humiliation playing boys…

        1. No humiliation please *****

          1. One plus for me is… Aguero is in my dream team!

  9. Lichsteiner😫😫😫😫. God help us but this formation is scary really, not being confident in any way.

  10. Aye Aye!! I’m back from the sidelines😁😁 Sue your lover boy Kolasi….. oh sorry!! I meant Lichtsteiner is back!!
    I’m back fully, I followed every articles all through he week and I miss being part of the discussion.
    Today’s line up is scary no creative player, all defensive players except our front three…
    Feels good to comment again.
    Good luck to the team

    1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Lichtsteiner indeed!!!

  11. I suppose all we can do is hope we have one of them days where it all goes our way .why he keeps playing 5 at the back I will never no and playing some of these players when they don’t deserve to even be on the pitch ,strong bench though for a change .

    1 nil Man City as I write this

    1. We hung on for 48 seconds!!!
      What was Iwobi doing????

      1. He tried to play like fool

        1. I know sue ..I know I go on about iwobi but within 5 mins of playing I would have subbed him ,hes atrocious ,we are in affect playing with 10 men everytime he’s in the team .lol arsenal now scored as I write this

          1. I feel the same Dan!

  12. No man of the match for iwobi this time though lads πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

    1. it’s 4-4-2 we got a chance we got to soak the pressure not get another goal and hit them on the counter, i would rather have iwobi on the left and saurez on the right…that start was deadly!

  13. Lol..I’m not even dome commenting and we’re a goal down.. Someone tell me we are a team meant to play from the back again?? Coach’s instruction and gameplay…
    Well funny thing is, they still won’t learn, they’ll keep passing at the back

    1. the boss to cheer you up!!

  14. And so it begins!!! Man City 1 vs 0 Arsenal. 41 seconds

    1. Hey you got it wrong…. It’s 48

  15. Why the he’ll play Iwobi when we can start Ozil. Starting to doubt this manager

  16. This Iwobi can’t be in the starting eleven at whoever serious manager, Iwobi is still learning how to dribble and get past. Unai can’t be serious giving him so important role.

  17. Luv you Boss

  18. Captain Koscielny. 1-1, a little breather i guess.

  19. Need to sort that defence out in the summer.
    Really need to sort that defence out in the summer…

    1. the reason why kola is on the pitch is to stop kyle walker from advancing, but he is forgetting his defensive duties so i would switch iwobi to the left and saurez or ramsey on the right second half…just hold on guys the chance will come!!

  20. I sincerely repeat saying, Iwobi is still learning how to run with the ball, Unai should stop experimenting him in big game like this. For me Gundouz is more mature than him regardless of their age difference.

    1. True Spot On
      Guendouzi is really looking very good deal as defensive and Box to Box Midfielder…

      1. unbeleivable he keeps this up WC in two years!! why does he remind me of petit with more creativity, love him and iwobi’s workrate has been great.. so far so good keep it up boys, happy with this, we can win this!!

    2. Still learning to run with the futbol? How many
      years has the Nigerian been a first team player
      @ AFC? He is a good lad but has no business
      playing for Arsenal and Emery has got it all
      wrong Yet Again tactically by starting him and
      Kolasinac.

      Bring on Suarez and Ramsey and go after City.
      WTF does it matter if its 2-1 or 5-1 in the end

  21. Ramsey and Suarez should replace Iwobi and Kolasinac

  22. Lichsteiner and Iwobi have collectively ruined
    this half of futbol.

    Glad Ramsey, Suarez and Ozil are on the bench

    1. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    2. i think iwobi did well, one terrible mistake fair enough cost us a goal, but he cuts the passing lanes i like that, it takes a lot of work to do that on a regular, one interception that was perfect for the counter i like that too, i think the left looked more vulnerable to me and that’s with lich on the right…so iwobi deserves some credit, i think kola has been out of position a few times and Matteo has to cover by droppping like he did for KVD and silva, but that could cost us 2nd half when stamina drops…i would rather have sterling facing kola and lich facing silva…hoping for a similar response from the lads!!

      1. You must be watching a different match to most of us then ,he should be subbed at half time ..and that’s me being kind to him .even in the sky studio they have just agreed that him and litch are being pulled apart on the right .

        1. same game man, when i watch him i know what he’s trying to attempt he is just a guy who lacks confidence and sometimes it doesn’t come off, he doesn’t play safe he tries for something i like that, but you need confidence and no fear to play like that, if he ever leaves to another team beleive me he will be like zaha for them, he just needs the attention and support he’s got flair and great work ethic …hey don’t forget i also rated Giroud so that should tell you everything about what kinda player i look for in a team.

          ps: pundits as i said before i would listen to, but I form my own opinion on numerous factors that also include my eyes and gut, so to me he’s done ok with lich as a rb to protect all game long πŸ™‚

      2. Iwobis dwelling on the ball and Lichsteiners
        criminal positioning and ball watching
        are the reason why were trailing at the break.
        Iwobi may make runs forward but they
        inevitably culminate in nothing because of
        his exasperating decision making or lack of a
        final ball.
        Lichsteiner is simply old and terrible. Rather
        see Jenks running his socks off then the
        Swiss dinosaur getting torched on the flanks
        again and again and again.

  23. Not a bad performance so far. We clearly need better defenders, which is a known issue. The performances in big matches under Emery have been pretty satisfactory thus far though. We’ve had chances. Maybe put Ramsey on to make runs into the box, because Kolasinac has gotten in good positions with nobody making good runs.

  24. it’s ok we pick oursleves up, make a change or two and go for it for the second half…happy with the boys…the second goal was a goal i have seen us score throughout the years!

    1. Agree. I’m surprised the comments are so negative. We can still get something out of this game.

    2. Yeah… But days have changed… On this same topic there was amazing article written on Goal.com

  25. Any sane person notice how playing deep at the back is not leaving us entirely expose?? Good thing he didn’t try the high line BS today, if not we’d be getting spanked..
    Sorry to say Kolasinac and Iwobi are not useless in this game so far, Kolasinac is even worse, can’t attack, can’t even help Monreal at the back..what instruction is the coach giving him?

    1. nearly scored because of him!! he hates to defend!!

  26. 2-1 at half is better than I thought it would be

    Put in Suarez and Ozil
    We need to attack now
    8 defensive minded players aren’t working but keep Torreira or Guendouzi

    Koscielny haters … His goal shows why he is still useful. He has kept us in the match. He is still arguably our best CB with his experience

  27. Kolasinac is doing nothing defensively…

  28. sort out that left now, we can’t afford the 3rd we need to be in it untill the subs come in!!!

    1. it was coming, ugly just plain ugly we didn’t deserve that!!

  29. one of our strikers just has to score – and it will be lethal Laca… #COYG!

  30. Sorry we need Ozil right now Arsenal attack dosent have identity and they dont know what to do with the ball…..

    1. when we are losing you expect him to change the game, against city nonethless don’t see it happening mate

  31. Mustafi looks injured AGAIN.
    Really…
    This is not an injury problem – this is an attitude problem.
    As Ozil and Elneny laugh on the bench.
    If Emery is as good as they say he is I expect MASSIVE changes in the summer.
    Starting with the sales of these three morons…
    I hope Emery rids the club and himself of this crap…
    And now its game over 3-1 to City
    And I bet those three c**nts won’t shed a minute being bothered by it…

    1. You’re blaming 2 players that are not even on the pitch ,maybe lay the blame with the players on it or the manager who fcking picked this crappy line up and the personal in it .

    2. Lmao…Leon Really? Attitude problem with a player that has been struggling for fitness for almost two months now and 2 players sitting on the bench laughing?
      You’d prefer they cry on the bench?
      They both don’t get enough chances and they’ve accepted their fate, would you prefer they cry??

  32. That’s me done watching that crap ,I’ve turned it off ,how can a manager stand there and wait for one of the best teams to score 3 goals before he changes something ,all 3 goals have come down that same side ,and we all know which players shouldnt be on that pitch .emery needs to sort this out ,5 at the back does not work 2 defensive midfielders does not work ,and playing flappy arms does not work .another 3 goals conceded with 30 mins left ,and that’s starting with 8 defensive players .

    1. Can’t say I blame you… this 2nd half really has been crap

  33. How shameful of City
    And Laughable…
    They are 3-1 up and still diving for penalty…

    1. Kedar, they needed the points and they have it, what exactly should they be ashamed of please?? Can you guys always talk and make out straight points without sentiments please?

      1. Not a bad performance against this city side
        More 3-4 additions likes of 2 defenders and 1 or 2 wingers can fix it

  34. So before folks Starr saying stuffs like Luck was against us, anyone care to explain what the master tactician is doing having all his creative midfielders on the bench? While Kolasinac and Iwobi both are useless up front?
    What exactly has changed within this team again??
    Someone care to tell me?

    1. we tried to win it like we did when we beat them 2-0…it was the only way to win it in my eyes, they are really good, we are doing well avoiding the press!

      1. Sal ehh we beat them 2-0 when??πŸ™„πŸ™„
        You really think we tried to win this game? Even if you’d reference the Chelsea game, do I have to remind you we had at least Ramsey to support our attack, do you really think we played to get anything from this game? we don’t even pose a threat, aside the corner, have we made any attempt??

        1. on the counter, we looked really good at first with the way we avoided the press, i think we went for a direct approach…we beat them 2-0 ages ago when santi scored from the spot and giroud i think. Great tactics by Wenger then, it looked to be the same with kola as a left mid to counter kyle walker’s threat going forward. but we needed to stay in it and we didn’t, C’est La Vie!

          1. Sal I’m glad you added ages ago, with creative and impressive players like Santi, the good Ozil back then, Ramsey and a certain Wilshere who with his talents would walk into this poor team right now, curse his injury prone body.
            Right now, I keep saying it, nothing has changed and don’t blame this on the players alone. This is on the board and coach as well…

  35. And they thought we had a chance against them. What a joke. Hee hee hee.

    1. that’s what it means to support your team, it’s hope there is always hope as the game starts 0-0 πŸ™‚

  36. I don’t think this club is deserving of the support it gets.
    The club is a joke, the owners are a joke and the team is pathetic.
    It’s not even worth the time and effort to debate what is going wrong – what is the point, really?
    Fans can debate
    Pundits can debate.
    Everyone knows what is going wrong and what needs to be done and what needs to be spent.
    It’s all pointless when the manager cannot see and the owner wants to pour his money into his NFL franchise.
    Sell Arsenal for Β£2 billion – make a profit and pour it into your precious NFL team
    And Ramsey and Suarez come on.
    Precisely when it is too late.
    Give up…
    Just throw in the towel..
    That is one thing Arsenal are very very good at.
    Not bothering…

    1. undeserved for today’s display as it could have swung our way…happy with how we tried, sometimes we lose this is not a game that’s gonna cause me to rant , but i do agree with allot of what you said especially about how we are run as a club, but our team doesn’t desevre such harsh critics today we tried, and we could have pulled a Newcastle with some luck. COYG

    2. Go and support another club then

      1. lol is that to me or Leon, either way the response is probably similar, we are here pouring our hearts out to support another team?

        cmon man show some respect, and next time give us something useful we can talk about πŸ™‚

  37. Only Arsenal can attempt to park the bus and
    still concede 3 goals in 60 minutes.

    Torreria and Guendouzi have BEEN FAR the
    best players on the pitch.

    Laca, Auba have been starved of service.

    Preditable Arsenal result

    And thx for the CL laugh Kroenke Jr., you and
    your old man are clueless twats

    1. I think Torreira, Guendouzi, Lacazette and Aubameyang are not only our best players but the only players in the Squad who should be starters.
      That’s how bad we are!
      We basically need to build a whole new team around these players

      We parked the bus with poor defenders
      We have NO creativity for attack either (in back of central midfield or front of central midfield)

  38. Ramsey and Suarez are on but no difference, they offer nothing and lichsteiner is total Crap. I don’t believe in Emery really

  39. City is showing how money can change an average manager into top class manager

    1. a comment that you don’t even beleive, he is a great manager let’s not be salty as fans they deserved it.

      1. You just track his record… He has always chosen the club which has settled team and plenty of money…
        Barcelona with settled team and plenty of money with only Real Madrid as their competition….
        He could have picked any player in transfer window
        Then Bayern Munich… Hahahaha no such competition…
        He even bought Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund… Splashing cash after cash on players like Hummels, Douglas Costa, Thiago Alcantara…
        And now City…. One season he ad poor result and then in next season there were host of money Spent on players… He can only work with those clubs which can have limitless budgets or limited competition…
        Let him handle club like Arsenal and then we will talk whether he is good or average…

        1. i’m pretty sure he wanted us after bayern, we just opted not to go for him and extend our manager’s contract, the same this year with arteta we opted for emery’s track record instead.

          Ps: our board would have not been able to handle him that’s for sure the same with Klopp, too demanding as managers they want a yes man, and even emery who they thought would be a easy to handle is causing them problems with the ozil situation. other managers like Simeone or Allegri would have punched our board members in the face if they didn’t get signings!

  40. We’ve had 4 shots… with 2 on target πŸ™„
    Have to say.. Sergio has nice thighs πŸ‘Œ

    1. looOOl – @Sue you are hilarious – i ain’t lookin …but will take your word for it πŸ™‚

  41. Chelsea, City, Spurs and United all won
    Let’s stop talking about Top 4 or even Top 5

    Our only chance of CL and keeping Suarez is Europa League and even that is unlikely

    We need to focus on rebuilding defense and midfield in the summer and sell deadwood

    1. EL no chance. Likes of Chelsea, Inter are in it. Lets not kid ourselves.

      1. we can beat both, more of a chance this year than last πŸ™‚

  42. Emery is a crap sooner the better

  43. I look at the clubs above us.
    And there I see well run clubs, plenty of ambition, great fans, owners who want to win and fantastic players.
    Then I look at Arsenal
    And they are everything these clubs are not.
    I think after 35 years of following Arsenal – of my family being bond holders in the 90’s and going to the games whenever I had the time and money. The good old days of Highbury and going for a curry after the game at Brick Lane.
    After those good times, which were as frustrating as they were enjoyable.
    After all that time I think I can no longer be bothered
    You would NEVER see Tony Adams laughing on the bench when we were losing like Ozil and Elneny were.
    Bast*rds
    My opinion of Emery would soar if he gets rid of those two foreign mercenaries…

    1. ..even if you saw them laughing you have no proof what they were laughing at – the league doesn lie we are 6th most effective in the epl – but there’s little between us and 4th so keep on believing because all is not lost – not by a country mile.



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