Emery could make as many as five changes for the game against Brighton

If we have learned one thing this season it is that guessing what sort of team Unai Emery will put out is as close to an exercise in futility as you can get.

The manager continues to confound us with his selections, sometimes he gets it right like he did last night and sometimes he gets it well wrong as he did against the likes of Wolves and Leicester City.

But that does not mean that we cannot try and work out what the boss is thinking and for me, he will be looking to rest certain players ahead of the Europa League second leg clash at Valencia next week.

One of the most obvious changes will be Leno in for Cech, I think we can all agree that is a given.

I cannot see him selecting Laurent Koscielny, he was carrying a knock last night and even if he was fit I reckon Emery would have rested him anyway and so Nacho Monreal can expect to start.

I would not be surprised if he drops Ainsley Maitland-Niles for the game against Brighton, the young lad is struggling right now and rest may do him the world of good which may mean another call up for Carl Jenkinson.

I can see Lucas Torreira coming in for Mattéo Guendouzi and finally Alex Iwobi instead of Alexandre Lacazette, my thinking is that Emery will want to rest his star man knowing how crucial he could be in the game against Valencia.

Possible team


I will be honest and admit that is somewhat guesswork on my part and is not really a predicted team, I will wait on injury news updates for that but considering we are at home and that our opponents are Brighton I reckon the team above could be very close to what Emery goes for.


  1. Why have we written ourselves off top 4 so soon?
    Winning the Europa is not a guarantee so we should have stopped playing Russian roulette. The manager was silly to rest players against palace – which was why we lost. Had we won that match top 4 would be guaranteed provided we beat brighton. Chelsea, Manu u and Totts will continue to drop points because they are struggling just as much as we are in the league. Watford and Bournemouth will not be easy for the Totts and Chelsea so a win against Brighton could see us above Chelsea. Then another win at Turf Moor and that is that. Surely this is not too much to ask for?

    1. It is incorrect to say that an extra three points against Palace would have guaranteed us top four if we win against Brighton. A defeat at Burnley would mean we could have still been caught by Chelsea. Important to get easily checkable facts right if you wish to be taken seriously. FAIR COMMENT HAD YOU SAID IT WOULD MAKE US FAVOURITES ONLY.

  2. I suspect he will play young Mavroponas at centre back to combat the aerial threat of Brighton at set pieces.Surely to God he will not play a defensive back three system against lowly Brighton at home?.Lacazette will be rested as you suggest and the same may apply to Xhaka who has been poor against Leicester and Valencia and may be carrying an injury.Time to give Nktieta a start I think.

    1. Would love to see what Nketiah can do from the start. He’s looked lively in his short cameos. I wouldn’t say Xhaka is carrying an injury, he’s just poor in general.

      1. Agreed. I’d even suggest we kick him out if he weren’t the apple of Emery’s eye. Unfortunately as long as Emery is manager, I don’t see Xhaka going anywhere.

    2. It’s a real shame that when we decided to play the four back we started using our worst teams and rather we play the three back with our best teams.From what we watched we see that the match was lost on team selection and not formation.

  3. OT Liverpool fans have started a petition, calling for Messi to be banned, after he “punched” Fabinho… ?

    1. Ha, that will be the day. Banning the biggest draw in world football to appease cry-baby Liverpool fans. If they were as great as they believe, they should have dispatched Barca early on. Their egos can’t handle another trophy-less season

        1. If Suarez had bitten him I guess they were going to launch a petition to have the whole Barcelona team banned for a couple of seasons. Clutching straws

  4. Emery should have followed Klopp’s scheme, which uses two inverted wingers that play narrow to score and two wingbacks that play as wingers to provide crosses

    This scheme is the main key of Liverpool’s success in this season, because their midfield is nothing special and they cannot play like Barcelona

    This is why Salah/ Mane top the goal chart and Robertson/ Arnold top the assist chart. Arsenal should have played with similar 4-3-3 or 4-1-2-1-2 pattern

    1. Why should Emry follow loops scheme, are u saying the man doesn’t even have his own scheme be4 coming if that’s so he should be shown the door

    2. You’ve been saying the same thing for months but do we have 2 good inverted wingers to play that system this season? No

      4-3-3 has no place for a number 10 and we have many players who play that position right now(blame wenger obsession with technical players) and emery cannot just remove these players out of the team without losing the dressing room.

      so wait till this summer. emery played it at psg with neymar and mbappe as inverted forward so he might just do the same when he gets rid of ozil. i also prefer 4-3-3.

  5. Storyline

    People criticising Emry for resting players…pls save the man some stress can anyone place tell me what better game to rest players our players looked warn out, over laboured and needed rest….playing at home to palace with our home form that should be the idle opportunity..its not Emry fault it’s just too bad we have a so poor squard and personal
    It’s not Emry,s fault he has to play Mustafi or elneny

  6. EUROPA is always far important than top for what if we make top 4 and chelsea wins the Europa isn’t it useless top for is only more important if only chelsea dnt make it to the finals next week…….as it will certainly guarantee 4th placed team a champions league opportunity

    1. Not sure this is true. IF it is, which I doubt, then I have clearly missed something. Anyone who KNOWS beyond doubt , please tell us which it is. Hope I am wrong and you are correct, obviously though!

    2. 5 teams can qualify for champions league so if we finish 4th and chelsea win europa we both qualify. it just happened last season when man u won europa the season before.

        1. My understanding is that the only way finishing fourth doesn’t get us in CL is if Spurs finish out of top 4 AND win CL AND Chelsea finish out of top 4 AND win Europa.

          So virtually guaranteed.

      1. Ackshay, well this is majorly good news. It means we are merely a half decent away perf at Valencia- far from a given, I realise – from making CL, assuming Chelsea win their second leg , which I anticipate happening.

  7. An early goal in Spain would be lovely, would settle any nerves! Should have enough to beat Brighton.. Valencia game is massive now! COYG ?

  8. Well done Lacazette, player of the season, and he has earned it. Not my choice but I certainly wouldn’t begrudge the man. His partnership with Auba is the best thing that came out of this season, how dangerous they are together and how easy they make it look at times. He was a force last night, and he has done that on a good number of occasions, that commitment that fans always asked for. We’re lucky to have them, I don’t know where we’d be without them, and if we get the right recruits at-least we know we have match winners at CF. Looking at the stats, who Laca shows up against – I never really go back and look at those stats and I certainly cannot remember things as clearly as that, it was good evidence of his quality all same, and again last night, I just hope a defender doesn’t go and ruin the type of season that our strikers are having.

  9. You’d think at home against Brighton, we should be ok.. but they’re in desperate need of points & we have a massive game on Thursday!
    In an ideal world, it’ll be great if we win & give Ramsey a great send off… but I want that place in the final!! So if UE decides to rest players on Sunday, then so be it!
    We have a chance of winning a competition in Europe!! That is just sinking in… I’ll be so happy if we get a win on Thursday COYG

      1. Hey Kev! Well it didn’t start off very well… god I was really p****d when they scored – shocking defending wasn’t it? Then Laca came to the rescue!! And Auba’s goal – how important was that?! It wasn’t the greatest game, but the result was spot on! What did you think of it?

        1. Hi Sue, yeah I was just head shaking, I was thinking here we go again we’re bottling it at the final hurdle! Rubbish defending Sue ? but you know what Sue, what annoys me is that pundits and fans saying they needed to keep a clean sheet and score more goals! What these people don’t realise it’s not all about Arsenal, the opponents are professionals too and internationals you can’t win games 4 and 5-0 each time, they kinda make out Man city and Liverpool don’t concede chances or goals! It’s a semi final it’s bound to be tough right? So overall I’m happy with the result, we’re 2 goals in front and it’s not 50-50 it’s 70-30 us ? I take comfort in the fact Krasnodar scored there and Celtic played 50 mins with 10 men and lost only 1-0 ?

          1. Ha me too! I thought oh please don’t concede yet another 3 goals! So to actually score 3 instead – was very happy with that ?
            Exactly Kev – you’re the voice of reason, once again!
            We’d be mad to let this go now.. if it had stayed 2-1, I’d be seriously bricking it… not saying it’s done & dusted, far from that, but having that 2 goal cushion is a relief!! ?

            1. Yes Sue and I really fancy us to score one or 2 there.. I’m not even worried about the league anymore mainly because we’ll probably lose to Burnley so top 4 is unlikely.. anyway who remembers teams finishing in top 4? Not gonna lay in bed years from now and think remember the time we finished 4th ? winning in Europe stands you out from the rest ? I mean how often do we say oh look Juventus won they’re League or Barcelona won there’s ? You truly get recognised by winning European titles ? win the Europa League for the first time then set a goal to win the champions League ? the pace of Aubameyang for the first goal ? thanks Sue ?

              1. Possibly add the super cup to the Europa League ? we lost to Ac Milan years ago in our only appearance so have to put that right ?

              2. Yes it’s all about Thursday ? haha you’re not gonna lay in bed, years from now & think about us finishing 4th?! Well why the hell not ? ? in all fairness, I think we’ve finished 4th, more than most ?
                It would be amazing to win it! I was thinking earlier, what if Mustafi has a blinder next week & they reward him with a contract extension?! ????

                1. Exactly and was christened the Wenger trophy so in that case we’ve probably won 15 of them ? so on to Thursday ? don’t say stuff like that Sue, our health has suffered enough this season ? watching dammed utd haha great film the revie Clough interview is classic ?

                  1. Actually, I think our health has suffered longer than just this season! And we still go back for more – must be love hey?!
                    I’ve not seen it.. I wanted to watch that Zac Efron film.. probably will tomorrow, although I’m expecting it to be ?! So CK season 3 is coming next year! ?

                    1. A year again ? the ted Bundy film that looks good he was a twisted man ? haha yes Sue it has to be love why else would any sane person suffer so much deliberately ?? you haven’t seen dammed utd ? Sue watch that when you get a chance it’s excellent ?

                    2. Well you (Alex Zane ?) have said it’s good, so it must be! When I’m at a loose end, I’ll give it a go ? hehe!
                      Have you checked the date tomorrow?! ??

                    3. No what’s tomorrow ? haha it’s a football film so you’ll like it Michael sheen is Brian Clough ? oh just catching on may the 4th be with you ??

                    4. Haha yeah Arthur lol he’s actually a very good actor ? you will maybe doubt anyone else will ? so let’s hope Newcastle finish Liverpool’s title challenge tomorrow ? you watching it Sue ?

                    5. Oh I’ll be praying for that to happen! I might watch it.. until Mane scores, then will turn over ?
                      OMG it’s time – Kevin, may the 4th be with you (& your lightsaber ?)

                    6. Perez might bang in a hat-trick ?? so who’s the ref for us on Sunday Sue ?? haha don’t laugh at my lightsaber it’s very dangerous ?? might just go on a star wars binge tomorrow now ?

                    7. Ooh come on Perez!! ?
                      It’s Anthony Taylor ? Christ knows what we can expect from him ?
                      Why not hey?! Not that keen on the new Star Wars films, apart from the one where Han Solo dies.. but love all the others!
                      Well I have an early start tomorrow (& will miss soccer AM ?) so need to sleep.. goodnight Kevin ? and please go easy on your lightsaber ?? hahaha! ???

                    8. Didn’t know you were a star wars fan ? the new ones are rubbish damn you Disney ? oh not Taylor ? Sue’s favourite program ? the JA arena ? haha don’t worry it’s in storage ?? goodnight Sue may the force be with you ? ???

  10. Actually I think Cech should play against Brighton being our last home game as a farewell then Leno plays away against Valencia. We make the final and Cech can be back for it.

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