Updated team news and predicted line-up with two key stars ruled out

Key Arsenal duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are now set to miss tonight’s Premier League clash with Brentford.

Both are claimed to have been feeling unwell, and have now been made unavailable for the opening match of the new campaign, which will come as a huge blow to manager Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard was already without Eddie Nketiah, while starboy Bukayo Saka has only picked up minimal minutes in pre-season thanks to returning back late having played a key role in England’s push to the final of Euro 2020.

Arteta must now decide on whether to call upon youngsters Folarin Balogun or Gabriel Martinelli, who only recently returned from the Olympics where he picked up a gold medal, or whether to use one of Emile Smith Rowe or Nicolas Pepe as a makeshift option, and I can’t help but believe the Brazilian will get the nod.

We are also without both of Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes, which will add further worries to our side as we look to get off to a good start to the new season.

Updated predicted Arsenal XI:

Leno
Chambers White Mari Tierney
Elneny Xhaka
Pepe Smith Rowe Saka
Martinelli

Willian is currently linked with an exit from the club, but could well make the playing squad this evening with the late absentees, while Balogun will likely be in line to make his debut given the lack of alternatives remaining available.

Does Balo deserve to get his chance as the only out-and-out striker available, or would that be deemed too risky? Who do you think will get the nod at CF of the options available?

Patrick

Tags Alexandre Lacazette Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

62 Comments

  1. Highbury Hero says:

    Oh boy! Not too confident now I wish I can change my prediction for today game. This game has a lot of injuries of key players.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      *injuries to key

      1. Sylva says:

        Let see how flexible tactically Arteta is there is no excuse. It’s time to give Folarin Balogun a chance to prove himself and Martinelli. But wether he believes enough in those boys is another thing. N.Pepe should also step up tonight. In this kind of games our defense and midfield must be tight. There is no player apart from Auba and may be Lacazette to instil fear in Brentford defenders. So it’s better to keep it tight at the back. Tonight either reveals the talent we have in our reserves or expose the loophole in our acuard.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Yes you have said that very well. Without Aubameyang and Lacazette their defenders will be fearless and that will help them in a major way in trying to control the game and attack us more.

    2. Thomo says:

      Oh and you think aubameyang and lacazette would make any better

      1. Pepe says:

        Aubamagang and lacazette 2 key players
        I believe you mearnt was 2 key players

      2. Highbury Hero says:

        Absolutely. As much as our attack has deteriorated from last season we are worse without them in the team.

        1. instrooments says:

          Don’t worry HH….our young guns would deliver…am excited…I wish willian joined the duo too, so our pundit won’t try something funny…. anyways am really optimistic bout the match…

          1. Highbury Hero says:

            When you put it that way then it is interesting to see how the game is going to pan out.

          2. Oldman-58 says:

            The young guns have been given so few chances by the manager, here’s where it comes to bite us.

        2. Davi says:

          We’re worse without Laca, don’t think we’ll miss Auba too much, particularly on the wing

        3. Mudashiru Ibrahim says:

          That’s a blow for arsenal ,concerning tonight game let’s wait and see the result of the game.

  2. Atid says:

    Well I certainly would not be picking Elneny over lokonga. For me it should be Balogun down the middle.

  3. JOEL says:

    Aubamayang and Lacazette are both suddenly struck down by a mystery illness having massively underperformed in “Pre-Season” and at the same time it’s been suggested that Arsenal would entertain offers for either!!
    It seems that both have got their proverbial “knickers in a twist” and snuck off for a sulk rather than make an effort to turn round their poor form.
    Frankly this sums up the nature and mental strength of Arsenal’s so-called senior pros over-the-counter course of the last 15 years.
    “When the going gets tough”…they just down tools and don’t bother!!..
    At the same time it also sums up the inability of Arsenal coaching staff and management to get the most out of these players.
    As a supporter of this Club I’d frankly rather see either Balogun or Martinelli given a chance…Fail or succeed they will at least give it 100% which is more than I can say for some of these other players who are frankly stealing a living…BTW the same applies to Bellerin and Willian!!

    1. Davi says:

      Laca was good aside from one game. I thought Auba being out was a blessing but Laca being out as well is a problem. Hope Balogun gets his chance from the start

      1. Havyn says:

        Laca was good? For a striker how many goals has he scored since he came here. Poor. 65 goals out of 170 for a fee of 52m and wages of 182k a week not good enough.

        Will take Abraham or Giroud over him

    2. RSH says:

      Lacazette would play if called upon. Both of them would. we need to remember theres still a pandemic happening and everyone needs to be cautious when they dont feel well.

  4. CorporateMan says:

    The worst start you could ever wish against!
    Not sure I want to watch.

    1. instrooments says:

      @corporateMan….pls watch…u wud be entertained as long as willian,elneny,bellerin do not start….

  5. O.T.S says:

    Atfirst, I was happy auba will be absent but seeing Lacazette be absent likewise makes me sober. I still believe in Arsenal earning an emphatic win Tonight.

    Predicted lineup:
    Leno

    Chambers + white + mari + tierney

    Lokonga + xhaka

    Smith rowe

    Saka + balogun + pepe

    1. Val says:

      thast what i would go for aswel mate

      not keen on Mari though, he was trash in preseason like Auba

      hopefully, whoever comes in up top can take the chance, play well and maybe grab a few goals

  6. A J says:

    Trying very hard not to be a merchant of doom ….. but ;

    We seem to be heading into the new season in the most ill prepared state I can recall for many, many years.

    Yes we’ve had some ” under strength squads” at season start over the years, but the overriding impression of the sheer lack of professionalism around the place this year is staggering.

    No first choice strike force tonight (given BOTH being ill is for me “questionable”).

    A paper thin Goalkeeping situation.

    We remain clearly under strength / short in more than one position.

    Not being able to shift the players deemed surplus to requirements, affecting our in comings.

    Headlines such as ;

    ” Treading water: Can Arteta’s young signings handle Arsenal fans gauntlet? ”

    David Luiz now saying he actually left due to the “project” being just too long for him, as he basically wanted to “be a winner” (that’s Davids take anyway).

    Something is dreadfully wrong at our place – what is really going on ??

    With the window closing late this year, there is a potential of 9 points being dropped due to being under strength, until we grab those late couple of “bargains”.

    Did we not know we started on the 13th ?

    Still hope springs eternal – GOYG 3 points tonight.

    1. Sid says:

      Keep your head up AJ! We all might be surprised by our Spanish Hearthrob, lol.

      1. A J says:

        Hope you’re right Sid !

        Still fancy us (he says through gritted teeth).

        1. Sid says:

          Also a chance to see a set of contingency plans, if any, in place. Are our young forwards good enough to play at the PL level? Or are they oerrated as other fans dismiss them? Does MA stick to his guns or play a safe bet? I for one am really excited to see all possibilities unfold on this matchday. Worst case, our cannoneers get stung by the bees, lol. Still I think we will edge it and win 1-2.

          1. A J says:

            Yes, looks like we’ll be “forced” into changes . Might well go for us, and we land the win.

            Enjoy – if we can !

  7. Fred Onditi. says:

    I totally agree with you Joel, there are those players who doesn’t give 100%, eg Laca Auba, Bellerin and William and they ought to go and stop bloating the squad.

    1. Val says:

      no way can you say Laca doesnt give 100%
      hes not in the same bracket as Auba and willian

      sorry just no

      1. RSH says:

        agree. Laca definitely tries, just not at the level required. Others, it’s apparent they aren’t putting their hearts in it.

    2. MartinelliTheBench says:

      Fred, off the bottle please! Laca always puts a shift in

      1. Davi says:

        Yeah, his goal return is massively underwhelming for a 52m striker but he’s still the best we have right now, by quite a distance tbh

  8. Sue says:

    Not the start I was hoping for, but it is a chance for Gabi and Balogun to shine 🙂 COYG

    1. Miss.Sarcasm says:

      Let’s hope Sue. Unfortunately now they have to do it under high pressure instead of being brought through gradually last year with less pressure.

      Holding thumbs for them.

      ADMIN COMMENT …. I’m not sure that 2 (or 3) usernames are allowed MTB… I’ll think about it…

      1. Sue says:

        Look at Rashford on his PL debut against us – banged in a brace and never looked back! I think [sometimes] being thrown in at the deep end can work!

    2. Highbury Hero says:

      Here is to hoping they follow ESR and cement their spots in the team.

    3. Sid says:

      Excited to see the new tactics Sue! Although it is not ideal, it kind of gives us room to experiment a little. And as the bees are not a physical team (I am going by Dan’s description of them in the predictions article) it presents a good opportunity for our youngsters to play freely.
      What do you reckon?

      1. Sue says:

        I’m hoping that’ll be the case, Sid. A rocking stadium full of Bees… what better way to welcome them to the PL than with a defeat!

  9. PJ-SA says:

    Im not too bothered about Auba being out but Laca is a big loss.

    Here we see the issue with MA almost never giving Balo chances for experience and always benching Martinelli. It would have been very beneficial for both too have more minutes. Poor management.

  10. Sims says:

    I remember saying a while back that this season the players will be smelling blood and Arteta should be careful with his ruthlessness. The whole media has been talking about him either having a fast start or being under immense pressure and have been criticising the club’s decisions. Now Arteta himself gave a very meek and unsure press conference yesterday. If his vindictiveness that has been apparent from the outside looking in has burnt irreparable bridges the players( specifically the seniors) will down tools on him. This guy wants to roll into a season with a squad that he told the whole world can’t play his system and that he’s been actively trying to bin off. Now low and behold his two seniors strikers are Ozil “sick” first day of the season. The same Laca that’s been aggressively marketed all over Europe, the same Auba that has been missing chances like he’s actually not trying to score. I am very concerned for Arsenal, and the camera’s are rolling behind the scenes as well smh.

  11. Sid says:

    Hopefully we might have contingencies for this sort of thing? Now I don’t wanna underestimate the Bees, especially considering our current state, but would it not be a good enough gane for MA to try out something new? Like a two up top with Balo and Marty, or a back three or whatever rocks his boat? I mean the way MA wants to play, surely he must have a dream wildcard lineup which he would want to utilise if his primary options are not available. Lets hope he goes creative. AndI think Mari would be a good player for this game because Toney seems like a beast(have him in my FPL, lol) and White alone cant marshall him. If Saliba would have stayed it would be a good match to introduce him. I am very excited to see our youngsters get a chance and will definitely watch and cheer the team on.
    COYG!

  12. AndersS says:

    Wonder if it has anything to do with transfers…
    Maybe farfetched..

    1. Admin Pat says:

      First thing I thought mate. Balogun and Abraham to replace them?

      1. AndersS says:

        Could be.
        Maybe one is potentially in a swap deal.
        Who knows, we’ll see.

  13. siamois says:

    OT: according to Sky we are now in talks to sign MO he is being left out of the RM squad but RM would like a buy back clause.

    1. Sid says:

      I rate MO (little similar to the other MO, lol) but based on the direction we are supposed to be going, would his slow play help us? IMO ideally he should be in an ultra possesion based setup like City, not with us who are still struggling keeping the ball well.
      Would you be happy with this transfer, Siamois? Wouldn’t not signing a CAM and going the 433 route be more beneficial for us at the moment as it offers us more flexibility?

  14. RSH says:

    you know it’s bad when Laca and Auba are out and overall nobody is really bothered. in fact it may be a plus 👀

  15. Davi says:

    Well now is the perfect opportunity – if he doesn’t start one of them today, I won’t know what to think

  16. Adajim says:

    Let’s just assume we are playing them in the league cup or FA and we decides to use young guys

  17. Declan says:

    Not well? Or on the transfer list?
    Hmmmm interesting.

  18. Aaron says:

    Hope it is not covid, or entire team could go down.

    If it is all the best to them and their families.

    Let’s go kids show them what you can do!

  19. oachkatzlschwoaf says:

    No panic! As long as Xhaka and Elneny are fit and Artete gives the tactics, nothing can happen to us. All others are easily replaceable. If Ödegard now also comes in for 50 million, nothing and no one can really slow down our game. Not even a wheelchair user in midfield. I trust the process. The owners, Arteta and Edu are true geniuses.

    1. O.T.S says:

      Are you really a gunner?I don’t think so

      1. Trevor Peters says:

        I don’t think so too😂😂
        Elneny??!!!!!? Wtf?

  20. David says:

    Could be a blessing in disguise. Neither of them have been scoring the goals their transfer fees suggest they should. Hopefully Martinali/Balo can take this opportunity to show their quality.

  21. Dboy says:

    Well if rumours are true Laca looks like he could go. As for Auba, can someone please take him off our hands.
    COYG!!

  22. Rob49 says:

    ‘oachkatzlschwoaf.’
    My wifes in a wheelchair, do you think I can maybe get 12 – 15 mil for her, she’s faster than xhaka, trouble is she only goes forward not back or sideways.

  23. RFrancis says:

    Let the GAMES begin!

  24. FingersFurnell says:

    How’s your luck!, that’s made a difficult start even more difficult but we’ve got guys who can come in and do a decent job in those positions

    Credit to the players that go out there and the Manager if we get a result tonight

    Still looking forward to it, come on you Gunners

  25. Lucy says:

    I am very confident in the players who are available to play. Auba has not been very inconsistent for a long time and I think Laca is leaving (unfortunately). Pepe and ESR will be really fresh. Really looking forward to seeing are new signings. Predicted score – Brentford 1 Arsenal 3.

  26. Sean Williams says:

    It would be so nice to see Martinelli get a game, even Balogun, but if we put out a midfield of Xhaka and Elneny we will be struggling in the midfield and could suffer. Better to play Xhaka and Lokonga.

  27. Jakes Mradu says:

    Xhaka and Lokonga and Pepe and ESR and Saka and Martinelli are a very good team and Balogun is substituted with Martinelli in the second half…….I expect goals with this team against anyone when Partly is beck…….!

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