Confirmed Official team news for Southampton v Arsenal – Pepe starts

We all know that we are going to see a completely different Arsenal team than the one that lost to Southampton on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be an easy game.

I am expecting to see a very defensive game, as I outlined in my last post about both sides being clean sheet specialists, but I am hopeful that Arteta will have a fresh young side with all our most exciting players on the pitch.

The bad news is that Aubameyang will be missing for “personal reasons”, and it looks like Kieran >Tierney, Pablo Mari and Dani Ceballos are also unavailable, but I certainly expect to see Saka, Martinelli and Smith-Rowe driving our attacks forwatd and finding a way through the tough Saints defence.

This is the team that Patrick predicted earlier….

Bellerin Holding Luiz Soares
Partey Xhaka
Saka Smith Rowe Martinelli

And here is the team that Arteta has finally settled on…

Are we all happy with his selections?


    1. Unfortunately Arteta never learns. Martinelli should be ahead of pepe. With saka playing on that wing and martinelli on the other side And AMN is a better bet to replace Tierney than cedric who is better at RB

        1. Oooh, Pepe instead of Martinelli. Someone is desperate to raise some player’s transfer value for the summer. Can’t blame him, though.

      1. Kstix please bro stop this Niles hype, how many assist or goals has Niles been involved in since he broke into the first team.

    2. Maybe its Pepe’s last chance. Arteta might want to see him how he does alongside ESR. Also lack of first choice fullback could be used to improve his confidence.

      Martinelli would be used as impact sub. Its good he is in the bench, otherwise if things are not going our way we might see dropped shoulders across the pitch. Now at least fans can hope Martinelli will come and change the course of the game. I must say that was a good move, it will succeed psychologically even if it fail tactically.

  1. i hope Pepe take advantage of the opportunity. i would have loved to see him on the left but KT absence means Saka and Xhaka will have to help Cedric through the game. Hoping for at least a draw

    1. I think Pepe will come up big tonight but like you hope he starts on the left. I just can’t see how folks think he’s better on the right when he has no right foot. He’s a one trick pony as he will never go down the byline and whip in a cross. At least on the left he was the option.

      1. unfortunately we cant afford him the luxury in this game because we do not have left footed fullback available, we need Saka to cover that side and to be defensively active, Pepe cant do that

  2. This is an excellent team. Southampton will be tired after the FA cup game so I am hoping Arsenal will win well . Mikel will be vindicated by focusing on the league. A much needed boost to our top 6 chances. Cedric will play well and Partey and Xhaka will dominate in midfield. Our front four look very exciting with Eddie Martinelli and Willock from the bench. Arsenal 3 – 1.

    1. Bro I’ve never seen you typed anything positive this season at all.
      Jesus, bro tone it down a bit. The negativity and constant complaints doesn’t wear you down?

    2. And now folks, I present to you Jah son, Winner of the Pessimist of the Year award! HE THOUGHT HE WOULD LOSE, OBVIOUSLY!

  3. If things didn’t go well as planned,Martineli can come in to shake things up but Pepe can’t so we will be out of plan.
    Just my thought for selecting Pepe first .

  4. Arteta should have been sacked instead of Lampard. This same Pepe that offers nothing. Cedric that is not good enough at right back is playing left back. Why can’t Niles play there.

    1. on current form Cedric is performing better than AMN, we all want a team with best /in-form players, thats our best, forget Martinelli, he hasnt been doing fine since chelsea, his recuriing injury is delaying his progress

  5. Pepé on the left….I hope.
    Martinelli obviously on the bench to bring back in gradually considering the injuries he’s had recently.

  6. I have all but given up on arteta … his football brain is that of a six year old and will see him going the same way as lampard … Chelsea are just more ambitious than we are

  7. Walk in the park for Southampton. Avoid Partey, run through Cedric, it’ll be a bloodbath for us. Worst premier League defeat here we come.



  8. Arteta is crazy enough to reassign Soares to the RB position and Pepe to the RW position. Arsenal should have a specialist LB in reserves

    A right-footed LB and a Bambi-on-ice RW is a recipe for disaster.Arsenal should’ve focused on getting a new LB first before getting another CAM

  9. Arteta like Lampard when you are not in his favourite list no matter how good you are you will be on the bench or out team just like matimell. His substitute will be willock, Williams and nketiah

  10. Moaning and moaning after every line up gets released. No selection will ever satisfy fans.
    What’s wrong with this line up?
    Saka should’ve played LB? Or it’s AMN that should’ve played LB even though he’s been struggling there this season when he played?
    Pepe getting a chance to play with Smith Rowe is even an issue?
    should we play down Martinelli who we rushed back?
    I’m so tired of this site and the constant pessimism after every line up gets released.
    Goodluck to the boys

    1. I wrote earlier that I didn’t think we would win but I’m going to put my heart in place of my head and say we get a slim win but we need to stop this nonsense of slow build up play and stop going backwards every time xhaka gets the ball. I actually like xhaka before anyone thinks I’m picking him out

      1. Do me a favour and for at least a half, count Xhaka’ passes forward, sideways and backwards. I think the results might surprise you.

    2. We are tired of wishing them goodluck…we did it for 8 games earlier nothing happened… He shud stick to a winning formula, that’s all…
      All these tinkering with personnel ain’t for a rookie coach who will applaud efforts after bad results..

      Martinelli laca saka
      Xhaka partey
      Defence ain’t our problem… Attack is

      The winning formula above ain’t rocket science for godsake arteta….
      pepe has been given enough chances ,he shudnt take saka place where he has scored from easily recently

      1. Nyen nyen nyen Martinelli started three days ago didn’t he? And we won the game?
        In that Southampton game, Pepe created most chances didn’t he?
        Is it that some of you just prefer your agenda against the coach and certain players or what?

        Weeks ago Arteta rushes Martinelli and got the blame when he got injured. Rushed back Partey and still got the blame. Martinelli played three days ago and you want him to start today again. Y’all need to be logical skmethi and stop taking the piss…
        If Pepe plays poorly today, then Martinelli starts against United FFS.
        Are you going to run the boy down?

        1. I totally understand martinelli being rested but he shud stop moving saka everywhere LW rw lb that’s all am saying…the lad is scoring goals now, forming a good partnership with ESR and laca at RW…he shud b play there always like the sallahs, robbens, messi,dybalas.

          He is better there than pepe period…maybe pepe cud go to LW to whip in crosses at least

    3. I agree we shouldn’t rush Martinelli and risk losing him for weeks in case of injury same with KT better to rest him for one more game I was critical of MA over TP injury Martinelli being rushed back it looks like that he’s learnt from those situations the medical staff & manager should be the ones calling the shots not players when it comes to be fit to play because players can be over eager to play.

    4. true some times bench players have to start too so as that the first team players dot get injured, i criticised arteta on the weekend that he startet willian pepe and nketiah at the same time but like this its absolutely understandable and i think pepe on the left is a good choice for this match

  11. Like you Declan, I sincerely hope Pepe is played as a conventional left winger where he just might make an impression.The absence of Tierney is a big blow.Let’s hope he is fit for the Man Utd match.

    1. Grandad I think he’ll be reasu for the United game. He trained in the cold few days ago. Today it was a late fitness test but I’m sure Arteta would rather protect him now and use him in the United game.
      He should be available for that game, using him today would’ve instilled confidence, but also it’s better to not risk him

  12. Arteta might surprise us with bringing Martinelli for Laca. Martinelli and Pepe rotating the role of CF would be interesting.

    1. @vinod
      Martinelli for Pepe will be okay.
      Please do NOT sub Laca. He has a knack of scoring or assisting in dying minutes. That is why Laca hates being subbed.
      MA should absolutely NOT bring in Nketiah.

      1. Just thinking wierd to add a surprise element. But I would not mind such a front 4 because we might have to sell Laca at the end of the season and this sort of experiments could save us millions.

        1. Please no experiment in this vital game.
          Laca has to stay till the 90th minute.
          Absolutely no Nketiah..

  13. OMG!!! Arteta again????
    Saka has to play on the right for Godsake…on the left he crosses too much..this has happened over and over again…the crosses don’t get utilized but on the right he cuts in and shoots…that’s our best attacker wasting away till when arteta decides to shift him to lb as usual…

    Pepe slows down attacks for godsake..wat type of a manager fails to see flaws in a system after 19 matches… Jeez…wat has pepe done to bench martinelli for….just stick to a winning attack,is it too much to ask??

  14. Not having to see Willian play makes this a good day. No Tierney a shame… AMN not good at LB. Can play LWB, but really had a poor display at LB last time he was there…. Pepe is another headache and shame there is nobody else to come in but doubt it’s a good idea to rush Martinelli back. I think this is an indication that Auba will be out for United game as well, and Martinelli will start that one

    1. Yeah I think Martinelli would start the United game too because of his work rate which Pepe lacks. There’s no way Arteta would’ve used him thrice under 12 days.
      Tierney should be available too.
      Pepe hopefully plays sensible today since he has Smith Rowe. Still better than playing Willian

  15. Hmnn!.I’m not comfortable with Pepe, so one dimensional, slows down the game and very predictable. Might be difficult for us to win this match!

  16. Lot of negatives against Pepe and Cedric. Here is what I think about them.

    Since the first choice fullbacks of Southampton are not there it is a perfect opportunity for Pepe to gain some confidence. If it does not go well we still have hope that Martinelli will come and change the game.

    Cedric did not have a great game in last match, but what I found good about him is moving into spaces to receive the ball. I hope that will come handy when we play from the back and Saints press high. Our problem of playing from back has always been the lack of someone in the middle to receive the ball and start a counter attack. I think Cedric’s primary responsibility would be that and Xhaka would be slotting into the back 4 (3) more often.

  17. So Martinelli hasn’t been part of the winning formula. Aubamayang and Tierney have been but they are both out. So the winning formula that you describe (a) isn’t possible and (b) never existed.

    I’m with Eddie on this, the meaning about lineups before a shot has been fired is getting silly.

  18. I agree with the line up and also benching martinelli who might be our only sub who can impact the game and guys ease up on arteta and his selections

  19. I watched Cedric play as L.B in the previous match and he was so wasteful until he was switched to R.B.
    Unless something has changed in training,I see no reason to repeat such a failed experiment. Isn’t Gabriel left footed? Or can’t a center back play out wide when need be?Anyway,let’s hope for a positive result but honestly Arteta never ceases to disappoint.

  20. Yet another lopsided team, Soares on the left Pepe on the right. How naive is that, it was that what let us down Saturday. Partey will help the slow midfield but i dont like these out of balance teams he keeps playing, its like playing in chains.

  21. Gotanidea and comrades just coz you play fifa doesnt make you an expert on the pitch this is real life or perhaps we should sack arteta and give you reigns to see how you fare your presumptious f**k

  22. Saka better be playing on the right with pepe left. I’m so frustrated with arsenal managers ruining players by playing them a ll over the pitch and out of position. This has been going on since Wenger days with emery and now atreta doing the same. Are they ever going to learn? How many players do they have to destroy? I know I’m no manager but I dont see other world class managers doing this crap.

    1. Guardiola playing fenandinho as a cb is okay but when Arteta does some switching you all begin to cry foul even before the match starts
      Remember, you dnt fight with the army you want but with the army you have

      1. Its not the same thing since Rodri in now 1st choice DM there and they had problems at the back so why not try Fernandino. Your 2nd point makes no sence I’m not complaining about the players we have just how they are being used. Lastly and most importantly saka and Pepe are playing where I hoped they would and are both doing very well today so I’ll just enjoy the good football we are finally playing

  23. And some will keep saying Lacaazette contract should be renewed, such an average player. If we lose some will say it’s the coach fault.

  24. The earlier question posed, “Does Lacazette deserve a contract extension” clearly answered. Definitely Not.

  25. Two great passes from Xhaka so far..could’ve gotten two assist already.
    Lacazette took a poor shot, but hoping to see him do better from here

    1. 100%….these are the games Xhaka is perfect for. Where we dominate possession and we aren’t pressed.

      Should always be starting these games

  26. As we look for a left back we also urgently need a center forward.
    But surely why us?I must serialize my life as an arsenal fan.It definitely is not that easy.

  27. Example of why Bellerin should leave

    Plays pass to Partey, Partey goes to play the 1 2 and where is Bellerin….dropped back all the way and pass goes to the opposition.

    Bellerin rarely plays positively anymore

    1. Could’ve made a beautiful pass to Saka who made the run, but he is so fixed on making one of his terrible crosses…fed up with him

  28. Bellerin…I don’t want to see play for arsenal ever again.
    Seriously, wrong decisions, slow thinker on the ball, no creativity can’t cross …..and now a yellow 😡

    1. Thank you!

      Cedric at RB is a better crosser by far, much better defender and has more of z football brain

      1. @Edu lol….in what way

        See the cross Bellerin let in, nowhere near closing down. Thank goodness for Leno

  29. Wasteful finishing has cost us a lot of pts already this season. We cannot continue missing easy chances like that.

        1. The pass under no pressure? Lacas pass to Saka was a far superior pass

          Xhaka is having a good game but dont be a fan boy

  30. Gooooaaaaal…
    I told y’all saka has to play RW permanently…boy has found his scoring Boots…we have found our star..waht a goal
    Can’t believe such talent would have wasted away at LB..

  31. Nothing much to complain, Arteta will be a relieved man for prioritising League over cup and Pepe over Martinelli. Would like to see more from Bellerin, Luiz and Partey.

  32. Had Lacazette been able to move away from Soton’s GK, Xhaka would’ve gotten two assists. But his assist for Saka was great and Saka showed how to skip past Soton’s GK brilliantly

    Pepe also produced a great first touch and a shot in the penalty box. I didn’t expect him to start on the left, but he seemed eager to put in extra effort there

    1. It seems the left suits him for now…he doesn’t need to cut in or do anything fancy just run in and shoot…

      Nice game so far…

      1. He looked better on the left, because he’s so one-legged. His pace and height make him potential to be an LB

        1. Spot on mate…hope arteta is taking notes..

          We might already have a KT cover in pepe and don’t know it yet

  33. When will bellerin learn?
    When will he stop passing backwards. I can count about 9 times. He’s been playing for about 6 seasons now. Would he ever come good? Hope KT gets fit and Cedric takes his RB position.

  34. Nice game we got. Hope we win and score some more. COYG!
    P.S. Pepe been decent. Maybe him on left will work well?

  35. We have the whole talent in the world, but little things are always our problem….

    1. Our collective marking and winning second balls is still wanting

    2. Decision making

    3. Defenders’ passing is so terrible

    Let’s just pray for the win then we move on from there.

  36. Looks like its only a matter of time before they score. ..Thank you for the goal Pepe, time to bring on Martinelli

  37. What’s wrong with making a change? We’re under a lot of pressure right now and Pepe looks tired! Take him off for martenilli

  38. Anyone that thinks Bellerin is better than Cedric is delusional.

    All Bellerin does is pass backwards, cross badly and almost never close down a player crossing

    Cedric, out of position, has looked lightyears ahead in every way.

        1. Newcastle United, Cedric was excellent at RB, poor against Southampton on Saturday playing LB, excellent today. Two out of three.

  39. Saka saka saka…ESR get well soon..

    Odegaard couldn’t have signed at a better time…

    8th here we come

  40. @Danny come out wherever you hiding you said we are gonna lose today, told you I was gonna call you out today for calling arsenal a weak pathetic pls explain to me how come we are winning right now

    1. Ok Performance???? this was a hard fought win vs Team that has been doing better than Arsenal. It was a great performance

  41. Up to 8th and we can score without Auba which is very positive but I’m still conflicted was tonight’s win worth being eliminated from the FA cup?

  42. Nice win! Keep up the momentum and who knows where we end up in yhe table come the end of the season, lol. A victory againster penchester with Pennywise scoring would be a dream weekend, 😂😂

  43. special shout out to Cedric, he gave us a diffent performance from what we expected and showed how a right footed player excell at Lb. luiz was uncomfortable through and others play well, Pepe getting his confidence back. Hopefully Martinelli get his start against utd

  44. I’m rooting for Bukayo Saka to win the ‘Young Player of the Season’ award this season if he continues playing like this. I believe he should have at least 5 Premier league goals and 5 assists already this season, and we are just halfway into the season. Hitting double digits for both goals and assists will further solidify his status as a superstar for the near future.

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