Official Arsenal team to face Norwich City – No Pepe, Mustafi returns

Excitement is very high as Freddie Ljungberg names his first Arsenal team.

New interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has named a very strange lineup to face Norwich City today.

There is no start for Nicolas Pepe alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. But there is a recall for Mustafi.

The defence is a worry as usual, same with the midfield, hopefully, Ljungberg has got the players drilled on how he wants them to play.

Have a look at this lineup and let me know what you think. Are you excited? Is it the line up you expected? Is this team good enough to beat Norwich City today?

The game kicks off at 14.00 UK time. Match Preview here and for comparison, our predicted lineup.

Links to streams will be put in the comments where to watch the game live and free so keep checking in.

Also, if you go to the official Arsenal website you will be able to get live commentary text and Arsenal radio.


    1. well…. other than Torreira for Xhaka, Tierney for Kolasinac, Bellerin (who’s not even on the bench) for Luiz, and Chambers moved to CB……. I think the line-up is okay. Perhaps Holding and Bellerin aren’t fit, that’s why they’re absent. I’d like to see Chambers at DM, if we have to substitute Torreira. Anyways, let’s see how the game plays out…. hopefully, we’ll play beautifully, and get a deserved victory. COYG!

      1. Bellerin hamstring injury,and there is going to be one Tierney,his name is Paul and is the referee today!

    2. All our worst players are starting! Ozil, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi. I said 2-2 earlier, but this is looking pretty good for a defeat based on the selection.

        1. Well he’s barely created in about 3 years now! I think the Watford game was the last time I saw him make a defence splitting pass.

          1. This is always the problem with fans on this site, we know too much. He is still the only creative midfielder available to us and you think he shouldn’t Starr? So what has the whole team done in three years. Please let us start with positive attitude and give our support to the present team and the coaches. I know many people here know more than the coaches but this is not the right time to start putting players to the sword

    3. At the moment we are really short of strong CD. Just a thought that Kolasinac mostly caught out of the position at wings, we cannot even use his physicality at his position, so why not to try him at CD in this adverse situation. Montreal has done this before with mixed success. But in kolasinac we have a powerhouse who can muscle opponent passing by him. Also it would decrease his mobility to get caught out of position. He might our own VVD in making.

    4. Why better performance n overall football. I am still puzzled by two questions though 1) why did we spend £70 odd million on Pepe when he is kept on bench all the time. 2) why are we obsessed with playing our young English academy players when is evident they are bang avg……What annoys me the most is the attitude of some of our academy players specially Saka he plays like he is Messi or Ronaldo or superstar of some hunger no effort for the team, he just strolls with out any intend to recover the ball….it feels like he plays with a I don’t give a sh*t attitude….where as look at the desire n effort of our young forigen players Guendozi n martenlli. You can see that they do care n you can see the hunger.

  1. Wats with kola and chambers, left right FB? Tierney???? Injured????
    I do like auba and laca leading with Ozil behind. But the back four…..????

  2. Ok…. Let’s see how this turns out….. Hoping we get a much needed away win, and improve our form from here on in. COYG!!

  3. I wont comment until after the game. His tactics is what I am waiting for. But as for the lineup. Its crap. I hope he comes out with a tactics that suit the line up.
    Good luck Freddie
    Goodluck Arsenal.
    One love

  4. Is it 4-2-2-2??
    Chambers. Mustafi. Luiz. Kolasinac

    Xhaka. Guendouzi

    Willock. Ozil

    Lacazette. Aubameyang

    Quite Possible

  5. I predicted he would go with an additional midfielder. We need to control the possession against Norwich and can’t go around losing possession because Norwich have really good possession retention.

    I think he will play Guendouzi as a DM, and Xhaka and Ozil as CMs, with Willock as AM. Let’s see.

    But he should’ve went with Pepe instead of Laca or Auba.

    1. Let’s see how the game plays out….. he’s allowed to try things at this stage…. He’ll probably decide on his best 11 a season sooner than Emery. COYG!

  6. I think it’s more like:

    Chambers Must Luiz Kola
    Ozil Guendouzi Xhaka

  7. Freddie trains with them daily so he probably knows which players are in form and good shape right now.

    Although looking at our back 4 and I got to say Mustafi is probably the least mistake prone right now. Chambers has again been shit this year just like before he left for Fulham, making more big defensive mistakes than anybody (though Sokratis is giving him a run for his money). Kola can’t defend and going forward not really that much better than Chambers. And Luiz, well, in back 3 maybe, otherwise not so much.

  8. I just hope the players motivate themselves and earn their paycheck which they have not done for the last three months…..

    1. Exactly jojo, the spotlight is now on the players (new head coach bounce etc). Given the relative standing of the two teams (notwithstanding Norwich beat Manchester City) there can be no excuse for the players not being up for the game.

  9. Excited to see what Ljungberg can do. I think there’s something special about him but let’s see if that’s true. Of course he will need some time to show that

  10. If this was Emery, we would be screaming why did he start 3 defensive midfielders? Now it’s back. Possessing the ball with no wingers is hard. I hope Freddie knows

    1. I don’t think Willock is a DM, and one of Xhaka or Guendouzi can play CM as well. I think it’s 4-4-2. with a DM, an AM, and two CMs in the midfield…. anyways let’s rally the team on to victory.

    2. It’s a 4-4-2 diamond. The same one Emery played against Liverpool and Watford. Guendouzi and Willock either side of Xhaka then Ozil where Ceballos played

        1. Bruh, 4 midfielders with Neither of them able to play on the flank, only two possible formations. Either a 4-2-2-2, which I doubt it is, or a 4-4-2 diamond

  11. Many players injured, no wonder the lineup is like this. Bellerin and Holding will be missed.

  12. worst defence in pl r championship our lord wouldnt win with this absolute shower,,rip terry tomas

    1. He got his formation and selection wrong. I’m afraid this might not be good as someone already said looks like Emery never left.

    1. Socratis should never be allowed to
      wear the Jersey again after last
      weeks horror show and Holding hasnt
      been anything to write home about
      since his return from injury. Im
      no Mustafi apologist but perhaps FL
      believes the German has one last
      opportunity to save his AFC career.
      We shall see.

  13. Really suprised with the lineup, but I’m sure Freddie knows what he is doing. I honestly would have liked to see Tierney and Torreira start but it’s important to get behind the team and reserve judgement until the end.

    1. You’re wrong. Freddie doesn’t know what he’s doing. he has no clue and it just became obvious judging by this line up

      1. You’ve decided he doesn’t know what he’s doing before kickoff?!, That’s harsh…. Let’s see how we perform over the next few games, before giving a verdict. Let’s hope we play some good football, and win this…. COYG!!

  14. Very much regret to say this looks like “keep senior players happy” selection. Not encouraging. I actually thought, given his espousal,of Arsenal values he would never pick Xhaka. Whatever the result today (and we may benefit from “new manager syndrome”) we need an experienced, strong manager – not someone at the beginning of their managerial career. I really, really, really hope I am wrong.

  15. Jo3lJo3lDecember 1, 2019 at 1:29 pm
    At 1st look I was not happy but… this may work if it is a back 4 with Xhaka as DM… Guandouzi and Willock as left and right of the midfield for energy in defence and drives forward when needed. Ozil as number ten and 2 strikers in Laca and Auba…. only tjing I would change is Lucas as DM

  16. Freddie will probably play Ozil play deeper, alongside Guendouzi and Xhaka to involve him more in the build up. Willock will probably play as AM. Laca as SS. Auba as CF.

  17. The first and most obvious rule in football is playing your best players always. How’s kolasinac better than Tierney or xhaka better than torreira. and the 2 most calamitous cbs are paired together. if this is not a nightmarish formation. I don’t know what is. Someone tell Freddie this is not the youth league.

  18. Ljungberg-Mertesacker combo starts with Wenger’s tiki-taka and Emery’s diamond formation!

    ……………… Leno
    Chambers . Mustafi . Luiz . Kolasinac
    ……………… Xhaka
    ……. Guendouzi …….. Willock
    ……………… Ozil
    ….. Aubameyang ……….. Lacazette

    I believe we would see closer distance between the players, shorter/ merry-go-round passes and slower tempo, just like the old Wenger’s playing style!

  19. And so the Ljungberg questioning begins from our fans.
    His first game and people have already started questioning his preferred starting lineup.

    And so the countdown to Ljungberg vs Fans begins.

  20. No wasting time with some,the game’s not started yet but the bashing has😂probably from the same people so happy to see the back of Emery and Freddie in,I don’t know if I should laugh or cry!anyway good luck to the team!

  21. It’s his first game! Yes the defence looks a bit dodgy.. but it usually does no matter who plays!! I’m glad he’s dropped Sokratis though!
    Come on Arsenal, let’s do this 👊

    1. Sue, unfortunately changing the head coach doesn’t change the truth of the matter that Arsenal have limited viable defensive options.

      1. Which begs the question of why we spent 70+M on Pepe? Our form is relegation stuff. In the last 25 minutes Norwich looked more likely to score. I am really worried.

  22. I fail to see what people see in Torriera especially with him looking to leave. We desperately need cm reinforcements as today’s midfield is our best midfield line up and it’s still poor.

    1. I think most Arsenal fans appreciate
      the level of commitment and passion
      that the Uruguayan plays with,
      especially when featured in his best
      and preferred DM position. His
      bossing of Spuds @ home last year
      comes to mind and all of Arsenal
      nation long for that performance to
      become the anticipated norm. WTS I
      still think his best futbol lies
      ahead in Siere A and AFC desperately
      need a midfielder destroyer the likes
      of Fabinho, N’Didi, Doucoure or
      Sangare(Toulouse monster) to sit in
      front of the back four and dictate
      the midfield terms.

      If AFC get a seriou offer in Jan. or
      next summer for LT they’d be foolish
      not to give it serious consideration.

  23. Defence is a shambles
    In fact even if it were Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Tierney it would still be far from rock solid

    Ozil, Xhaka, Mustafi all in one lineup. God help us

    1. Holding, Xhaka, Bellerin, Chambers
      and Mustafi are simply not good
      enough to consistently feature in
      the first 11 @ AFC. The sooner the
      fans and hopefully the new manager
      realizes this the better.

  24. Its ridiculous how our defence just sit back and watch without closing down the opposition. What an embarrassing goal to concede.

  25. We are getting a better performance overall but our defence is still bad not that I expected ljungberg to magically fix it.

    Better that we were unlucky to concede that the usual emery conceding tons of shots then conceding goals. Seems likely we won’t conceded 20+ shots

    1. Chambers, Willock and Xhaka just
      leisurely strolling back as Norwich
      races ahead on the goal scoring

      Id pull all three @ half, send a
      message that such lack of effort is
      embarrassing and insulting to the
      Arsenal badge.

      Play the U-23’s the whole senior team
      including our 2 Prima Donna strikers
      can stay in Norwich for all I care.

  26. Emery is not here anymore again lack of confidence in passing not shooting at all and nobody fights for the ball what else? Terrible defense loosing again same old same old

    1. Good observation

      Willock has to change his attitude if he wants to thrive in this level

      Otherwise we still have many central midfielders waiting to replace him

    2. Defenders got to apply pressure.
      First goal, neither Mustafi nor Luiz stepped.
      Second goal, chambers got back and then stood there, didn’t apply pressure. Basics.

      1. Basics are not being executed. Why? They are playing too high a line, and running back. So losing composure in the process. The man marking system is not in place, as there is no one directing the back line. That is what happens without a Petr Czech type player as goalie.

        Defense is all about organization. Running back and defending on the fly is impossible. That is why we concede so many shots on goal despite having more possession.

    3. Both goals came from the same Channel between Chambers and Willock.

      Willock has been trash in first half. Drop him for Pepe and go 4-2-3-1.

      Xhaka been our best player by far, Ozil invisible again, Chambers not getting back and Willock giving ball away and not getting back.

      1. Might work his socks off but has zero impact. Spends more time rolling around on the ground after getting fouled

  27. Chambers – never been good enough, too slow to handsy
    Sokratis – past it. Greek Chambers.
    Mustafi – past it. German Chambers.
    David Luiz – past it. Brazilian Chambers.
    Mesut – has proven since he’s been here that he doesn’t deserve to be on the field. Suddenly viewed as the creative savior? Yikes
    Xhaka – never been good enough. Always too slow to handsy. Swiss Chambers.

    Too many weak links, especially down the spine.

    1. Chambers is the best fullback of both teams in the first 45 minutes

      Willock is the one who doesn’t offer anything

      1. Name a time the team has a good run of results and performances with Chambers in the team. Since he’s been here. He’s not good enough. He and Kola wide represent beautifully our decent into mediocrity.

        We loan chambers out, his teams get relegated or close, their managers get fired, but now he’s our best defender? Ok. How’d that work for Fulham?

        Going to be average for a while until the personnel improves. Too many average players.

    1. Willock is just not gonna cut it at Arsenal, apart from being British what else does he offer. Can not score, can not create, can’t retain the ball n can’t string long passes….what does he actually offer is beyond me. I am sorry but I said it before n going to say it again all British players we have coming through are just bang avg. Where as the forigen young players we have are way more talented.

  28. Much much better football, better rhythm n more urgency. Willock is useless, should be sold..nothing suggests he will a good player. Gives nothing to the team. David luiz is just not a good defender when will we realize this, he n greek guy are one of the worst defenders in league…both need to sit on bench.

  29. So frustrating how we end yet another goal drought (Puki)…..
    Couldn’t stand Krul at Newcastle!!

    Come on Arsenal.. all to play for! The women won 11-1!!!

  30. If the Arsenal players don’t have enough skills to beat Norwich please give us a little bet of heart for the shirt please?

  31. Luiz is no good in a cb pairing. Put him in a 3 at the back and let him step forward effectively.
    If we play a 2 he doesnt play simple.
    Chambers too immobile for RB and wheres torreira? If fit this guy needs to start each game in the correct dm position. Just let him sit and break things up as he reads the game so well.
    Very strange line up!
    Today away I would have gone totally defensively minded and locked it down at the back with laca pepe and auba attacking together through counter attacks or long balls.

  32. What is it with this side not being able to defend the counter. Speed, positional play, fullbacks not tracking back quick enough????even weak opposition can just soak up our pressure and score on the counter. We have international experienced defenders, experienced defenders as coaches….. I just don’t understand it.

  33. @th14atl
    Dont quite agree on chambers.
    Hes not mobile enough to play rb but at Fulham he did okay at cb often in a 3 and played really well for then as a dn player. Not saying Fulham are upto much but he was voted player of the season. Hes a dm player but behind torreira. Imo anyway.

    1. Chambers is pretty much useless as a CB or RB at this level, but the issue with DM is his long passing is not good enough for a very good DM. Maybe for Fulham, but not Arsenal. Torreira should be first choice DM, and David Luiz as a backup DM is again better than Chambers because he’s better at marking, tackling, and especially long passes.

      Also, he was voted player of the season by the fans, not any experts or anything. Because partly he’s a likeable guy. That’s why many fans fail to see how bang average he is.

  34. As long as we press and try to score, either win or lose, it’s ok for me. All I want to watch is ‘football game’

    1. Our defence is soo bad it cannot be fixed this season so we have to put an attacking lineup to play to our strength.

      Emery tried to compensate for our bad defense by sacrifing an attacking outlet and it backfired spectacularly.

    1. Change willock ….whats with Arsenal manager’s n the substitutions???? Why don’t they make changes before an hour? R they told not to do so?

  35. We can win this…I won’t mind watching this football every week till we fix the defence. At least Freddie has taken the other approach of trying to out score opponents.

  36. Saka on? Pepe’s speed and dribbling would help on the wing.

    Freddie done himself no favors with this lineup. Getting played by Norwich, wow how we have fallen.

    Willock and Chambers were trash today and hurt us badly.

    Too much trust in Willock then Saka.

    Same issues, same result, same shit

    1. I’m totally with you in this , why are we playing for a draw against Norwich . Worst part is Freddie seems to be happy with the be draw

  37. It’s the first game under Freddie. Look at us on the road before now…at least we didn’t lose… and I believe we’ll get better. I actually quite enjoyed it, which made a change!
    Leno was brilliant… not keen on Chambers…. onwards and upwards!

  38. Why better performance n overall football. I am still puzzled by two questions though 1) why did we spend £70 odd million on Pepe when he is kept on bench all the time. 2) why are we obsessed with playing our young English academy players when is evident they are bang avg……What annoys me the most is the attitude of some of our academy players specially Saka he plays like he is Messi or Ronaldo or superstar of some hunger no effort for the team, he just strolls with out any intend to recover the ball….it feels like he plays with a I don’t give a sh*t attitude….where as look at the desire n effort of our young forigen players Guendozi n martenlli. You can see that they do care n you can see the hunge

    1. Totally agree, they are so not ready.

      From the order when they’re introduce to game , Freddie seems to be ranking –


      This is beyond me… Pepe is clearly the most skillful and proven of the bunch

  39. Freddie isn’t the man to take us on. When you make the same errors as Emery…even a blind freddie could see what was wrong then start Xhaka and Willock, you know we will struggle in midfield. poor lineup shocking subs, love lace but he was so off today yet stayed on? Xhaka regular errors and slowing down of play yet stays on? Willock poor again yet only subbed so late? Saka coming on instead of Pepe? Looks like a looong wait till this nightmare of a season ends.
    The usual pretenders here will slate ozil but I don’t mind him on the pitch cos you know he could provide a spark, can’t say that about Xhaka yet he starts and plays the full game? And Luis…all these Chelsea rejects have cost us bad…Cech in the EL final now Luis?

  40. Auba answered well to his critics with 2 goals, without which Arsenal???? Hope those who cry to sell Auba and buy another ‘Pepe’ with that money will be satisfied now…

  41. Agree with Chambers comments! He should not be in the defensive line at all! Who the hell wants to stick him as a centre back? I agree our defence has been dodgy for the last 10+ years and we’ve all seen it week in week out but Luiz, Holding and Mustafi. Pick two from that 3.
    Truly we need to go a spend 100 million on two proven very good cd wnd of story.

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