What defence will Freddie Ljungberg select against Man City?

Injury restricts defensive options available to Freddie.

Freddie Ljungberg is not going to be able to go with his first choice back four against Man City on Sunday afternoon.

Kieran Tierney is definitely out and Hector Bellerin will be assessed prior to the City game and of course, Rob Holding is out for at least another couple of weeks.

This means that Sead Kolasinac is almost certain to start on the left and if Bellerin is not passed fit then Ainsley Maitland-Niles will most likely be given the right-back spot.

I cannot see Freddie changing the back two of Sokratis and Calum Chambers. They were far from perfect against West Ham but certainly look better paired than either of them with the hapless David Luiz.

So, the backline I see Freddie selecting against the champions is

Sead Kolasinac
Calum Chambers
Ainsley Maitland-Niles

The only real change I see to that lineup would be Bellerin ahead of Maitland-Niles in the event the Spaniard is past fit. However, if Bellerin is not passed fit and Freddie lacks the trust in Maitland-Niles then there is an outside possibility that Chambers is put on the right and Luiz drafted in. I just cannot see Freddie doing that though. But never say never with Arsenal.

I am fairly confident, however, that Freddie will go with the back four I have listed. Based on the available players to the Swede I cannot see a better, more suited defence to face City.

That said, if Ljungberg gets the Unai Emery syndrome and decides to go all pragmatic he could end up going with three central defenders and then all bets would be off. That would be nothing short of an invite to City to attack at will.


  1. Innit says:

    Without Tierney, Bellerin and Holding our defence will suck. Even with those players it’s far from exemplary

    Our next match should be a high scoring match I think 😵😭

  2. gotanidea says:

    Yes, I also predict Ljungberg would go with that back four

    I don’t think he would use a three-CB formation

    1. Diogenes says:

      It could be 3-CB, though:

      AMN – Chambers – Luiz – Sokratis – Kola

      Luiz would play slightly forward as an auxiliary DM.
      I think Freddie will be afraid of losing big, so he might try with numbers in the absence of any quality.

  3. Freddie has no option but to go with the back 4 you mentioned in the article. Hope they deal with the pace of Gabriel Jesus, Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Marez. Lenno will have to be at his imperious best.

  4. Rkw says:

    Jesus when will people learn … Maitland miles is lethargic and can’t defend … Chambers is better at right back … That leaves mustafi sokratis the Greek kid and Luiz as CB options … Shocking really but take your pick … They will not change their game plan so don’t need to worry about height issues but who can slow their pace and passing down … Am not sure …

  5. Chambers and Socrates did well against WestHam and there should not be any reason to change and chop right away from a winning combination of CB’s. Also, I feel both Chambers and Socrates are better than Mustafi. Also AMN must have got his confidence back with game time and Kola did very well in the WHU game and also had a assist. Game on!

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    Even if Bellerin is fit, I wouldn’t start him. He has been shocking! I understand he needs time to get fully match fit, but there’s no excusing the amount of misplaced passes from him.

    I feel sorry for Freddie given the lack of options, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d bring Mustafi in at RB.

    My defence:

    Mustafi Chambers Sokratis Kolasinac

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Unfortunately no one felt sorry for Emery, when he faced the same issues. Any new head coach, like Emery and Ljundberg, will have to face the same deficiencies of squad quality and depth in defense and midfield currently at Arsenal.

      1. Kelleson says:

        Why would someone feel sorry for Emery, he have the opportunity of signing player but he failed by signing incompetent player like Luiz, but Freddie haven’t gotten that opportunity yet till January. But if we can go with the defences of
        Mustafi Chambers Socratis Kolacsinic
        We mind be able to perform beyond people expectations

  7. Bad ebening says:

    Niles Chambers Sokratis Kolasinac
    Torreira Guendouzi
    Auba Martinelli

    I would play Auba on the right to provide width since Bellerin is injured and instruct Niles to move inside like what Pep did with Sane and Mendy last season.

    1. Kelleson says:

      We need the attack of
      Pepe Aubu Mertinelli
      Perform well in this game

  8. agu eman says:

    Defence like attack is a state of mind.

  9. Pepe cannot be left out of the line up if fit.
    AMN Chambers Socrates Kola
    Torreira Guendouzi
    Pepe Auba Martinelli

    Martinez, Laca, Nelson, Willock, Mustafi, ESR, Medley,

    1. GB says:

      Pepé is injured and doubtful for this game at least.

  10. Jim wall says:

    Team v city…

    Amn. Chambers sok. Kolas
    Torrer. Luiz

    Pepe. Auba. Martinelle

  11. jon fox says:


  12. Grandad says:

    AMN, Chambers,Luis,Kolasinac.Not reassuring but probably the best of what is available.

  13. Pops says:

    Get Mustafi on right and Rowe in there and we will be winners for the day…3-1to Arsenals

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