Confirmed Arsenal team to face Southampton in FA Cup

We are all expecting Mikel Arteta to rotate the Arsenal starting line-up in this FA Cup game, especially as we have to face the Saints in the League just three days later, but as holders he will surely put out a very strong side anyway.

I doubt if Mat Ryan will come straight in without having any training sessions with the squad, but you never know with Arteta so we will wait and see.

I expect to see Partey and Gabriel to get a run out, but perhaps not for the whole game, and Martinelli also needs some game time after his return from injury.

I think Saka and Smith-Rowe will both be rested, and Arteta could use Bellerin, Pepe, Nketiah, Willian and Elneny, who were all on the bench against Newcastle, but I don’t think Arteta will rotate the whole team given the Gunners record in this competition.

Anyway this is what Arteta has finally decided on. Do you think this will be good emough to beat Southampton?


  1. Surprised ESR isn’t in the squad – not a good sign (have we don’t anything recently when he wasn’t involved?)

    1. Arteta is playing with fire by not playing his strongest side and am I correct in thinking he has 2 keepers on the bench but I could be wrong.
      I dont fancy us today so a 2-0 loss ☹
      I’ve never been in favour of this resting players nonsense as for me it’s a cop out by the manager so he can bring in under performing players.

      1. Agree on your assessment of the lineup and game prospects, but I do think we have to rest the younger players at times. History strongly suggests that pushing young players too hard early on can ruin careers – not always but it’s risky and the manager has to make the call

        1. Fair point and well put but I would rather they were rested in midweek because I want us to win the cup and we have zero chance of winning the league

      2. by ‘his strongest side’ you mean ESR and AUBA? This is a strong lineup strong enough to beat any team. If they fail, we cant blame the coach, these guys are paid professionals, maybe low on confidence but with quality Al over

        1. Beg to differ – “quality” ? Xhaka, Elneny, Eddie, Willian, Pepe ? Very worried. Hope they prove me wrong

          1. Are you sure those guys lack enough quality against SouthampSouthampton? You mean Southampton players are better quality wise?

          2. They have to. If dey dont do it now when will dey do it. They have to proof themselves. Especially willian an pepe

        2. I do agree with your comments about the players being quality but unfortunately most haven’t shown it since the start of the season and we only have one shot of winning a trophy this season and arteta is pinning our Hope’s on so many players who are out of form. I really hope I’m wrong

      3. I don’t think it’s so much resting players but giving a run to others how do you expect players who never play to just come in and have an impact during games?it is not easy.

  2. Great choice, considering we don’t have another specialist LB and another left-footed DM. I just hope Xhaka would still have plenty of energy for the upcoming EPL game

  3. Saints are fielding their strongest possible line up. They are in for the taking anyhow.

    Could Willian please at least once during the season, play like s professional?

  4. The team looks balanced. Willian maybe is the ball progressor, or could be Pepe. Xhaka atleast will have runners ahead of him, and Elneny might help him find space. I hope Pepe will have a good game today, he will balance the forward line with his left foot. Eddie mught have trouble holding up play, so Gabi and Pepe for help in holdup play. Defense looks good. Tough game but can be won with right subs.

  5. A good lineup. The biggest test for Nketiah, Willian and Pepe. Only concern is if we can’t score early there is no ESR to come and change the game.

      1. I think we have to hope Willian has a decent game. Otherwise it will be tough to get the ball to GM where he can do damage

        1. Lets hope the youngsters will make us proud. Considering the recent signing of Ryan and Arteta going above Edu might ignite some fear in the minds of Willian, Pepe and Eddie.

  6. Not comfortable with Soares. Would have preferred AMN there, but otherwise Ok as he has to rest some of the key players.

  7. 2 keepers couldnt fit balogun,wijnaldum 4 pool same story with contract kloppp plays him MA very disingenuous with the lad,,nketiah my lord,, coyg

  8. Aubamayang was originally set to play but was sent home because of a “personal matter”, just announced by Arteta bbc.

  9. ESR should at least have been on the bench. hoping for the win though. middle looks thin, the team definately needs another attacking midfielder.

  10. Some of us have had a moan me included but now is the time to get behind the team for 90 plus minutes COYG

    1. Just tuned in to see a horrible line up followed by the goal!
      Pepe Willian nketiah Cedric lb phew dear me!

      1. I don’t wanna bow out just yet, Perry. Have to say though, I’ve not enjoyed this half so far… sluggish…

      1. He’s more of a problem because he plays frequently and you can see how useless he is in these Kind of games

          1. He’s meant to be controlling the middle .. he can’t doesn’t have the strength vision or skill … if you can’t see that then I have no idea where your football knowledge comes from … as long as he plays there we will not progress … watch any team dominate us when he is given that role …

        1. This team looks horrible. Southampton will only have themselves to blame if they go down.

          Totally agree RW1, if Xhaka ware the player his fans believe, he would take the game by the scruff of his neck and inspire the others to do better. Lets hope Partey can fill that role.

          1. Xhaka sits deeper than Partey. They don’t play the same role. Get rid of Elneny who offers absolutely nothing, and put on a player who is more of an 8. Elneny exists just to fill an XI

  11. I think we’ve been ok but Southampton’s high press caught us out. Biggest problem has been that nothing sticks with Nketiah and we end can’t keep up the pressure.

    1. He’s essentially re-assembled every starter he played that dropped us to 15th in the table… and then thrown martinelli on. Unfair l.

  12. Terrible lineup we might as well play with 10 men as Willian and Eddie doesn’t score .. when will Arteta learn that? Not like we’re struggling for strikers

  13. Today’s team selection shows Either MA is concentrating more on PL or he is too careless about Southampton..

  14. Nketiah’s ball control is wanting in this game. Willian is decent though. Our defense is what is worrying me.

    1. Actually it’s not about playing out from back…
      We conceded the goal because we were trying to play out from back and later on again we lost the ball in our box trying to play out from back
      Half match gone..

        1. Yup. That backline hasnt played together and are not confident in playing out from the back. Gabi had a bad start, the CB. And Holding was not that confident either.

    1. Agreed @Danny. Those 3 are everything wrong with this team especially Nketiah..what a useless striker.

  15. Can someone please tell Nketia to stop rubbing oil on his boots before matches. Literally nothing sticks to that guy >:(

  16. The players showed they haven’t been playing together for some time and Magalhaes was awful in the first twenty minutes. Soares also looked uncomfortable on the left wing and a new LB must be the highest priority now

    1. he did better than AMN did all game last time KT didn’t play and those across, they were good, needs to be worked

      1. Both of them couldn’t dribble past the opponents on the left wing, so we need a specialist LB as soon as possible

  17. We’ve got to at the very least get a real striker on the pitch. Willian actually not been half bad. Pepe and bellerin and whole right side is virtually invisible. Don’t know why we are trying to hard to play the ball through left Side when Cedric is the fullback and cannot put in a good cross. As for goal, bad turnover and Gabriel has to go at that ball with more conviction. Could have done more than just thrown a leg out.

  18. One minute to play and we pass backwards and around the back.
    No desperation, no runs into the box, unbelievable.
    Going to bed.

  19. Gabriel, is just too average defender at best.

    Martinelli just the usual hype, no talent there.

    Midfielders very static and playing near our box.

    This lineup including the keeper is second 11.

  20. Pepe and willian need a good shake or slap or something so annoying.

    We look rubbish no Tierney Saka Partey or ESR no good..

  21. U don’t start eleny n xhaka together….diz guys don’t create chances n have d fear of moving forward….u den use attackers dat are solely dependent on d midfield dat can’t create??? Nketiah??Pepe???n William???…. Even d defenders(Luiz n co) dat create chances Dan diz two midfieldersIf are not playing…den expect d goals to come from above or magically appear….If drez a loss…den it’s from d coach

  22. Anyone else made nervous by leno is he mustafi with gloves?
    Always feel hea an error in him, got lucky then though!

      1. Can’t see where a goal will come from, Perry!! We do and I hope MA doesn’t wait until it’s too late.. surprised no changes at half time!

  23. Having just watched the abysmal 1. half of the FA-cup, I can’t help to think what colossal mistake the club has made in signing Willian on a 3 year mistake.
    Martinelli is sprinting around in all direction, but his team mate Willian is the walking man, so it is of no use. Can Willian sprint?. He is yet to score and has but 3 pl assists to boast of in 14 appearances.
    On the ball he does show composure, I’ll will give him that much, but surely he does not contribute more in those terms than Özil would have been capable of.
    So here we are wasting 350000 a week on Özil now bribed to shut up and go away to Turkey and another 200000 on William. That is a 25 million pounds worth of mis-management.
    I know everyone is fed up with this theme, but before we learn to manage the long term prospects, we are a mid-table prospect.
    Now ANY offers for Willian, should seriously be considered. He has a big profile after a long career, surely he would be attractive in America or China, but I don’t want to witnessed his continued demise, while we are wasting a brilliantly opportunity to further integrate future shootings stars from the academy like Saka or Emil van der Croydon.

    1. He’s not on 200k a week. He is an high earner and a bad signing tho. Arsenal don’t learn. I really hope we focus more on youth academy and younger players and move the older boys on high wages out. We are stuck with Willian, but hopefully can find someone who will take Laca in the summer, and Pepe in the next window or two.

    2. He’s been the only one who’s played ok today. Looks better in that position – everyone should get the chance to turn things around.
      And while Ozil has composure, he’s much worse at keeping the ball because he surrenders the ball under the slightest pressure. Obviously he has other qualities, but he’s gone now, so.

  24. Martinelli had an underwhelming game. Missed a sitter.. I guess can be attributed to lack of playtime. Pepe and Willian have been decent today, but Nketiah should ideally be sent away on loan or consigned to the bench. His performances have been steadily worsening. I hope Partey and Saka inspire us to victory, because being knocked out of the cup would be sad..

    1. Also no one currently in the squad can adequately replace KT on the left it seems. Not really impressed by Cedric.

  25. Except Martinelli all shit players started the game..
    Why he kept Niketiah and took Martinelli off..
    Horrible decision..
    Look like we are going to get knocked out of FA cup today and it’s all down to poor team selection

    1. Martinelli also didnt have a stellar game. But I agree that Nketiah should be subbed off. Missed about two good chances and one half chance…

  26. Soo many missed chances.

    Nketiah ball control is worse than me with a busted knee. How can a professional player be soo bad at controlling a ball.

  27. Arteta keeps trusting the wrong players. I wouldn’t hesitate to play academy talents over the likes of Pepe and Willian. We aren’t losing anything when they aren’t in the team. In fact, when they do play we always come away with zero goals. Saka, Partey and Laca are now all on the pitch because everyone else has been so underwhelming. I think only Arteta is shocked. Fans knew this was coming when the lineup was released.

        1. Yeah. The more I hope he has a good game, the more he proves he is at best a last ditch gamble, and ironically he is decent today and yet we have no gains from that. Nketiah is also someone in that similar category.

    1. The bare truth is revealed once again..

      But if the likes of Pepe and Willian dont play, the club look like fools for signing them in the first place!

    1. Looking a lot like the burnley game at home, just missing the red card. Nketiah should be demoted to kindergarten after that performance.

  28. I run a veterans football club and if my players put in the effort arsenals have today I would never pick them again but then my players aren’t cowards and cheats and wat I mean by cheating is that they are cheating the fans

  29. Way too wasteful in front of goal. The quality in in the final third is some of the worst I’ve seen in any Arsenal team! Bye-bye FA Cup!

    1. Game over for arteta I’m afraid as there will be no way back for a man I respected as a player but have zero confidence in as a manager. He picks players who every fan can see are shit. Please please please do the right thing and resign because not one wants you here if we are being honest. Far too many players are greedy money grabbers and have now brought shame on the club. I dont give a shit about the league arteta and you are such a dick
      End of rant

      1. On a day of childish emoting you
        have successfully achieved the
        Worst of the Day!!

        Take a bow and Post Less, Arsenal
        and the majority of rational
        contributors on this site deserve

        1. Just my opinion ace dont get personal or I will respond as we all have a voice so dont try to be superior as it doesn’t look good

  30. Does someone want to buy bellerin … sell ditto willian elneny xhaka nketiah Pepe …. these players are not epl standard …. I thought arteta wanted a clear out …

    1. If Arteta starts some of these players against Benfica, we will be out in the first leg, Sue. What a bad performance today…

  31. Well too many changes and changes that are cra* bring this result.
    Pepe Willian and nketiah are so poor.
    Rock up and start a game with poor effort and intent and it sticks with you through the game, start well and it usually continues.
    Weak arsenal performance today we deserve to be out!!

  32. Yeah I hope Nketiah gets sold in the summer. No improvements expected if we keep playing him as the lone CF.

  33. A small team like arsenal who has only 11 players to count on, getting out of cups are a blessing. Now concentrate on league games so that they don’t get relegated

  34. That was about the worst performance I have seen from Arteta’s Arsenal. Weak, limp, imptotent football. How could that team be sent out to win a game….rubbish. Arteta’s choice of team…bizarre.

    1. I would like to add to your bizarre comment which you are absolutely correct is there is obviously something we are not getting told to why he does this, maybe he doesn’t want to get into Europe next season to keep the wage bill down and when fans complain about no signings the board can say we dont have that competition to raise money. It looks like arteta is a puppet as well as a dick

  35. Nketia wouldnt suceed as a CF nothing special about his game, cant shoot, no good control of the ball. well deserved victory for Southampton

    1. I still have hopes of him suceeding in a two man setup as the poacher, but that hope is already on its last legs…

        1. Well he couldnt cement a berth in Leeds team in the championship, so I have serious doubts about that too😂

      1. just imagine that backflip from Pepe which he should have converted to goal. He needs to go out on loan again

        1. Yeah, stupidly shooting into the defenders legs with almost no pressure on him when he could have buried it near post… I hope he is sold.

      2. Please help. How do I reach the admin of this group. I have being following this site for 2 years now but I can’t post anything like others. I tried mailing the admin but no luck

  36. I want nketiah sold or.loaned and balogun to be promoted to the squad.
    We can see why bielsa preferred bamford to him.

  37. Today is the first time that I now believe MA needs to go! I said I would give him until the end of Jan to turn it round but he hasn’t. Time is up for him as far as I am concerned!

    1. Either MA has a bigger head after many wins or he so courteous to let other teams win the FA Cup since he already won last year.

      1. Lets be realistic here, you dont expect us use same 11 for both EPL and cup games ,why do we have large squad? shame on the guys for this kind of performance

    2. I think due to the schedule MA gave priority to the PL and the Europa. But I think some other players might have suited the game better. I think more than being out-thought today, it was a match he overthought about.

  38. Good thing I didn’t watch the game. Resting players against Premier league opposition. Disrespect to opponent, Cup and supporters.

      1. The worst thing is, most supporters new this lineup was most likely not gonna be enough against Southampton strong lineup.

        He might have led us to FA cup last year, but Arteta led us out of this year’s one for sure.

  39. I guess MA had to set his priorities between EL, PL and the cup. Obviously the FA Cup is not his top priority. Regardless, the concept of resting players only works when you have a squad full of talent so that you don’t compromise the quality of the team. What MA has just done is stalled our momentum and dented the teams confidence. Best players in form should ALWAYS play until they can’t play anymore. If you don’t have enough quality.. go buy some

  40. Today’s game show nketiah isnt cut it for us the guy is crap..buh one thing I sure we are winning our next game

    1. Nketiah makes it so difficult for attackers to be involved; bad ball control, no aerial threat, no hold up play, no link up play….I can’t understand why he stays for the whole game

  41. Anyone still arguing that arsenal do not need a creative number 10 and should fill the side with worker bees really have no idea,

  42. Thanks to Arteta for going out of FA, bad team selection against a very good Soton side and a poor second half substitution

  43. Sell nketiah and promote balogun. Terminate Willian’s contract and sell pepe at any price. I don’t wish to see those three anywhere near the team again.

  44. Anybody blaming arteta for the loss is not serious. Do you expect him to play thesame set of players week in week out. Schedule is tight ffs and you don’t want your best player to burnout. Arteta just prioritize the league. We have Southampton in 3 days time and then Manchester United.

  45. As usual arteta learning on the job..
    Imagine a rookie coach yet to even figure out is best eleven without circumstances helping out, has d guts to rest players..
    Like who d hell is he to rest players against an in form does he even know who to rest and who not to…

    This guy is just lucky to have ESR and saka if not we’d b relegated..
    The team is just awful after over 19 matches and training improvement from senior players..

    I hope d kids don’t get injured till the season ends or we doomed

  46. Wonder how the fans would have reacted if they were at the game. Wonder how that might of influenced the team…

  47. Contagion Meaning
    The spread of a behavior pattern, attitude, or emotion from person to person or group to group through suggestion, propaganda, rumor, or imitation.

    Lacklusterness of Willian spreading to Pepe and Nketiah and then to the rest of the dressing room is an example of contagion.

      1. Willian it makes wonder about players and there contracts, in the working world you’re given a role and some form of expectation. Your appraised regularly to ensure you’re upto scratch especially during your 3 month to 1 year probationary period.
        Why is it that we cant say right Willian you’ve been now x amount of time had multiple chances and you’ve bot got anywhere near what is expected of you, agree? Cintrsxt torn up as not doing the job well enough.
        Only exceptions should be if injured or had personal issues etc
        The guy is 10% of what he did at Chelsea, I just dont get it he says it’s hard as he was at chelsea for so long! What hes still in London for goodness sake.
        Ehat arteta must realise if hes playing pepe or Willian needs must sometimes I guess but never together as they have lax body language which can ripple through the rest of the players

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