Official Arsenal XI and Red Star Belgrade preview

With Arsene Wenger already having to cope with a defensive injury crisis that has left him without Koscielny, Chambers and Mustafi, the decision to leave the Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker and our Spanish international Nacho Monreal back in London while Arsenal take on Red Star Belgrade away shows clearly that the boss is making the Premier League game at Everton on Sunday a big priority over this evening´s Europa League tie.

So we get to see an extremely rare appearance from Matthieu Debuchy in an odd looking back three with Holding and Elneny. Hopefully then, most of the action will be at the other end and with a strong attack of Walcott and Giroud with Jack Wilshere to create chances we should have plenty of potency up front.

Debuchy, Elneny, Holding
Nelson, Coquelin, Willock, Maitland-Niles
Walcott, Wilshere, Giroud

subs: Macey, Osei-Tutu, McGuane, Dasilva, Sheaf, Akpom, Nketiah.

No Ospina in the team or on the bench means the keeper has either got an injury or Wenger does not trust his state of mind after his double howler nearly cost Colombia a World Cup place and there is not a lot of options for Wenger to turn to on the bench, in terms of experience at least.

It is good to see Coquelin back and his defnsive ability should free up the three young Gunners around him to play without too much fear. Will this Arsenal XI be strong enough to get back to London with a win or at least a point to keep us top of the group?



  1. Eddo says:

    Someone should tell Wenger that
    Elneny is not a CB
    Nelson is not a RWB
    Maitland Niles is not a LWB

    1. Kamikaze says:

      Nelson should start thinking about his future earlier!

      1. redmau5 says:

        i watched serbian film to prepare myself for this game…

        my eyes …my f$%$%$$% eyes

    2. gotanidea says:

      Nelson played very badly when he played as a right wingback against Doncaster and BATE. I think Wenger wants him to learn the art of defending, like what he did to Bellerin and Chamberlain.

      But I think Nelson does not like the right wingback position, so he could deliberately lower his performance in his last games. In my opinion, Debuchy should play there to compete with Bellerin, not Nelson.

      1. Durand says:

        Nonsense about Nelson and defense, since Arsenal rarely press or defend a lead. More likely Wenger doesn’t want to spend money on back ups.
        If Arsenal defended like West Brom than Nelson at LWB makes bit of sense, but we don’t. Such BS from Wenger, i don’t see Pep playing Leroy Sane at wing back so he learns defense.
        I finally understand Wenger-speak after all these years, happy to translate.

        1. Durand says:

          Nelson at RWB

  2. Roachie says:

    Nelson at wing back??!!!. Might as well put him in goal. You can’t keep playing players out of position especially youngsters.

    1. Roachie says:

      Also getting fed up with players being “rested”. Sanchez didn’t play at the weekend or Ramsey. I doubt my boss would give me aweek off caus I had a bad day at the office.

    2. Arsenal_Girl says:

      I think Nelson played wing back against Watford too. It would not be a typical Wenger lineup without making a stupid choice like this.

      The defense looks shocking too with Eleny at CB. I was not impressed with Eleny at CB this summer

  3. damigunner says:

    can somebody tell me if it’s a must to play this 3 at the back or whatever…. what kind of formation is this….. am sure our local coaches here in Nigeria will never ever put this kind of combination out….. if after 20+ years at arsenal this is what wenger Lines up as a team….. we can only pray for stroke to this one oldman to save other hundreds of fans who could get heart attack from this rubbish

    1. Roachie says:

      Good comment. Arsenal went to a back 3 caus in the premier league other teams had worked out that we leave large gaps when attacking. Against tonights opponents we could easily play a back 4.

  4. Ignasi says:

    Genuinely feel sorry for the hard core loyal away supporters who have gone tonight.

    Their souls must be destroyed. Still, at least AFCTV will fun fun to watch…then again, DT is so disillusioned these days he doesn’t even get angry.


  5. redmau5 says:

    debuchy elneny holding ;AHAHAHAHAHA loool

    ive seen better line ups on the usual suspects

  6. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Wenger doesn’t want to win this or is delusional about who can win it

    I understand we have a lot of defensive injuries but there is nobody on the bench who I think can help us win if we are not winning or behind. He should have brought a couple to sit on the bench in Ramsey, Monreal, Iwobi

    We may just get away with having Eleny in CB position but I HATE seeing players playing in wrong position. Would have preferred we kept Gabriel and played him instead of Eleny. Actually, we should have got another top CB

    Anyway, hope we win anyway
    We can certainly win but Wenger has made it unnecessarily tougher for us

  7. Break-on-through says:

    The line up is ridiculous. He’s saving them for Eve but you cant help feel he doesn’t take the CB role serious enough. CB’s are your warriors, well they’re supposed to be. This system if not done properly will not work properly, wingbacks are a big part of it, and three CB’s is the main point to it. It also gave Ozil and Alexis equal responsibility, but Alexis is the only one in the side that suits it and works for it.

  8. Sue says:

    Come on Arsenal! Please win & I can go to darts a happy gooner

  9. bran99 says:

    I was about to head to a pub for the game, but after seeing the lineup, better stay home and watch movies that I already watched, worth the rewatch

  10. Uchman says:

    It amazes me how some one who has never nurtured any player to stardom will be talking trash about a coach who has nurtured over 100 players to stardom,for some of u who started watching football yestday lemme tell u few players Wenger has transformed from different playing positions to great super stars, Emmanuel petit came as arsenal as a defender from monaco,wenger transformed him to a world class midfielder,thiery Henry came from juventus as a headless winger, Wenger transformed him to d best striker epl has ever seen,kolo ture came as a midfielder,wenger transformed him to a world class defender,ashly Cole was an accademy winger ,Wenger transformed him to a d best left back in d world,RVP came as an erratic winger,wenger transformed him to a world class striker,lauren came as midfielder mr Wenger transformed him to a world class right back,bellerin and Gibbs were all accademy wingers,mr Wenger transformed them to very good right and left wing backs respectively,alex song came as a defender Wenger transformed him to a wonderful midfielder,d list goes on and on,who told u Wenger want to ruin the careers of Nelson and Niles? Of all the coaches in epl how many of them has a better record of nurturing talents than Wenger,it amazes me how some one who knows little or nothing about football will be talking trash every day, iwobi is a nephew to JAY JAY OKOCHAi and papillo is his mentor ,theyv all advised him to stay humble and work hard under Wenger,if u really love NILES,NELSON AND WILLOCK,just advice them to remain humble and take a rare advantage of d opportunities they r getting,the grass might not be rosier else where,no one has done it better than Wenger,the level of bargage among arsenal fans is amazing

    1. Durand says:

      Wenger ruined just as many players as well.
      I remember when Wenger transformed Arsharvin into world class player, you remember Uchman?
      Me neither because it never happened.

      I remember when he got this young kid from Southampton, Walcott his name was i believe, dude is now world class like Messi.
      Gibbs is with Barca now after Wenger’s tutelage, and Ox went to Real Madrid too.

      Wenger does his job (most times) as manager developing talent, but let’s not pretend he is god-like shall we?

  11. Dee23 says:

    Yeah cause that worked last season. When are people going to learn that hoping Arsenal fail and getting that outcome will not cause the board to sack Wenger. People wished we would finish out the top 4 last season so we would be pressured to be more proactive in the summer window and believed Wenger would be sacked. The dude got a 2 year contract extension and we didn’t do no where as well as we needed in terms of transfer deals. So stop wishing for Arsenal to flop unless you are a supporter of another team since it’s pointless. Wenger didn’t get sacked when Man U put 8 past us, he wasn’t sacked when we finished 5, why would he be sacked if we lost today?

    1. Ignasi says:

      I just can’t take any more humiliation :/

  12. GB says:

    According to btsport you got the line up positions wrong.

  13. the barrel says:

    After the game all of you who are negative should come back to apologise, because Arsenal is going to win this game

    1. Redmau5 says:

      That’s brave prediction
      We will beat Serbian league team in the Europa league
      My what large testicles u have

    2. Sue says:

      You were right we won!!!

  14. GB says:

    This game takes me back to old days of playing in the Fairs Cup / Uefa Cup, Red Star Belgrade, Hadjuc Split, Dynamo Zagreb, proper combative games!

  15. HERNAN ROLDAN says:

    Wenger is the most lier Coach and Ospina is so stupid to continue in Arsenal to get some promises from the Bad Wenger coach when he really likes Cech and with Cech arsenal is doing worse and worse or look now? not Champions league and the end of this season will be out of Europe competitions.

    1. GB says:

      Ospina is injured!
      Please keep up.

  16. dasdasd says:

    red star is playing so much better football

  17. Alatari Douglas says:

    Too many fringe players selected for this tie, I hope we win this though. Go Gunners.

  18. Willy007 says:

    4-3-3 would ve been the best option for me, I draw ll be a good result for me

  19. Fab says:

    Seeing Giroud with this beloved shirt, is frustrating

  20. dasdasd says:

    we have not a single decent centre-mid in our team. first team or reserve

  21. Kamikaze says:

    only nelson showing guts to go forward…theo shud be the one playing the wingback position

  22. Fab says:

    May be i need some rest until the OG error is over, then I will come back to supports this arsenal team

  23. Perry Ames says:

    When are we going to realise that OUR once great club isn’t so great anymore. It’s time for a change because arsenal should be able to beat red star every time so so sad

  24. TH14atl says:

    Been saying since preseason that we need to abandon this shape. We don’t do anything productive in it . First team or second team, doesn’t matter, all we do is go sideways or backwards. Not set up to have true playmakers playing centrally so all we do is go sideways or backwards over and over. We never look to break the lines centrally. This is miserable to watch. Go back to a 4231 or 433 and let’s start playing dynamic attacking football again.

  25. Salmonella says:

    What is wrong with our away form this season?!

  26. Most boring game I’ve watched this year.

  27. Ganja says:

    Can’t determine which team is the worse to watch, this one or the first team. GOD every game so far has been depressing this season, wondering when the next convincing performance or win will come before this year is up…

  28. Ozilla says:

    Funny thing is I feel like I’m watching a performance from the first team SMH. And that’s not a knock on the team tonight.

  29. COYG_CA says:

    Walcott and Giroud just terrible – just awful! Wilshere might as well just pass it to the opponents in the final 43rd because that is what happens when he gives the ball to those 2!

    1. Rkw says:

      To be honest the lack of power and precision across this team is worrying for the future but for sure Until giroud and walcott and the likes of elneny and debuchy are out of this club we are going nowhere … all a product of the idiot ? Who is paid a small fortune to produce results and obviously can’t … we have disconnected from the top tier of European football and struggling in the second

  30. Dangote Save Us says:

    walcott and sterling both arrived as headless chickens in their respective teams. Walcott is still a headless chicken while sterling has turned into a good player… that’s the difference between a fraud and a proper manager

  31. dasdasd says:

    1 chance the whole game against red star belgrade haha

  32. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Pitiful display
    Away @ Everton will be interesting

  33. Mcgunner says:

    Horrific game but what a goal

  34. Rkw says:

    ?… great goal … if only we could play all our games against 10 men we would be going somewhere … quality by Wiltshire though

  35. arsenal4life says:

    To be fair Arsenal will
    cruise this group so can
    afford to play the “B” team.
    A loss would mean nothing
    as Arsenal is top of the group and still has
    Belgrade and Bate to play at home.
    Only Cech of this bunch will play v Everton.
    Wenger savng his top X1 for Everton
    especially after the Watford result.
    Belgrade is about as strong as Brentford so still expect this lot to win.

    1. Vijay says:

      i do hope jack also plays from this bunch against everton

  36. Lexynal says:

    Take that one goal to anywhere ….its classic! Thanks Wilshere…you are a talent.

  37. Ack77 says:

    Only wilshere seems like the only real outfield player today. Perhaps its because he was part of the last beautiful football playing arsenal.

  38. clam says:

    We won the game.
    Nice goal.
    Kids got some game time, fringe players too.
    It’s not the best performance but I’ll take 3pts anyday.
    Support your team. Stop bitching.

  39. the barrel says:

    Those who can predict the future said Arsenal will lose. CRITICS ALL THE TIME EVEN IF YOUNG BOYS ARE WINNING. When are going to be positive guys? They say talking is cheap. Wenger is giving the youngsters a chance, please give the boys a break, as long as they won the game. Do you wanna play first team players always? How are these boys going to improve their skills if they are not given a chance?
    Even all of you guys who are negative, you have been given a chance to prove yourself in your respective careers after your studies. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD

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