Qarabag v Arsenal Preview, Team News, Line-up and Score Prediction

Arsenal are in faraway Azerbaijan for our second Europa League Group Stage game against Qarabag, with the Gunners aiming to get their 8th win in a row in all competitions. Unai Emery is taking this competition very seriously and has taken nearly a full squad on the five and a half hour flight taking them 2,500 miles to the very edge of Europe.

Most of us are expecting this to be a pushover but there is no such thing as an easy game any more as we discovered last year when we lost at home to the minnows Ostersunds, but I am not expectiing any embarrassments like that under Emery. But I do have to tell you that Qarabag are joint top of their League after going the first six League games unbeaten. Here is their record so far…

But in Europe they have not been so successful, they were knocked out of the Champions League Qualifiers by BATE Borisov and only scraped through to thee Europa League Group by beating Sherriff, and their opening Group Game ended in a 2-0 defeat to Sporting Lisbon, who should qualify for the knockouts alongside us. We should beat Qarabag just as easily….

As for team news, we have Petr Cech, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Dinos Mavropanos and Laurent Koscielny out injured and there are two other first teamers that are left behind in London along with the political probems wth Mkhitaryan. As Emery said: “I explained first, for Mkhitaryan, why he cannot play tomorrow. Monday and Tuesday, Aubameyang was sick and he cannot travel to play tomorrow. Aaron Ramsey asked me if he can stay in London because his wife is pregnant and they are waiting on the doctors.” But the good news is that Sokratis and Kolasinac are back in the squad and should play a part today.

So with that knowledge here is my line-up prediction for this evening….

Lichtsteiner – Holding – Sokratis – Kolasinac
Elneny – Torreira – Guendouzi
Iwobi – Lacazette – Welbeck

I am worried that the team will be knackered when it comes to playing Fulham on Sunday, but that is because they are all used to being rested when Wenger was around. But Emery is not worried so why should we? The Spaniard said: “I had a very different experience, when you play Wednesday or Thursday and then Saturday or Sunday. There are very few days to recover physically and also the mentality of the players to play again in a few hours another match. In this experience, I won, I lost and I played better in the second match.

“We are one team with every player with this experience and also with the habit to play, to recover for another match and continue playing. It’s the reason, for me, that I prefer more time to have to recover physically for the players. But for me, it’s good and we are okay tomorrow with every player to play. We are going to be also perfect to play against Fulham on Sunday.”


So my prediction? If Torreira plays in front of the defence I will believe we can keep a clean sheet, so I’m going for 3-0 to the Arsenal…



  1. LENOhappy says:

    Oooh I think we have more than enough to beat them,I think knowing arsenal we will surely concede,so am going for a 1:4 scoreline,and welbz to score,iwobi to assist second goal. OT:Alex iwobi,Petr Cech,Lucas torrera and lacazette has been nominated for our player of the month,I know laca has been in form but I think cech should win it,and hope you enjoyed the spuds match sue

    1. Mmk says:

      I have already voted for Lacazette, that guy has carried us that month. Tonight I would want to see more of our youngsters though, likes of ESR and Nketiah. Martinez should start in goal, here’s my line-up

    2. Sue says:

      I sure did thanks LENO… you were right – they did score ? at least they lost in the end ?

  2. gotanidea says:

    My line-up prediction is like this, because they have to travel to Fulham three days later:

    Lichtsteiner . Mustafi . Holding . Kolasinac
    …………Guendouzi …….. Elneny
    Ozil ………………Ramsey ………………Iwobi

    Hoping to see more of Iwobi-chan

    1. Declan says:

      Ramsey didn’t travel

    2. @Gotanidea
      I like that line up, just throw in Smith-rowe for the unavailable Ramsey and we are in business.

  3. achaks says:

    If we can get an early lead…just substitute our major players. Eg. Lacazette, torreira and monreal. I need to see that smith Rowe again and possibly willock.

  4. Phil says:

    If we were playing a Champions League game last night it’s fair to say we would have lined up as we did against Watford and how we will expect to line up against Fulham on Sunday.Its the fact we are in the Europa Cup that we are able to play any rotated players at all.
    Emery seems to prefer a stronger line up in the group games than Wenger did last season.Wenger was proved correct in what he did as it allowed most of his first team players to rest.The fact that Wenger wasn’t able to take advantage with this in the League games was for him to answer for which he ultimately did.Who is to say Emery is wrong in loading up the bench as he will likely do?
    Different Manager.Different Philosophy.

    1. Spot on. Wenger’s rotation last season was a masterstroke that even Guardiola was envious of. We afforded to play 2 different teams in 2 different comps. I hope Emery can be bold in the same way and rest the first teamers for the more important league fixtures. I fear if we keep pushing hard at both fronts accumulated fatigue and injuries will derail the Emery train that is unstoppable at the moment. Besides, it’s just the Europa group stage, surely we can rest guys now!

    2. jon fox says:

      And different results to come. Thank God!!!

  5. achaks says:

    My line up:
    Lichtenstner holding sokratis monreal
    Torreirra Elneny Gwendouzi
    Iwobi Lacazette welback

  6. Abiola says:

    My line up for tonight:
    Lichtsteiner . Papas . Holding . Kolasinac
    …………Guendouzi …….. Elneny
    Welbeck ………………Ozil ………………Iwobi

    When Arsenal is leading with 2:0 after second half, the following substitutions with time:
    Nketiah for Lac at 65 Mins
    Smith for Ozil at 70 Mins
    Toreira for Elneny at 70 Mins

    1. Abiola says:

      After Half I mean to say

  7. jon fox says:

    What are some folk worrying about? Emery is a highly professional manager who has won the last three Europas and surely it is reasonable to think that he knows how important rotation is and when and when NOT it is necessary. I am very relaxed that this highly professional man, who has energy and talent to burn, is now in charge. As to Carrierbag (or whatever they are called!) I note the list of “giants” they have remained unbeated against this season, contain such household names as Zira, Sabah and Neftci. No , me neither!

  8. Rex says:

    I totally think based on the coach’s line up in these games, are based on the fact he has a target and limited time(2-4yrs) to deliver consistently, unlike Arsene wenger. Its great that he is taking every match serious. Keep winning, build momentum, bring back our pride give every competition your best because when you get knocked out in one competition, the pressure just increases….ask Jose M., and J. klopp. when was the last time the media focused on us?? but if we had lost last weekend, we would have made more headlines than Man….whatever have

  9. LENOhappy says:

    @Quantic dream,yes wenger rotation was spot on that even guardiola who won the league with 100points was jealous that a wenger who only won one match away from home in the whole of 2018 and finished under the same city with how many points again?that must be some kind of joke from you

    1. Midkemma says:

      The focus was not about the EPL but about rotating for a lesser comp, I think.
      Pep appears to be a nice guy in general, I mean, we all can be nasty when pushed but Pep doesn’t appear to be nasty full time like Costa was for the Chavs.

      Pep was showing respect, at least that is how I took some of his comments, I didn’t think he wanted to jump ship and manage us XD lol.

      Kinda like saying we should respect Fulham when we play them, we are not saying we want to be in Fulhams position are we 😉 But respect to them, they obviously have some talent otherwise they wouldn’t be in the EPL ^.^

  10. Midkemma says:

    Fingers crossed for a good game, not seeing people worry, seeing people appear to be very positive.

    Emery deserves a lot of credit for that and I for one applaud him! We all wanted to feel good before games and although we may not believe we can keep a clean sheet, winning the game doesn’t feel like a coin toss, we have the quality and belief to win.

    I hope Laca is given a bit of a rest for Fulham and also I would like to see Nketiah get some mins at somepoint, maybe start Auba upfront to help secure the 3 points and once we got a couple/few goals then bring Auba off for Nketiah?

    I would like to see Welbz given some time, I have given the guy a lot of flak due to his injuries, he has a new chance in the sense that Emery is not Wenger… Emery could turn him around and get him to be the player that his athletic ability says he could be, Welbz needs some gametime to show the boss he has stepped up outside of training.

  11. waal2waal says:

    if the key to playing in europe is NOT to concede then this must be the teams objective: and like the Admin i believe Leno will want to keep a clean sheet. By managing to do so it follows he will grow in confidence between the sticks. Finally when travelling to eastern europe we should never be surprised to see tons of fanatic-mountain-men turn up (in full voice) whose sole-intent is to put our greenhorns off their game… this could prove detrimental.

    Provided we keep 11 on the pitch or the full 90 then a 1-0 or 2-0 is enough to complete tonight’s task.

    1. waal2waal says:

      revised: …11 on the pitch for the full 90 then …etc

  12. Deluxe says:

    My preffered line up
    Lichtenstner Holding Sokarits Sead
    Willock Quendouzi
    Elneny Smith Iwobi

  13. Sue says:

    You’ve gotta love Podolski… he tweeted about that special feeling scoring in North London… then said know the feeling Messi ?
    I miss Podolski ?

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