Confirmed Teams for Arsenal & Aston Villa’s FNF clash at the Emirates

The teams are out for tonightโ€™s clash against Dean Smithโ€™s Aston Villa side, with Arsenal ringing the changes.

The Gunners were second-best for large spells of the 90 minutes against Crystal Palace, while Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to rescue a point for us deep into injury time, while we did lose Bukayo Saka to a terrible deliberate foul by James Macarthur.

The youngster did return to training on Thursday however, and has managed to convince the manager that he is ready to start this evening.

With the above in mind, we had predicted that the following would be the team to play tonightโ€™s clash:

Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney
Smith Rowe Partey Odegaard
Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang

Only after the line-up was announced did Arsenal confirm that Tierney is ruled out of todayโ€™s playing squad due to a โ€˜bruised left ankleโ€™.

And the away team is as follows:

I feel like Laca deserves his return to the line-up, and am more than happy seeing Auba, Saka and Smith Rowe given the nod to pay just in behind, and feel like this can be a possible line-up.

What is your scoreline prediction after seeing the teams?


Tags Arsenal v Aston Villa Aston Villa


  1. Sue says:

    Come on boys, it’s been too long since we last scored/took all 3 points against this lot! And Orbinho just tweeted this:
    Arsenal haven’t lost four consecutive league games to Aston Villa since 1963.

    Dan Kit.. are you happy with this line-up? Thought so…. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Stephanie says:


    2. Lenohappy says:

      Sue I’m sorry if I’m being negative but I think we can all agree that saka needs some rest, why have Martinelli if he can’t start against villa.

      1. PJ-SA says:

        Leno ๐Ÿ‘

      2. Sue says:

        You’re not negative, Lenohappy. It is head-scratching why Gabi hasn’t played more. Saka’s too good to drop though!

    3. ken1945 says:

      S AND S I’ve got butterflies here at home!!!!

      1. Sue says:

        Butterflies, what butterflies, Ken ๐Ÿ˜†
        That was brilliant, just the job after Monday

    4. Kenya 001 says:

      Absolutely, Now COYG I needy a bloody 5* performance.

      1. Sue says:

        You’ve got it, Kenya ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. lcebox says:

    4-1 with that team , if we show up.
    lf we don’t I’m afraid a draw at best 1-1.
    I feeel we are due to blast a team away and Villa might be that team as we owe them some.

  3. Skills1000 says:

    I do not understand why Arteta keeps playing Bukayo Saka. Saka needs a rest. Martinelli should be getting more game time. Martinelli for Saka makes sense imo. Saka if not properly managed could be another Diaby/Wilshere.
    Anyways , 3 points is all that matters in this game. A draw or a loss is not good enough.


    1. gotanidea says:

      Because Saka is our best RW

      1. Skills1000 says:

        You are right GAI. However, Martinelli is equally up to the task. If you look at Saka contributions this season, you will see he looks like someone who should be on the bench for a game or two. We need Martinelli to get more games as well.

        1. gotanidea says:

          Martinelli is very dangerous when playing on the left wing. I think he’ll play in the last twenty minutes of the game

    2. PJ-SA says:

      Agreed completely… Saka a bit!

      Martinelli and Balogun are supposed to be a big part of our future but they barely even get sub appearances for 5 mins.

      Then we get injuries they are thrown in the deep end with little experience and no match fitness.

      1. Skills1000 says:

        Exactly @ PJ. Rotation is key. Arteta does not rotate his squad well enough. A top manager should have options. I still believe that Martinelli is very aggressive, Direct and is up to the task.

  4. PJ-SA says:

    Glad to see Tavares starting, I know KT is injured but he’s been well below his own standards recently.

    Hoping ESR stays in the CAM position and doesn’t keep drifting too wide.


  5. gotanidea says:

    No Odegaard, but hopefully Smith-Rowe/ Saka combo will work on the right wing and Aubameyang should win all aerial duels against Cash/ Konsa

    Happy to see Lacazette back, because he usually links up well with the youngsters

    1. Kedar says:

      Aubameyang May be playing as LW
      What do you say??

      1. gotanidea says:

        Yes, he’d most likely play against Cash and Konsa on the left wing

    2. Stephanie says:

      Interesting to see Lacazette Aubameyang Pepe front line again


      1. gotanidea says:

        Pepe is on the bench. If Lacazette, Tavares and Lokonga can win the headed ball from Aubameyang, we can dictate the tempo

    3. Grandad says:

      So you reckon Auba will dominate Konsa in the air?And how do you come to that mind boggling conclusion? Konsa is one of the best young centre backs in the League being quick and very good in the air.

      1. gotanidea says:

        I hope so, because Konsa isn’t as tall as Brighton’s CBs. Aubameyang won many aerial duels against Davinson Sanchez, so Konsa and Cash shouldn’t be a problem for him

        1. Grandad says:

          Height is not the only pre requisite for being good in the air.Athleticism, and a natural ability to attack the ball are more important than 2/3 ” of bulk.

      2. PJ-SA says:

        I agree, I mean Laca doesn’t even challenge anyone in the air.

        I hope karma strikes me and he scores a header!

  6. Reggie says:

    Interesting that the ineffective Odergaard is dropped, ESR can play his best role for me No10. He works harder and makes things happen. A bit surprised Saka isn’t rested but Arteta knows better.

    1. PJ-SA says:


  7. Lenohappy says:

    I pray arteta won’t ruin saka career, why do we have Martinelli if he can’t start in this kind of marches. I’m not being negative I just don’t understand it.

  8. Mickmematethemasterfarter says:

    Kola on the bench ffs, balogun would probably start for villa, arteta is 1 sick puppy

    1. Mark 2.0 says:

      Where do you manage again?

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        so much for the perception that 2.0 represents a better version of the original

        1. Mark 2.0 says:

          You aren’t very intelligent are you?? There is another Mark here I***t

          1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            that’s too bad, as there was so much room for improvement f******************h

        2. Mark 2.0 says:

          Looks like when someone doesn’t buy into your point of view you hold a grudge.. Childish….grow up..

          1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

            Ditto Mark Jr.

  9. Davi says:

    Glad he picked Laca, Auba and ESR. All have looked up for the fight recently, so I thought they had to start.
    Have a feeling it’ll either be really good or really bad – hopefully the former!

  10. Sean Williams says:

    I think this is the right team for the night. Villa still have a strong midfield and it’s good Lokonga is playing. Aubameyang needs Lacazette to give him more room. I thought we would win against Brighton and Palace, so maybe I haven’t learned, but I think/hope we will win 3-1. If we lose I think Arteta will be history.

  11. Stephanie says:

    COYG! Let’s get back to winning

  12. Highbury Hero says:

    Let’s give Martinez a nice basket gift full of goals. He needs to move on. Few months of good performance and he think he is a Seaman or Lehmann.

    1. Lenohappy says:

      HH take it or leave it sir, on current form Martinez is one of the best goalkeeper in the world, but I’m happy with Ramsdale development. And if I’m being honest, Martinez is the least of my worry in this match, I’m worried that any slight tackle on saka may lead to a season ending injury, he should have been rested for this game.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        He should move on. He is no longer an Arsenal player and that was his decision. He should stop talking about Arsenal every chance he get. What is this nonsense that we didn’t deserve him that he talking about now? He should talk about his club, Aston Villa.

        Seaman and Lehmann can talk about Arsenal anytime they want because they left their mark there and they will always be associated with the club whenever their football careers are concerned.

  13. Sue says:

    Hope Auba’s still on the sauce ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Kedar says:

    Aubameyang should have headed that ball instead acrobatic fail

  15. Kedar says:

    Goal Should have stood

  16. PJ-SA says:

    Finally we are playing a proper high press….the 1st time since we won the FA Cup. Looking good

    1. Perry ames says:

      Can the fans at the Emirates please stop singing “stand up if you hate Tottenham” it is so annoying and childish

  17. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    Laca’s very fortunate he didn’t get a yellow for that challenge

  18. Kedar says:

    Looks like Lacazzett is playing as DM

  19. PJ-SA says:

    I love Auba but you can’t even begin to compare the amount Laca contributes to the overall play.

  20. Sue says:


    1. PJ-SA says:

      Finally….was thinking his debut goal would come in 2023๐Ÿ˜‚

      Terrible defending, thanks Villa

      1. Sue says:

        ๐Ÿคฃ me too!!

  21. Kedar says:

    Finally there is no deja vu against Martinez

  22. Sean Williams says:

    So happy for Thomas. We look good.

    1. Sue says:


  23. PJ-SA says:

    Tomi having a cracker….Tavares should get a run of starts

    Regardless of the score, it’s just great to see us playing well and looking like we have a plan.

  24. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    glorious to see Partey finally get off the snide, as it’s been a long time coming…hopefully it won’t take near as long for him to pot a second

  25. Kedar says:

    How Saka Missed it
    Oh No

  26. Loki says:

    Saka needs to work on his finishing

  27. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    we simply can’t afford to have Saka missing those types of opportunities

  28. PJ-SA says:

    Looks like we are almost playing 4-4-2 at times with ESR on the LW quite often.

    1. Kedar says:

      But Lacazzett is playing much deeper
      Like 4-5-1

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        the only reason I wouldn’t say a 4-5-1 is that when they we’re defending in our own zone, Saka is tucking inside a bit too much if that were the formation…I just think Laca always comes deep, as it’s the only way he can really be an effective target man in the midfield area due to his obvious size disadvantage

      2. PJ-SA says:

        That is the original 4 4 2….1 striker plays a little deeper like Bergkamp and Henry.

        4 4 2 doesn’t mean the strikers must be perfectly in line. Without the ball one always drops deeper to help.

    2. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      I think so PJ, as Laca is far more effective when tucked in behind, where he can come into the box late and hunt for pockets of space…maybe even a 4-4-1-1…I would rather have ESR play more centrally, with Ode justifiably out of the lineup, but I think it gets too congested since Laca comes so deep

  29. Kedar says:

    We need 2nd goal guys

  30. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    amateur hour defending by Lokonga…Xhaka would be so proud

    1. Declan says:

      Oh he who mocks gets mockedโ€ฆ

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        WTF does that even mean?

  31. Sue says:


    1. Lenohappy says:

      Sue I just have that feeling Martinez will save that penalty, thank God for Auba being alert, why can’t we always play like this.

      1. Sue says:

        Me too, Lenohappy… luckily Auba’s on the sauce ๐Ÿ˜„
        It’s frustrating that we don’t!!

  32. Sue says:

    Loving this!! Excellent half ๐Ÿ‘Œ

    1. ken1945 says:

      Great isn’t it Sue – def penalty and I can see Villa having a player sent off.
      Great attitude, just like the spuds game and thumbs up to the crowd… should have gone ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      1. Lenohappy says:

        Ken why can’t we always play like this.

        1. ken1945 says:

          No idea Lenohappy, but we KNOW they can do it… all we nesd/want is consistency and the project (or whatever one wants to call it) can be seen!!!
          I do believe Martinez was off his line for the penalty, but who cares!!

      2. Sue says:

        Yes the way they’re going, Ken plus Pawson loves a red!
        I know I’m gutted, I wish I’d gone too, … they’d better play like this against Watford ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜„

    2. Kev82 says:

      Brilliant Sue where has this performance come from ๐Ÿ˜

      1. Sue says:

        I know right, Kev!! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ See we can do it ๐Ÿ˜„

    3. Perry ames says:

      Absolutely spot on sue but we need to keep this up for the 2nd half for once

      1. Sue says:

        I’m sure we will, Perry…

  33. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    So fortuitous that Auba was well-prepared to pounce should Emi save his penalty attempt

  34. gotanidea says:

    Surprised by Lacazette’s CAM position, because he wasn’t effective the last time he played there. Nonetheless, Lacazette and Tavares were braver in duels, as compared to Odegaard and Tierney

    We missed their physicalities in our previous EPL game. Arteta’s tactic is spot-on this time, making Smith-Rowe do more playmaking and pressing on the left side

    Now we could sit back a little, while we have a two-goal lead. Villa were lucky to have Martinez, otherwise Saka would’ve scored

  35. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    we simply can’t come out and play with 11 men behind the ball and try to eke out this game…time to stay on the front foot, until the game suggests otherwise, and put our foot on their neck

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Yes….more of the same please.

  36. Lenohappy says:

    I remember Dan kit once said Tavares gives more to this Arteta arsenal than Tierney I can see why he said that, I’m sure if we had started with Tierney it will always be crossing after crossing but Tavares seem to know how to dribble and can cut inside, let’s hope this continues.
    Thank you for a brilliant first half arsenal.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Yes he’s got a solid right foot, I think it makes it very difficult to defend against his attacks.

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        not to mention the fact that Nuno is far more willing to cut inside, due to his ability to utilize his right foot, which presents something vastly different for opposing defences

  37. Sean Williams says:

    Tavarez and Tomiyasu are making the game. Bit of a lucky penalty, but we deserve to be 2 up.

  38. C says:

    4-4-2 only works

  39. Skills1000 says:

    So far so good. Well done Guys. We need to close this game in the second half. Arteta deserves some credit. I have to say that all the signings we made in the summer have done well.
    Tomiyasu. A good right back who reads the game well. We are on track. Consistency is key.

  40. instrooments says:

    Can we all see how much better we play with SAKA on the right.

    The final piece has been unleashed in Tavares,the lad balances the left side as he is comfortable on both feet, he adds that extra man to the attack allowing auba to drift in to the center then Laca drops deep to support ESR…

    Today, Tomiyasu isn’t overworked as he’s used to with Pepe…..

    Partey and Sambi will be a partnership that would be reckoned with soon, all Sambi needs is the extra bulk for physical duels….

    Ramsdale’s distribution is off the hinges…wat a buy!!!…All new signings look pretty good ….

    I hope arteta maintains this team, as this current setup would be difficult to beat…

    1. Skills1000 says:

      @ instrooments, also Ben White. The way he dribbled from the back with confidence was a beauty. We need the 3 points today. Looking forward to a good second half.

  41. PJ-SA says:

    Saka is looking tired, think Martinelli should come on at 55 mins and give him a rest.

  42. PJ-SA says:

    Aaaaaand…….our high press has disappeared!

    Just give us one, consistent full game that we look 100% in control.

  43. Sue says:

    ESR….. get in there!!!!!

  44. Kedar says:

    Tomiyasuโ€™s positioning is so good and thatโ€™s why he wins so many balls

  45. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    nice touch from Auba to release ESR…another fortuitous bounce, but I’ll gladly take the result

  46. Sean Williams says:


  47. Kobin says:


    1. Sue says:

      He’s been brilliant

      1. Kobin says:

        Yes Sue! Miss this Arsenal!

  48. Pco says:

    But he needs to make some changes. Some players look tired!

    1. Kobin says:

      Yes GM should come on and maybe Pepe.

  49. Prof.Wenger says:

    This is ARSENAL!!!!

    MA keep pushing forward don’t hold back, you are doing great!!!! KEEP GOING!

  50. Kobin says:

    Is anyone else seeing this? Ramsdale distribution is so gooooooooood

    1. Sue says:

      Great save also!

      1. Kobin says:

        Fans are singing for Emi !! “Aaron Ramsdale, he is better than you!”

        1. Sue says:

          ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ love it, Kobin!!

    2. instrooments says:

      Sooooo good kobin…..

  51. PJ-SA says:

    Time for some fresh legs i think….if there’s ever a time to give some youngsters a bit of a run…..

  52. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    this is the time to press for a mitt-full of goals just to prove to ourselves that we can do so whenever it’s required…really would like to see Marts on the pitch for at least 20

  53. instrooments says:

    Wowww…what a game…. Tavares has to start for the rest of the season, the lad be giving Marcelo vibes…..

    I think we have finally found the team for the rest of the season bar injuries…

    1. Sue says:

      Now Laca’s down โ˜น

      1. instrooments says:

        No worries sue, the man is a fighter…maybe sore legs I guess…

        1. Sue says:

          Let’s hope that’s all it is..

  54. Sue says:

    Listen to the fans… ‘Aaron Ramsdale he’s better than you’ ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ‘

  55. Kobin says:

    MO8? What about Matts!

  56. Walex says:

    Can’t martinelli come in ?

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Not part of MAs plans at Arsenal mate.

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        Shocking really, in that this hasn’t been a clinical display, more of a piss & vinegar affair, so why not let him have a run in this largely counter-based attack…the fact that Laca comes off for Ode is so telling and not in a positive way…Marts would have made far more sense at both ends of the pitch

        1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          just as I wrote that, you can see exactly why Ode is a waste of space defensively

  57. Dhoni says:

    Happy with the performance today.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      1st half yes…..we gave them 4 shots in the 1st 8 mins of the 2nd half.

      We completely stopped the high press from the start of the 2nd half… idea why?? It was working beautifully.

  58. Kedar says:

    We are shaky now

  59. Walex says:

    Odegard needs to work on his ability to mark

  60. PJ-SA says:

    With Tavares being so good on both feet….i wonder if he wouldn’t be the perfect partner for Partey once KT is back

    1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      I can see what you’re thinking there but I’m not sure if he has the tight control required, as I think he likes to take advantage of those oft-times wide open spaces tucked out wide behind another player with pace…I personally think ESR could be that guy, now that his injury woes have subsided, he has no fear about sticking his foot in and he’s an energizer bunny out there…if we played with more balls, offensively, that would allow us to have one or both push forward at times, so that we can win that numbers game we’ve failed miserably at during this period of largely negative tactics

  61. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    there’s no reason whatsoever why Saka is still on the pitch

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Yes he looks dead on his feet….think MA is trying to kill him๐Ÿ˜‚ Poor kid

  62. Sue says:

    ESR motm ๐Ÿ‘

    1. Skills1000 says:

      Yes Sue. A good game we had tonight.

    2. Rux says:

      Absolutely, ESR is MOTM. I like the way simple he plays and his timing to pass

  63. Kobin says:

    Done and dusted. Good game. We became tired in the end. But more of these please.

    1. Sean Williams says:

      ESR great game and Tomiyasu and Tavarez.

  64. ken1945 says:

    Brilliant… from the team selection, the way we played, the tactics, the crowd…. just like we did against the spuds….. in complete control from start to finish.

    NOW we need to see consistency PLEASE.

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