Should Arsenal put out their strongest team against Portsmouth?

Arsenal had to fit four games into eleven days, ending with our undeserved defeat to Olympiakos on Thursday, which has taken a toll on the players energy levels, but with the FA Cup being our only chance of a trophy left this season, should Arteta stick to his strongest team against Portsmouth?

In the pre-game conference, Arteta told us that he had a few players coming into the squad that need some gametime under their belts. When asked if our new centre-back Pablo Mari could be in the team tomorrow, Arteta said: “Yes, I think he needs minutes, like Rob did, like Ainsley and like Reiss as well. I think it was a good game for them to get their fitness levels tested as well and they trained today really well. They are all, I think, ready to play.”

But will the boss throw them all into a rotated line-up because we are playing a League One side? We will have to wait and see, but personally I think that most of the team that lost to Olympiacos should be back on the field so they can regain some confidence quickly, as well as proving to the fans that Arteta intends to take the FA Cup seriously. In fact I believe he should play his strongest team against Portsmouth and not take any chances at all.

Can you imagine if he played lots of reserves and Arsenal got beat tomorrow? It doesn’t bear thinking about….

23 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    Nice assist from De Gea 😂😂😂😂

  2. Top Gunner says:

    These are the kind of games that Ozil and Xhaka should play, not serious games

    1. Phil says:

      I’m with you Top Gunner-along with all the other non-performers and mistake-ridden players
      Leno
      Bellerin
      Luiz
      Sokritis
      Guendouzi
      Pepe
      Lacazette
      Willock
      Nelson
      AMN
      Ceballos

      So the line up should be
      Martinez
      Mari
      Holding
      Saka
      Aubamayang
      Torriera ( just squeezes in)
      Martinelli
      Ljunberg
      Bould
      Arteta
      Gunnersauras

      That should get the job done. I’ve excluded Mustafi as I believe he is injured

    2. GB says:

      Not a serious game!? It’s THE FA Cup ffs. Might not mean much to you snowflakes but does to true supporters!

      1. GB says:

        I’ll apologise before you come back at me Top Gunner, shouldn’t have called you a snowflake but the F A Cup is an iconic competition.

  3. Dave Byne says:

    Pompey want out of this competition anyway. This will be our 4th game in 9 days and if we don’t progress any further in the cup we are still going to amass 62 matches this season. No winter break for us either – so the last thing we need is any more matches as there are more important games ahead than the fixture v Arsenal.

  4. Grandad says:

    What is our “strongest” team? A highly debatable subject every match!Due to injuries Arteta , arguably has not had an opportunity to play our best eleven. In any event if we cannot take care of Portsmouth with any eleven from our first team squad we are in a bad way.

    1. Reggie says:

      Agree, i think we should have put out our strongest team against Olympiakos instead of the underperformers that we did.

      1. SueP says:

        Reggie
        You are having a wee dig at the senior players versus the youth me thinks

        1. Reggie says:

          Sue, ME, no, where did you get that idea from. Lol. Seriously i didn’t think Thursdays team was first choice, probably 4 or 5 away from that in my opinion but Arteta went with experience, except Saka (who had to play) and it didn’t work. Then again what is our best team, its about opinion.

  5. RSH says:

    Good set of results today in terms of possible 5th finish. Cant afford to drop points in EPL though if we want to stand a chance. And will probably need to pull off a couple big results before end of season too.

    1. Sue says:

      👍👍 the gap is closing!

  6. Mike says:

    Wow how bad was the referee today between Manure and the toffees how long will the officials get away with this type or errors

    1. Sue says:

      Mancs got away with one!

  7. S says:

    Bottleham letting us overtake them for the first time in four years presumably. If that happens it’ll be only the second time we finish above a mourinho team in the league

  8. Trevor Dearling says:

    We do not need any more injuries. After Man City postponed ! We have a reasonable run of matches, possible twelve lovely points. Am i dreaming, ior do we have a glimmer of hope!

  9. Sue says:

    Now to watch our future signings (Mings and Grealish) against City…..

    1. SueP says:

      Would that take your mind off Kola?

      1. Sue says:

        Nah not really, Sue 😀

  10. Mogunna says:

    Arteta must make a bit of sense and pick right formation for games.

    Martinez
    Bellerin Holding Mari Kolas
    Gendouzi
    Niles Willock
    Nelson Laca Martineli

    Sub: Saka, Torreira, Mustafi, Nketiah, Leno.

    Leave home Auba, Xhaka, Ozil who play every games.

    Gives some play time to young players and opportunity to try another option in midfield.

    Sub Saka for Willock at 75th minute, as an attacking midfield behind Martineli.

    Sub Nkethia for Laca at 80th.

    He must not play 2DM, Gendouzi is enough, Niles and Willock as B2B will have us play forward, and Arsenal way going forward.

  11. jon fox says:

    Well to me, Mari and AM-N ARE both in what would be our strongest team. Far better than any other CB we have and AMN can play in several positions though clearly SHOULD BE a regular in midfield. How our team can ever contain the ever present Xhaka is to me one of lifes unfathomable mysteries.

  12. SueP says:

    That is an interesting point!
    Will either get a chance before the end of the season?

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