What midfield will Unai Emery select for the Southampton game?

Getting the midfield right is absolutely crucial for Emery.

The stats speak for themselves, Arsenal is not creating chances for the forwards or helping the defence out. Therefore it is imperative that Unai Emery gets it right against Southampton on Saturday. Arsenal simply cannot afford a repeat of almost every performance this season.

I would suggest it is a given that he starts with Matteo Guendouzi, he is probably one of just a few players that is an automatic starter under the Spaniard.

Now, I am going out on a limb but I reckon we will see a recall for Granit Xhaka. I believe that Emery prefers him to Torreira or Willock and given half a chance will include him.

Finally, it has to be Ozil just ahead of Guendouzi and Xhaka. There really is no one else that the manager can go with, is there?

So, with the defence I predicted here, we are looking at the following


I will cover the forward line in a later article but I do not think it is rocket science to guess what that will be.

Anyway, that is the midfield three I am going with. Obviously it becomes a midfield five if the wing-backs are utilised properly. But who knows with Emery?

Let me know in the comments section if you think that Emery will go with a different line up in the middle. I am not expecting much agreement, that’s the life under Unai Emery.


  1. I think you nailed it pretty right in terms what Emery might field against Southampton. Except maybe for Xhaka. I don’t think Emery will start him just yet. For the rest, it falls under Emery’s ballpark pretty well. I’m pretty sure he won’t start Tierney.

  2. Xhaka will not play, but Ozil and Kolasinac might:

    …………… Leno
    Bellerin . Holding . Luiz . Tierney
    …….. Guendouzi ….. Willock
    Pepe ………. Ceballos …… Martinelli
    …………… Aubameyang

  3. But I have my doubts knowing Emery too. If Emery will start Ozil, he will probably not start with the 4-2-3-1 formation with proper wingers. He will instead go with the midfield diamond with no wingers and will put our players in a situation that will spend 70% of the time defending.

    So fearing that, I just wish he doesn’t start Ozil and play with proper wingers because we need to outscore in that game anyhow, so have to start with such a mentality.

      1. So what would you call Emery? A serial winner? And before you mention 3 Europa Cups with Seville I would remind you that was then and this is the now. Loser seems pretty accurate and mild when you consider he somehow LOST 4th position last season when it was easier to finish third, He LOST the EL Cup Final with the most embarrassing display imaginable. HE has LOST the dressing room.LOST what little support he had from the fanbase. Seemingly LOST the boards trust ( despite what we here ). LOST any idea of team tactics and progression.
        Sounds like a LOSER to me.

      2. Stop being such a silly boy Innit or sorry possibly a girl, no offense intended, silly person. I was talking about Emery🤔

  4. The midfield I would choose


    (Lacazette up front

    1. I quite like this lineup, especially Torreria and Chambers cleaning up the midfield mess behind
      Ozil as well as shielding the back four. I might be tempted to sit Laca, and have Martinelli
      push Auba up top.

      If Emery sends out Kola, Xhaka, and Guendouzi and a result is not secured he should be fired
      leaving the locker room.

  5. ______________Auba Laca
    _____Tierney Arteta Flamini Bellerin
    ____Vermalaen (C) Mustafi Mertesacker


  6. I still insist on a flexible 4-4-2, If I was to be the coach. This will allow each player to play at their best position.


    Martinelli, Lacazette, Pepe…

    Guendouzi, Torreira…

    Tierney, Luiz, Chambers, Bellerin…


  7. Tielemens,Ndidi,Maddison,they were all picked up by Leicester for relatively modest sums.All escaped the Arsenal recruitment net, yet they were all available and known to be highly talented .We have become incompetent in most areas of our Club and this has culminated in our decline both off and on the pitch.I suspect Emery will take the easy way out and leave Xhaka out of the team to play Southampton which is a pity because it would be very interesting to see how the fans react if he plays.Personally I feel we should get behind him 100% which just might get a very positive reaction from the team as a whole, which is after all what we are looking for.

  8. International break was so nice. Didn’t have to think about any of these players or Arsenal. Now I see these possible lineups and it all just seems hopeless with the horrible leadership at the core of the club. Time to be frustrated every time Arsenal kick a ball, yet again…

  9. As much as I dont want arsenal to lose cuz I hate it whenever we lose a match, I pray we lose against sutton so as to seal Emerys fate.
    I rather lose one match and get Emery sacked than to win three matches and lose the next four and get closer to relegation zone.
    Emery is arsenal’s biggest mistake. I cant wait for it to be corrected.


  10. I am extremely worried not just for this game but in general as we cannot rely on the childish enthusiasm of Guendouzi at the heart of our midfield. Just check his stats! He should be phased into the team rather than relied upon. In the game against wolves he showed his inexperience twice giving the ball away early in our half. He was far from the best midfielder on show. Yet his position is not under threat. Secondly, against Leicester he was at fault for the first goal when not tracking back with the runner. And yet we blindly forgive or ignore this because he is young. He needs defensive discipline and to learn his role. We have no goal scoring midfielders and a lax, lightweight and slow to transition midfield. Forget formations, sort out the structure at the back and midfield and if we stop conceding at least two goals per game, we may have a chance going forward. Even Messi will struggle in this team.

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