Official Arsenal team and preview of Middlesborough trip

With Arsenal desperately needing some kind of confidence boost as well as all three Premier League points from this evening’s away game at Middlesborough, Arsene Wenger will have been very relieved to welcome our best centre back Laurent Koscielny and the first choice keeper Petr Cech back into training this week, and it is no surprise that both are in the starting line-up tonight.

What is a surprise, though, is the absence of Shkodran Mustafi from the team or even the bench, so our bad luck just keeps going and Wenger has had to go with Gabriel. There is a also a rare start for young Rob Holding with Hector Bellerin dropping to the bench after his poor form led to some abuse from the fans in our defeat at Crystal Palace.

Also on that Arsenal bench are Elneny and Coquelin, with Ramsey and Xhaka preferred, while Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud join Alexis Sanchez up front and Walcott and Welbeck miss out, the latter out of the squad altogether.

Holding, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal
Ramsey, Xhaka
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Alexis

subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Gibbs, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Iwobi.

Can this changed Arsenal side produce a change in fortunes that the Gunners so badly need?



  1. Elliot says:

    God damn it, put the ox next to xhaka ffs. Ramsey is a ham roll. Backwards, backwards, sideways, backwards.

  2. RSH says:

    Three at the back???? This has to be the first formation change in about a decade

    1. Elliot says:

      I bet Gabriel is playing at right back.

      1. RSH says:

        we’ll see if it changes during game but the official arsenal account shows 343

        1. Elliot says:

          Oh wow, that is interesting. Thanks for the update!

    2. RSH says:

      and thats according to official Arsenal twitter. The one in article is wrong admin.

    3. bran99 says:

      True mate, I got suprised, since i was born this is the first surprise I’ve witnessed from Wenger

  3. Vish says:

    Though i am really gutted with our performances this season but i am kinda keen to see how this formation plays out. Very interesting. Wenger has never done this. But damn ramsey.

    1. RSH says:

      yeah the changes are… interesting. No Welbeck at all, no Mustafi even on bench. (are they injured?) At least Bellerin finally got dropped. Glad to see Holding starting at least, I look forward to seeing him play.

      1. HA559 says:

        Bellerin would’ve been better as a WB than Ox, that way he could’ve focused more on attack knowing there is an extra CB for cover.

        1. Vish says:

          “Recently we lost a lot of direct fights centrally. So it will get us a bit stronger in the air,” said Wenger when he was asked about his new formation just now on Sky.

        2. bran99 says:

          True, and I guess Gibbs could be a better option over Monreal.. he is more attack minded than side passes and back passes Monreal

        3. RSH says:

          Ox has put in better crosses than Bellerin lately. I just think Bellerin is beyond out of form at the moment and after all the flak he got from fans in the stadiums lately, probably mentally jaded. I think it’s the right call to keep him out of lineup. its a shame too cause 343 seems like the perfect system for him.

        4. John0711 says:

          Bellerin couldn’t cross his legs

      2. Vish says:

        First I thought wenger removed non performing players when i saw bellerin on the bench, no mustafi too, no headless chicken welbeck too. But then i saw ramsey in the starting line up and i was like damn the old guy never learns.

  4. HA559 says:

    I doubt it’s 3-4-3. If it is, then the right side is so weak defensively – Ozil,Ox, Ramsey, Paulista.

    But If it is true that Ozil and Sanchez both playing behind Giroud, then there could be a lot of goals.

    1. Vish says:

      I dont find Ox weak defensively. His work rate is massive and he always tracks back to win the ball back. Gabriel is 50-50. On his day he can be good.
      Lets not talk about ramsey and ozil.

  5. John Smith says:

    Far to late to change the team like this and to put that French plank up front my god. He needs chance after chance. Should put TW tbere but coz he spoke the truth after CP game aW don’t like it.

  6. khangunners says:

    This formation is wrong. Wenger has first time playing with 3 cbs its a 3-5-1 today

  7. John Smith says:

    I think the players have said let’s change it up and having young holding in the team is good. But no HB? We are about pace but saying that look at the plank up front

  8. ger burke says:

    what a line up , definately a 3-0 win for us , and when its over wenger will reveal how long his new contract extension is !.what a perefect night all round . god save us please , lol.

  9. The troll formerly known as robin vanpayslip says:

    Wenger said himself Gabriel is at RB so not sure what everyone is getting excited about

    1. The troll formerly known as robin vanpayslip says:

      Actually looks like a back 3 now that the game has started. My fault for listening to what Wenger said

  10. truth teller says:

    Wow I am surprised, actually excited for the game now.

  11. ks-gunner says:

    How much i hate my fellow fans at times. Some time before i could swear fans comparing Wengers Son to Zidane and him being better than Bale, bahaha, now it seems people have seen the light. Fans being a bunch of idiots for excusing failuare is one of the main reason that we are where we are

    Todays game is a must win like every other game

  12. Franklin says:

    Boro to please do us the favor. I prefer not to play on Thursdays.

  13. Franklin says:

    Boro scored yet?

  14. Kiko says:

    New formation for a new manager to assess. 😉

  15. BeastPanda says:

    24 minutes passed and all I see is 0 opportunities made. constant sideway backward pass. Yawn…

  16. John0711 says:

    Chambo and holding started well, Xhaka is not an Arsenal player and never will be
    I like how we’ve started but need Sanchez to come

    1. BeastPanda says:

      Xhaka was waste of money. he doesnt fit the pace. just passes long range. long range pass doesnt work if you dont have anyone running the flanks.

  17. SGgunner says:

    Both teams are sh*t.

  18. John0711 says:

    Tell me why Elneney was 5m and Xhaka 35

    1. The troll formerly known as robin vanpayslip says:

      It’s the battle of the two teams with relegation form

  19. Gooner Craig says:

    I am shocked! I’m happy tho as I was curious what AFC would play like with 3 at the back? It seems like it’s getting quite popular this season. Surprised to see AW going with the times

  20. SGgunner says:

    Am I watching premier league?

  21. Ronny says:

    Wenger protecting bellerin after the other nights game or trying to show actually he is a modern manager who’s moved with the times?
    Maybe the players fancied it.

  22. Kiko says:

    Great formation, wrong players.

  23. SGgunner says:

    If I’m city fan I’ll very happy to see the standard of arsenal team no worry.

    1. Fab says:

      Hahhahaha. Poor fans

  24. luvdaguns says:

    did you see the movement on that ball!

  25. Ronny says:

    Nice goal.
    Now let’s see some character and game management.
    Will Wenger now revert to 4 at the back? And will will score from a counter tonight?
    We need this to secure Europe League next year 🙂

  26. Muffdiver says:

    One man team

    When he goes.


    I love u alexis.

    1. Kiko says:

      He’s gone! PSG apparently. Who else out there wears the #7? Wishful thinking

  27. BeastPanda says:

    least 4 minutes of added time. don’t know what the ref smoking.

  28. Ronny says:

    I agree but haven’t you anything positive to say?

    1. SGgunner says:

      Is there any positive to look for?

  29. SGgunner says:

    Yeah is time to announce contract signed.

  30. John0711 says:

    Holding has started really well
    I will say it again we are 3 top players of being a top side

    1. John0711 says:

      Oh and a top manager

  31. Kiko says:

    Looking forward to our summer business.

  32. safyan says:

    if not making ucl means wenger going so be it
    arsenal wenger has over stayed his welcome…

  33. Arsenal_Girl says:

    19 goals for Alexis (and 9 assists)

  34. Puff Puff says:

    My goodness Ramsey is barely championship level

    1. John0711 says:

      He’s better than Xhaka

  35. Ronny says:

    Sanchez shaking his head ad he comes off.
    Injured annoyed with Monreal, (went for the same ball).
    And yes got to try and look for a positive it’s holding and ox down the flank ad far as I’m concerned.

  36. Franklin says:

    Goooaaaal!!!!! Score some more!

  37. mark says:

    Feck me, the worst team in the league scores against us. Can it get worse??

  38. BeastPanda says:

    wtf is kos doing man… OMFG

  39. ks-gunner says:

    have mercy with us

  40. BeastPanda says:

    our defense is school boy errors man omg….
    nigredo suddenly becomes messi.

  41. BeastPanda says:

    Best team AW got since invincibles :))))))))

  42. truth teller says:

    We are p.o.o.p

  43. Fab says:

    With fans who think Giroud is better than Kane then don’t expect anything bigger

  44. SGgunner says:

    No worry still think arsenal will win this game, I am so positive.

  45. Franklin says:

    Can’t wait for the next 3 losses.

  46. truth teller says:

    Cmon MB help us get rid of Wenger

  47. Ronny says:

    They can’t score but who do they score against?
    Downing good delivery.

  48. Ronny says:

    Has Gabriel been drinking lol!

  49. mark says:

    I don’t recognise our team on the field. Their game is like a mid table team. Something has changed in the last few games. Weird.

    1. truth teller says:

      Lol ye an improvement from championship division team

  50. Ronny says:

    Sanchez having a pop at Monreal. Leave nacho alone at least he tries and mostly gives a fo*k!

  51. SGgunner says:

    Wow boro got a Messi.

  52. Fab says:

    Theo Walcot to come on for the rescue? I think so, he is our second best goal scorer plus he is suited to this kind of games

  53. truth teller says:

    Oh cmon, now wenger here for ever

  54. truth teller says:

    Game will now suit Walcott

  55. gmv8 says:

    We’re making Traore lokk like Messi as well….

  56. Franklin says:

    This is not good. Wenger might think the performance is good enough to sign contact extension

  57. luvdaguns says:

    what a basket case this team is, embarrassing… this is 4 win squad we are strugging with

  58. gmv8 says:

    Do we never learn to close up after a goal? Or maybe we just can’t close up

    1. truth teller says:

      We like that chick at the bar that has had too much to drink, you know the one that you just buy a drink and let it do the rest.

  59. Franklin says:

    Ozil is a bully!

  60. SGgunner says:

    See I know arsenal will win this game cos I found a team worst than arsenal.

  61. Ronny says:

    Can’t defend set pieces at all, rudi gestede is not even on yet!
    Is Wenger still sitting down?

    Good old ox

  62. Ronny says:

    Seriously kante is two players xhaka is -1, he gives nothing.

  63. SGgunner says:

    Did we make any sub?

  64. Tim says:

    Do Arsenal want to win this game?

  65. Fab says:

    The tongue

  66. SGgunner says:

    Boro deserve to be relegated.

  67. Tim says:

    The players should be ashamed of themselves. As the season is f***ed the reserves might as well be played.

  68. Brace for impact… now Boro believes

  69. gmv8 says:

    Bellerin could get a lot of goodwill back for himself getting a haircut for charity – accomplishes a multitude of things – fans back on side for him, money for charity, and getting rid of a haircut that is generally acknowledged to be worse than Gerry Francis’ mullet.

  70. Time to get rid of Ozil while we can still cash on him

  71. SGgunner says:

    Boro make a sub that help us a lot that no 37 is sh*t.

  72. Ronny says:

    Who’d take negredo? I actually thought he did well initially at least when he was at city.
    On a par with giroud?

  73. gmv8 says:

    Alexis looked overjoyed …. I know we’ve been in cr@p form recently, but I think that’s the happiest I’ve ever seen him….

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