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

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

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

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

        I hope karma strikes me and he scores a header!

  6. 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.

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

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

  9. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

      1. 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. 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.

    1. 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

    1. 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. 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. 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!!

      1. 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˜„

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. @ 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.

  20. Aaaaaand…….our high press has disappeared!

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

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

  22. This is ARSENAL!!!!

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

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

  24. 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

  25. 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. 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. 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.

  26. 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. 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

  27. 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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