Confirmed Arsenal team for tonight’s crucial Europa tie against Sporting CP

It used to be very easy to predict Arteta’s starting line-up in most games as he generally stuck to the same XI in most games, but now we have restarted our Europa League campaign, and our recent problems with illnesses and injuries, it is now much harder.

But also, with our three new acquisitions this winter, Arteta really has to think deeply about how to keep everyone happy and rotate without weakening the side, and of course to make sure everyone gets a bit of match fitness by playing in competitive game.

With all those things in mind, I had a wild attempt to predict what team Arteta would choose, while still making sure we progressed to the quarter finals, and this is the line up I came up with.

I was very brave and left out Bukayo Saka as he looked a bit lost last Thursday, but I’m still not sure that Arteta will leave him out if he insists he wants to play.

So here is my line-up and let us now see what Arteta’s final decision will ne….

And here it is…

White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney
Odegaard, Jorginho, Vieira
Trossard, Nelson

So here is my line-up and let us now see what Arteta’s final decision will ne….

And here it is…

Tags Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon


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  1. Big big call the gaffer has one eye firmly on the Derby on Sunday.

    Partey, Odegaard and Saka, the best player of the campaign resting.

    1. This was the the most wasted 2 and half hr of life. A non top 5 league team comes and batters you in your home ground is just unacceptable especially when you are league leaders. It’s embarrassing how over rated premier league is.

  2. I would rather Arteta went with the first eleven for starters. You’d then rest players when the game is in bed.
    But the gaffer knows best I guess

  3. Yes the lack of pace and drive in midfield could be a problem particularly when they hit us on the counter attack.I hope Xhaka plays deeper than normal to avoid such a situation.

  4. I think Tierney should leave the club in the summer. I’m a big fan of zinchenko but if tieney can’t even start in this kind of match then I don’t think the coach has him in his plans. Ans why drop Turner, he has been wonderful in the Europa League.

  5. Good that Bukayo is getting a rest. Very strong team and Reiss Nelson getting a deserved start. Looking forward to it.

  6. Ah! What has Tierney done to have been left out of the Arsenal’s home Europa League Cup match starring Xi team agains Sporting CP tonight by his gaffeer?

    1. Nothing

      Arteta just picked a strong side, shuffling with only those that have staked starting claims/been impressive at some point over this campaign (Nelson, Viera, Jorginho, Tomiyasu)

  7. Ah! What has Tierney done to have been left out of the Arsenal’s home Europa League Cup match starting Xi team agains Sporting CP tonight by his gaffeer?

    1. Turner is a good goalkeeper, he only need a run of game. Arteta is becoming like pep and I don’t like it. Give Tierney a Start in this match and stick with Turner. They are good players

    1. And the Sporting players understand our midfields English/Portuguese. Same way teams in the EPL understand English that the opposition is talking.

      Fail to see the benefit for us at all when both sets of players understand each other. Play our own game.

  8. I think Arteta is a little bit Panicked in starting a very strong Arsenal starting XI team for our home Elc match tonight against Sporting CP. For, I think and believe if he has started his last away sarting XI team at Sporting CP tonight. That Arsenal starting XI team playing at home tonight will win the match comfortably.

  9. Great goal
    But Vieria hang that head in shame for that pathetic attempt to win a penalty,cannot stand watching that .

        1. We cannot rely on Holding..
          We have to have at least 1 of Saliba or Tomiyasu…
          If Saliba is not fit for weekend and Tomiyasu is then start Tomiyasu as RB and White as CB with Gabriel..

  10. Happy to be one up, after a slow start, but Sporting must not be underestimated.

    Bad luck regarding the injuries and fingers crossed that neither are too serious.

  11. It was good to see Holding play very safely. We’ll need Saliba back for Crystal Palace, otherwise we’d likely be in trouble

    Great through ball and vision from Jorginho

    1. White is almost playing as a 3rd CB to help Holding..
      It seems Arteta doesn’t trust him anymore..
      We should be having at least either of Saliba or Tomiyasu fit for weekend..
      We cannot rely on Holding
      We are lucky that we are going into international break

  12. Jesus needs to look at elite striker like benzima how he plays the ball and keeps hold of it. Jesus just tries all the time to dribble through the whole team. He is so poor at releasing others or keep the game flowing. That’s why we look better in build up and play when trossard is playing.

      1. Although he is our player but he is and will never be any way near benz but my issue here is not level comparison but for Jesus to learn not to put his head down each time and try to dribble through whole team on his own. That is why Brazil have won no world Cup since 2002, every player in their team just play indivisual football and tries to dance through coherence no fluid passing.

  13. Saka , Partey, Tossard and Odegaard could walk into any premier league starting team on current form, to think we rest all four and looking comfortable.

    Surely this thought enough to makes the champion nervous

  14. I’m not watching the game but trying to read updates. Xhaka & Vieria on yellow cards so need to be careful with that.

    Saliba is a major concern?
    Also Tomi coming off?

    Hopefully can grab that 2nd goal and sit on the counter

  15. Saliba’s absence shows how big of a player he is for us . Hopefully it’s more of precaution to prevent long term injury.

  16. Gabriel Magalhaes is dominant , it is really looking like Tierney days are numbered

    With one eye on Sunday, Maybe the gaffer is saving Tierney for the Derby

    1. He was in a pretty normal position for a keeper when in possession to be fair. Midfield lost the ball and the a inch perfect shot. Congrats to the striker, harsh to blame Ramsdale.

  17. I’m sorry but Viera brings nothing to midfield. Zinchenko has been particularly wasteful with his passing too. Hoping for a goal soon and avoiding extra time.

  18. An absolute STUPID team selection!!!!

    I can only assume Arteta wants to get out of this contest and concentrate on the Premier League.

    Our bench players look okay just so long as there are at least 7 first team outfield players on the pitch.

    Today, there are 5 bench players starting:

    Tommy, Viera, Jorginho, Nelson, and Jesus (I consider Troussard as the current incumbent).

    We look at sixes and sevens when we play too many bench players!!!

    What is worse, is that Zinc gets caught a lot in midfield, when Partey is not playing, leaving his side wide open!

    One last comment, it seems that Barcelona may not be the only Spanish team passing brown paper bags to referees.
    (Sorry a Gratuitous comment)

    1. I’m not sure I agree that Arteta doesn’t want to win the EL. I thought at the start the lineup was pretty strong but 2 defensive injuries haven’t helped
      That said, personally I prefer to go and ‘win it’ with the strongest 11 and then make substitutions. Arteta should not underestimate Sporting who showed great resilience last week

  19. I don’t think Viera is a bad player but he’s nowhere near the level of player Arsenal require, not even as a 2nd string option.

  20. Holding stepped up in the second half. Zinchenko made two misplaced passes, but he also made a crucial block

    Hopefully Martinelli still has the energy to run

  21. We will win this , I just think we should have taken another approach. Start with strong 11 that beat Fulham then score goals n once you are comfortable then bring on the subs to rest players. Hopefully we will finish this and not take it to penalties.

  22. Shit. We better lose in 90 minutes…
    We don’t have the squad for this bulshit competition. Arteta should have started the second 11. Even if we win, do we realy need to play Juventus three days before away Liverpool game? With that squad it will be horrible. Arteta should have been pragmatic.

  23. Did they wake these players up from sleep to come and play this game? They all look uninterested. They are sleep walking in a knock out game, you would think we won the first leg 5:0

    1. Marc, biers was just walking and lettin them pass the ball around. I was pulling my hair off that he should come off..
      if Arteta really wants to rest Ode. Then move zinc in the morning dole and play Tierney

  24. Dont like this, becoming one of those can’t score so we’ll take them out. Heavy challenges consecutively on trossard, Martinelli and now saka.

  25. Sporting have a very good manager and some good players too, particularly their GK

    I hope our key players will be fit to play against Crystal Palace, because Martinelli and Saka got hard tackles

  26. Is it just me or does Ramsdale not seem to actually go anywhere when he dives? Just goes from vertical to horizontal without actually covering any ground.

      1. Like the shot he got 2 hands 2…gets to the ball but because he’s actually not moving much he has zero effect on trying to stop it. If you get 2 gloves to the ball, you should be keeping it out at this level.

  27. Well played to Sporting, fair credit.

    Unfortunately that is the problem when starting with potentially the slowest midfield in top flight Europe, you set a slow and predictable tone which we never got out of.

  28. Bottom line is that had Odegaard come on much earlier during normal time for Viera, who was hopeless, we would and should have won. Mistake by OUR MANAGER tbh!

  29. I said it after the first leg. I said something about jeopardizing our chances in the UEL for sake of squad rotation.
    There you have it.
    I rest my case.

  30. Can’t hide my disappointment really
    Whilst I thought the team was strong I go along with those who believe that playing your strongest team right away is preferable
    That is down to Arteta who perhaps thought that the team he originally selected had enough
    The early injuries didn’t help but their goalie was inspired
    I hope that their disappointment doesn’t spoil Sunday and they come out fighting

  31. We lost but we will go on. It can be blessing in disguise as we will have one thing only to play for. But it was error in judgment from Arteta, we should have played with same team as Fulham and then rest the players when you are winning like in Fulham game. One we had our almost best eleven out on pitch we dominated and almost scored.

    1. Maybe Arteta thought Saka and Odegaard needed a rest. Saka in particular has played many games all season. And Partey has to be managed properly for the remaining league games.
      Arsenal should focus now on the remaining 11 league games. 10 wins and 1 loss. And we are champions

  32. I for one am not too upset if playing your starters would not have guaranteed a win but with a world cup in the middle of the season you absolutely have to rotate thats why Pep has been resting De Bruyne and they have a better squad to cope. No guarantees but we are can now concentrate on the league and I like our chances better now to win it.

  33. A painful loss. We can focus now on the EPL. Many lessons to learn from this match.

    Viera needs to step up his game.

    Ralmsdale has to focus more and be more serious with his goal keeping.

    Irrespective of where we finish this season, we need to buy another Striker in the summer. Victor Osimhen is the guy. Bid 85m pounds for him in the summer

  34. Replacing Turner with Ramsdale for me cost us the game tonight.few times we have changed our cup keepers in the past has always backfired&it did again tonight…Arteta should learn to trust/encourage his players to perform even when they make mistakes&i sure hope Martinelli’s season isn’t ruined by his penalty miss tonight.

  35. There is so much contradiction in here dont rotate starters but Turner should have stayed in goal. At the end of it all sure there can be criticism I am fine with that but everyone is a great manager after the fact. The regular starters could have lost just as they have in back to back games this season. All of a sudden no excuses to not win the league yet before the season started you would have taken third. When you are up against I giant like City who have a case against them for circumventing the rules and financial doping you cannot be saying no excuse for this or that utter nonsense. There is no room for entitlenment in the hardest league in the world. All I know the more games we play the higher the risk of someone like Partey getting injured and we lost against Utd and City without him. He could still get injured in training but you cannot tell me the intensity of two games does not increase that risk.

  36. Fantastic goal by the Sporting player, brought back memories of Nayim scoring against us in Paris in the CWC Final in ’95.

    Shame we are out, as now we probably won’t be a top seed in next season’s CL.

    Fingers crossed that the sub of Saliba is precautionary.

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