Pick your Arsenal team to face Cardiff – Torreira must start to help our defence?

So another week of Emery’s training goes by and we are still waiting for the Gunners to how some defensive resilience. All of Arsenal’s current injury problems are to defenders with the big worries being Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as they are only alternatives to Nacho Monreal at left-back. We can forget about seeing our nominal captain Laurent Koscielny for some time, and there would be no chance of Carl Jenkinson playing even if he was fit.

This week I am convinced that Lucas Torreira needs to start in central midfield to give Mustafi and Sokratis some help in defence when Monreal and Bellerin go flying forward, as they are very wont to do.

Cech will continue in goal behind our usual four defenders, and I would like to see Guendouzi and Xhaka on either side of Torreira although I think Emery will bring Ramsey back into the equation.

There will still be no room for Lacazette as Aubameyang will continue as centre-forward. Will Ozil be back? I think he will and I also believe Nkhitaryan will continue on the other side.

So here is my line-up….

Bellerin – Mustafi – Sokratis – Monreal
Ramsey – Torreira – Xhaka
Ozil – Aubameyang – Mkhitaryan

That would certainly be a strong enough side to dispose of Cardiff, but will Emery agree? Do you?



  1. John0711 says:

    Xhaka ozil Bellerin ?

    1. Th14 says:


      1. Tristan says:

        Not a bad lineup.

        1. Maks says:

          Very bad lineup!

          1. Xxnofx says:

            Why anyone would put Ramsey and iwobi in any team is beyond me .problem is we don’t have the players to compete with the other big teams
            The club is getting worse as the years go by ,where is this promise of competing with the big teams when the stadium is built , that’s over a decade ago now .

  2. kklin says:

    Replace Bellerin with Litchsteiner. He needs more game time & Cardiff will be a good ground to get one.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      ?kklin you mean “some game time” rather than “more” as he hasn’t started a game yet. Lichtsteiner is required at Cardiff for his experience, leadership and toughness, because Warnock will have his players trying to kick Arsenal off the park.
      I think Xhaka should start instead of Mhikataryan along side Torreira, because of his height, physicality and long passing for Aubameyang and Lacazette.

  3. Heyzee says:

    I hope he(emery) doesn’t agree and throws lacazette into the mix…FFS,this guy is our best striker and he has shown every time he has come on,that he should be starting… how emery manages to bench his best striker game in game out baffles me…not like aubameyang is doing better anyways.

    1. ozziegunner says:


  4. Sue says:

    Yes I’d love to see Torreira & Laca start

    Well done Freddie & the team 2-1 win over the spuds…. although the spuds had one sent off & still managed to score ?

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Sue, reports are that Spur’s goalkeeper made some great saves, Arsenal missed a penalty and a Spur’s supporter admitted their goal was offside.
      By the way there were apparently about 1,000 spectators; how much do they charge to watch U23 games, as given the quality of Arsenal’s team the crowd appears low?

      1. Sue says:

        Yes he did Ozzie, plus Smith Rowe hit the post. I really like that guy. I read Emery didn’t want him sent out on loan, so with a bit of luck we’ll see him in the first team soon!
        It was a good game… it all got a bit feisty near the end, which resulted in a spud being sent off!!
        I don’t know how much they charge, although there didn’t appear to be many there, they were quite vocal. Even the spuds were, hearing them shout stand up if you hate Arsenal ?

        1. Sue says:

          Adult tickets are £4

          1. ozziegunner says:

            Thanks Sue, if i remember that’s what i laid in 1977 to stand on the North Bank at Highbury!

          2. barryglik says:

            2 pound more like likely
            was a filthy old stadium them days eh

          3. ozziegunner says:

            You’re probably right barryglik as I paid for my then girlfriend as well on one of our first dates.
            I didn’t think it was dirty, as all stadia in Australia were similar. You should have seen the SCG after a test cricket days play or a rugby league game. I used to make good money as a kid collecting soft drink bottles for the return deposits. Great days!

          4. Sue says:

            What a first date that would have been Ozzie!! If only… my past & present always seem to support Liverpool!!! Luckily enough I’ve not been taken there on a date ?

          5. ozziegunner says:

            Sue, she was doing the young Ozzie working holiday for over 2 years and I was doing 4 months constant travel in UK /Europe. We have been married 37 years!

          6. Sue says:

            That’s a long time Ozzie…. congrats ?

  5. Sean says:

    We need a big win so Lacazette has to start up Top with Auba out left, which he doesn’t mind doing & is worth a try. I would also rather have Bellerin at the other side of that attack with Lechsteiner in he RB position. Hector can get back to help & is dangerous from the wide position attacking wise.

    What a counter attack trio. Monreal & Lechsteiner solid full backs. Make sure Torreira is infront of the back 2 when the full backs go forward alongside Xhaka to open the game up with his passing. Between Ramsey, Ozil & Miki for the other slot in the 11.

    Cech, Sokratis & Mavraponas would be my choice though I see Mustafi ahead of the young Greek man.

    Ozil or Miki

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Sean, I support your selections. ?
      Because of Bellerin’s poor awareness in defense, wandering back after bombing forward and inability to tackle, his future with Arsenal is as a right winger or a male model, not as a RB.

  6. Durand says:

    He could go 3-5-2 to rest Monreal, but chemistry may suffer because that lineup will not have had much time together on pitch.

    Probably good idea to rotate Lichtsteiner, Bellerin, and Monreal, so they can rest with our injuries and all the competitions we’re in. Especially considering the pressing style he demands.

    I’d play Ozil and Lacazette because they both need statement games. Iwobi needs to find some form, and it’s good opportunity that won’t hurt the team, because on his can he offers creativity.

    Lastly, absolutely criminal not to start Torreria at this point, as they can’t be a justifiable reason other than an injury.

    I’d also mention maybe a chance to show what the team can do without Ramsey or Ozil; planning for the future.

    My ideas more wishful thinking from a fan, but would be nice to see Emery mix it up and not play so safe with predictable lineups; Mhki on wing, Auba always starting, Xhaka always in midfield, and Bellerin starting.

    Anyway, still cheering and screaming at TV in the States one way or another, cheers Gooners

    1. Phil says:

      Hi Durand- out of curiosity where in the States do you live?

      1. Durand says:

        SE USA Great State of North Carolina, lived in Scottsdale Arizona for a while too. Have family all over I see as well

        1. Durand says:

          Unfortunately mobbed and surrounded by Man Utd fans (best friend is a mega fan) and Liverpool fans.

          No Spuds I’ve seen or heard thank God, those foul creatures nowhere to be found. At least there is that, a benefit at least.

  7. kenyanfan says:

    what of his lover boy Gud?
    Wenger had Ramsey
    though Gudouzi is a real gem

  8. barryglik says:

    We have just 4 points so
    must field our strongest X1.
    Leno or Cech?
    Is Torreira ready to start?
    Is Ozil “well”?
    Is it time for Lichsteiner?
    Auba missed a couple of sitter so if we are to have
    genuine competition Lacazette should start..right?
    Mkhi or Iwobi? Ramsey or Guendouzie?
    When we get Saed and Ainsley back we will have all positions covered
    although Holding and Mavro are a little inexperienced still
    and if Koz does not make it back we may need to
    consider a senior CB in January.
    Wellbeck looks like he has regained his sharpness.
    Once the cups start we will see the whole squad.
    The options are starting to look good
    with competition hotting up for starting berths.
    Go u Gunners 🙂

    1. GB says:

      We’ve got 3 points not 4 Barry.

  9. GB says:

    Laca to play if still with us when window closes tonight …….?

    1. Sue says:

      Oh don’t GB……. hasn’t it shut??

      1. GB says:

        I think it’s midnight but he’s not going anywhere Sue hence the ?

        1. Sue says:

          Thank christ for that GB ?

  10. Maks says:

    Lechsteiner – Mustafi – Sokratis – Monreal
    Torreira – Guendouzi
    Mkhitaryan – Lacazette – Aubameyang

    We must attack with all our best guns, and if we concede more goals than we score then frak it.

    1. Sue says:

      That’s a damn good line up

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        That is a brilliant line up Maks, My line up also . can’t believe so many going for Ramsey. I thought it was decided, we all wan’t Ramsey in the reserves. Doesn’t wan’t to play unless we give him £300K a week

        1. Rkw says:

          Any line up which excludes xhaka bellerin and Ramsey is fine with me … And this is the one that does it for me but it does indicate that we are at least 3 players short of a first 11 competing again at top

          1. Maks says:

            Thank you people, I am glad that we share thoughts about how to improve our team.

  11. Dedie says:

    Bellerin RB
    Sokratis CB
    Mavropanos CB
    Monreal LB
    Torreira DM
    Ramsey CM
    Ozil CAM
    Auba LW
    Mickey RW
    Lacca CF

  12. Arnoldhino says:

    This shoulda be a big game for a lot of our players
    -Ramsey in a match against the team he came from needs to prove himself. I don’t think he wants to leave.( I could be wrong) and it’s almost guaranteed he will play. I think he had moments against west ham where he was very dangerous and needs to preform Sunday.
    -Ozil I personally hope doesn’t start. Brilliant. Great. World class a lot of the time. I don’t think he fits us.
    -ghendouzi I would like to see come off the bench to see if he can preform like he has been. If he starts I would be delighted as well. Love this kid so far.
    -Bellerin needs to either have a great defensive game or hopefully watch lichtsiener set an example
    -auba needs to score and hopefully him and Lacazette with both start

    I’d like to see
    Chech(who is making big saves)
    Lich mavr Sokratis Monreal
    Mikki Ramsey Auba

    Switch ghendouzi for mikki And either team is good

  13. Kenny Rolfe says:

    By the way, slightly off topic, Do you think that was a coincidence that Manchester United get to play Burnley on Sunday after they we’re involved in a Europa Cup tie on Thursday night. Because if you do I’ll be pointing out some more coincidences as we go through the season.

    1. Sue says:

      Nothing surprises me with the Mancs Kenny…. I just hope Burnley beat them

  14. RSH says:

    I’d got 4-3-3


    No No.10, Aubameyang gives us width and an option on the counter, Torreira plays deepest with Ramsey and Guendouzi as CM’s. Guendouzi the one that sits more, Rambo slightly more advanced. Went with Mavro over Sokratis b/c of his height, and most of all his potential. Mustafi and Sokratis just look like another pairing that can get exploited by any side on any given day, so may as well change it up and see if Mavro can become a mainstay in the side. Cech has been better since opening day, he’ll keep his spot for now. And Licht over Bellerin b/c only one can defend, and that takes priority.

  15. MAT says:

    I think chech hector mavropanos sokratis nacho torreira ramsey mikki Ozil auba LACCA is the best and most balanced side . Torreira i s a rock as a defensive midfielder ramsey holding mid also gets back to help plus gives us vision ans goal scoring threat , Mikki and OZIL doing the passes and setting up for Auba who can run from a deeper lying striker just behind the great LACCA . This side has the defensive players to keep any team at bay with the attacking threat of any team on the planet . If the coach plays both LACCA and Auba we will win the premier league and hopefully champions league next year

  16. Innit says:

    I like it except for Bellerin and Xhaka
    I wouldn’t mind Bellerin if he was playing RW
    His defending isn’t good enough
    Also Lacazette is too good to sit on the bench
    So I think we should play to our strengths with a 4-2-2-2 formation with 2 DM, 2 CAM and 2 strikers.


    1. Hardave Singh says:

      I know everyone hates xhaka but I feel xhaka pairing with Torreira will be good for our midfield. My team would be;

      Bell- mus- papa- mon
      Tor- xha
      Mkhi- ozil- iwobi

      Auba can come in second half n finish off Cardiff.

  17. Roshan says:

    Bellerin/Lich – Mustafi – Sokratis – Monreal
    Torreira – Ramsey
    Miki – Ozil – Iwobi/Auba

    Ramsey is so much better as a CM then a CAM, and think Torreira is perfect partner for him to cover his defensive weaknesses.

  18. aubamezzette says:

    having bellerin,mustafi, ozil/mkhi all on d right is disaster.

    ……….Torreira, Xhaka

    1. wilshegz says:

      ramsey n mkhitaryan can cut infield with the fullbacks offering width.. also the two DMs covering for d fullbacks n offering defensive solidity n balance.
      lichy n torreira ll cover perfectly for bellerin surging runs.
      ramsey ll cover for monreal

  19. Dianjuh says:

    1. We dont have natural wingers.

    So how about a formation that maximizes the strengths we have?

    Bellerin – Mustafi – Sokratis – Monreal
    Ramsey Xhaka
    Lacazette Aubameyang

    The thing with this formation is no one is out of position, the full backs can overlapp to provide with, the strikers can drift wide as well where need be.

    The thing here is everyone is able to respond naturally from this position.

    The subs also are natural:
    Guendouzi for Xhaka or Ramsey
    Ozil for Mikhi
    Welbeck for Laca or Auba

    and still have the same setting.

    If we want to go defensive, we simply bring in a CB (Mavopranos or Holding) for mikhi and switch to a back five.

    Long story short – I am not the manager so, I will support whichever formation, whatever the personnel, for as long as Torreira starts from now on.


  20. John Ibrahim says:

    Emery picks the team not the fans

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:


  21. Leon says:

    Why not do with Bellerin what Spurs did with Bale and convert him to a winger?
    He has pace and attacking sense and would provide much better cover for the full back than a conventional winger.
    I believe he would do well there…

    1. Phil says:

      Bellerin started off as a winger.When he first came to Arsenal he arrived with Jon Toral and it was the latter who was considered the better player and the one most likely to make it not Bellerin.
      I’m not sure it wasn’t Wenger who converted Bellerin into a full back ( or one of the youth Coaches ) but there must have been a reason he was converted to a full back and not a winger.Also I can’t really see Bellerin playing to Emery’s style of a high press can you?

  22. Grandad says:

    Dedie your selection almost matches my own apart from Ozil who has done nothing this season to warrant a place in the first eleven.Against Cardiff who will be very physical i would play Elneny along side Torreria leaving Ramsay to play the much coveted number ten role.Unfortunately I suspect Emery will play Mustafi,Xhaka and Ozil who most probably will be substituted at some stage.I expect Arsenal to win narrowly but Cardiff will probably score against our fragile defense.

  23. Midkemma says:


    No, Mkhi and Auba are not ‘wingers’, the traditional huig byline style. More like inside forward for Auba and footwork with Mkhi, both cutting in and using the gaps between CB and fullbacks. Laca teamwork and focal CF role will be able to bring the other attackers into it.

    ElNeny and Guendouzi being high energy high press style CM ahead of a DM who can cover things and break up counters. Attempt to build a platform to control the game here for the attackers to build from.

    Bellerin dropped in search of clean sheet, he has done well offensively but he can improve in his defensive work. This is where Lich can show the youngster how it is done, Lich can be the ‘someone’ to show Bellerin how it is done and learn from.

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