This is my Arsenal team to face FC Zurich – What’s yours?

Mikel Arteta faces a bit of a headache this week. by Dan Smith

He wanted to get a draw in Holland last Thursday which would have won our Europa League group, meaning he could give his first team players a rare week off.

He still of course could do that. The manager has every right to rotate his squad and expect to have enough to be beating FC Zurich at home.

The consequences of being runners up in our group are so huge though will the Spaniard want to take the risk?

Arsenal were not in Europe last season so some Gooners might not be aware of the rule changes to UEFA’s secondary competition.

All group winners essentially skip a round and head straight to the last 16.

Runners up go into the round of 32, the one campaign where you don’t want to be playing additional fixtures.

More crucial than that though, is your opponent would be one of the sides who drop down from the Champions League. We will learn in the next couple of days who those names are.

I don’t think it’s arrogant to play mostly a different 11 on Thursday to the one that will start at Stamford Bridge.

That’s the point of having a squad and any player who can’t be trusted to handle the pressure of a must win situation in the Europa League against FC Zurich at the Emirates, really shouldn’t be at our club.

Yes, many of those players let themselves down against PSV, but they still have fulfilled the criteria of getting us through this stage.

Many have used this competition for playing time and it would be harsh if they were now not shown faith, having done the hard part.

I also think it would be foolish if a Jesus, Saliba, Odegaard, etc, got an injury when we have alternatives to more then be able to handle a team with 1 point from their five games, and therefore nothing to play for in North London.

Let’s keep as many players as possible fresh for the weekend.

This is the team I would choose….

Ramsdale (assuming Turner is injured still)

Tierney, Holding, Tomiyasu, Cedric

Lokonga, Partey

Martinelli, Vieira, Nelson


Let me know your team peeps,

Would you go strong?



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Tags Zurich


  1. ———- Turner
    Cedric – Hold – Gabi – KT
    ——- ASL – Xhaka
    Nelson – Vieira – Nketiah
    ———– Jesus

  2. I would replace Partey for Xhaka..
    We need Partey fresh for Sunday..
    And his injury record is not pretty convincing..
    On the other hand Xhaka is beast physically..
    I never saw him getting injured…
    So he can manage Thursday and Sunday..
    Also we can take him off after 60th minute if we are comfortably ahead and put Partey for last 25 to 30 mins just keep ball moving…
    Rest of the team is fine

      1. Ohh Yeah..
        Then I would start Viera, Odegaard, and Lokonga
        I won’t risk Partey, especially when we are heading towards Stamford Bridge this weekend…

  3. Ramsdale
    Cedric. Hold. Saliba Tierney

    Viera. Loko. Xakai

    Nelson. Eddie. Martinelle

    Sub off Saliba for gabby
    Xakai for Partey
    Marq for martinelle all on the hour mark hopefully we’re winning

  4. …………………………. Turner (if he is fit)
    Soares . Holding . Tomiyasu . Tierney
    ………………….. Sambi-Lokonga
    ………….. Nwaneri …………. Vieira
    Marquinhos ……………………………….. Nelson
    ……………………….. Nketiah

    If our B team can’t win against Zurich at home, Arsenal had better look for their replacements in January. We need to keep our key players fresh for the game at Stamford Bridge

    1. Turner (if he’s fit)
      Cedric, Holding, Saliba, Tierney.
      Lokonga, Viera, Odegaard.
      Marquinhos, Nnkethia, Nelson

    2. @gai
      If the B team aren’t given match mins, then you can’t expect too much from them. 5/10 mins here and there don’t keep them match fit. And it makes no difference who you replace them with…IJS

      1. Yes, I think Arteta included several key players in the EL matches to play safe

        I expect him to field more fringe and squad rotation players in FA and League Cup matches though

  5. Need someone to score some goals, and it’s too much of a gamble to hope it’s the few games per year when Nketiah does it, so I reckon he’ll have to start Jesus + some others that he’d rather rest, then hopefully take them off ASAP & park the bus till the end. Probably what would have been the best plan against PSV too, but of course everything is easier in hindsight.

  6. let the first 11 play. players should be ready to play for 180 minutes a day, forget only only 90 and be strong they r paid for that.

  7. Your selection is balanced and strong enough to beat many of the Premiership sides.
    The bottom line is how mentally prepared and/or unprepared shall we be heading into the game tomorrow. Let the likes of Lokonga and others that are complaining of lack of game time step up and prove that they are better than those they aim to replace.
    Thank you so much

  8. PSV are not going to defeat Bodo/glimpt in Norway , its not going to happen, the most they get there is a draw. Having said that Arteta should be bold enough to rest the first 11 to allow the bench play and have the under 23 as reserve. Fc Zurich are bottom of their league and are having a tough time at the moment.

    Cedric tomi holding Tierney
    Lokonga xhaka
    Nielson viera marqhinhos

    Full U23 squad.

  9. I don’t believe you take the risk, you field the best possible 11 you can muster. The consequences of losing and coming 2nd in the group not only adds to an already busy schedule but potentially threatens your ability to win it by facing a CL side. Field your best team, try and blow them away in the first half and rest players in the 2nd half if you can. This is the approach I believe MA will take.

    1. Agree ozgooner. We must win this game. No gambles, no messing around! Win it in the first half then rest players. We’ll see if arteta takes this approach.

    1. Crazy to think anyone can think of playing vulnerable Partey in such a game. We have been lucky to have him for a number of games continuously. So long as he plays, we have the potential to win. So why risk him here with Chelsea just around the corner.

      The ultimate goal should be to defeat Chelsea and maintain the top spot. Zurich won’t pose any threat to our back-up players.

  10. Nah, Partey should be treated with kids gloves from now onwards.

    Just learn of the come back kid suspension for this match.

    This is a game for Marquinhos to dip his bread.
    Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney
    Lokonga Ben White Odegaard.
    Marquinhos, Eddie .Viera

  11. Surely with any line up we can get the single point we need.
    If we don’t then we don’t deserve to be there.

      1. Oops my bad Angelo, we needed just a point against PSV, you are right about the requirements to get top spot., thanks for correcting me.

  12. I agree with a combo of @OZGooner and @Atangana.

    In my opinion, as many of the first team as possible should start the game and then be replaced as needed – but Partey should not play at all. There is no clear backup defensive midfielder in the team, and Lokonga is not a defensive midfielder.

    I am confident though that the gaffer will do the right thing based on what he has seen in training as well as other permutations.

  13. I guess this game will not be so difficult so there is no need putting pressure on our first 11. Our team B can do the job for us. I will go with this 11.

    Cedric tomi holding Tierney
    Lokonga xhaka
    Nielson viera marqhinhos

  14. Its pointless me choosing my own chosen eleven, as I do not have the info MA has about match sharpness , over fatique, slight injuries and other relevant factors. What is most relevant of ALL, is that MA knows far more than ANY OF US about what is wise to choose.

    I realise that JA wishes to encourage fans personal views and THAT is mine.

  15. Many people tend to forget the pressure that Arteta will put on the players if he starts a strong team. The fringe players will have their confidence drained out. I would rather put all 2nd team players and challenge their worthiness to the club. They are still employed for games like this. Maybe play a couple of first team players and hook them out at half time. Chelsea game is massive and with our full squad, a winnable tie.

  16. I would rest Martinelli and go with a front 3 of Nelson Gabriel Jesus and Nketiah. Bring off Jesus in the second half after we have done the job in the first 45 minutes. Also it is a risk playing Partey, so I would rather go with ASL and Matt Smith in midfield.

  17. Interesting how you out Tierney – Cedric, Partey – Lokonga, Martinelli – Nelson all on the wrong side..

    Cedric – Holding – Tomiyasu – Tierney
    Lokonga – Xhaka
    Nelson – Viera – Martinelli

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