Which Arsenal team will Emery pick to face Leicester? Sokratis and Cech still out

Unai Emery keeps surprising us all with his team selections and I am sure it will be no different when Arsenal take on Leicester on Monday night especially as the coach has nearly a full squad available to choose from. Emery said today: “The players are coming back now. Only Sokratis had one problem, one small injury. Maybe for Monday it’s difficult [for him to play]. The others are OK.”

That means that Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil and Ainsley Maitland-Niles now available. Even Petr Cech is near to coming back. The boss said: “Petr Cech is getting better from his injury but he’s not training with the group. But I think he’s very close to start with us.”

So it will be Leno in goal again. In our last game against Fulham in which we looked fantastic in the second half Emery started with….

Bellerin Sokratis Mustafi Monreal
Torreira Xhaka Iwobi
Mkhitaryan Lacazette Welbeck

Ramsey and Aubameyang came on in the second half and played blinders so maybe Emery will start with those on the pitch. Also now Ozil is recovered he is likely to start too. But who will he drop to the bench?

Pick your best team below that can tame the Foxes!


  1. Tristan says:

    My line is
    Bellerin mustafi holding monreal
    Torriera xhaka
    Welbeck iwobi
    Auba Laca

  2. Sue says:

    This fixture last season… Laca’s header after 94 seconds!! Some debut hey?! ?
    Hoping for another entertaining game & most importantly the 3 points COYG

  3. jim wall says:

    Bell. Mustaf. Hold. Mon
    Torrer. Xakai .
    Miki. Iwobi
    Auba. Laca

    1. Wiggy says:

      Why no Ozil? He is fit now.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Emery had better not disrupt the winning team’s harmony by including the underperforming stars, hence I wish to see the same four attackers in the same 4-4-2:

        Bellerin . Mustafi . Holding . Monreal
        Mkhitaryan . Torreira . Xhaka . Iwobi
        ………..Lacazette …. Welbeck

        If that team starts to lose, Emery can tinker again with the benched stars

        1. Phil says:

          So you are not including Ozil because in your mind he is “Under Performing”.Yet you include
          Bellerin-Has improved the way he ties his hairup Into that nice little bun.Other than that he is still a rubbish defender.
          Mustafi-Has no doubt improved under Enery.He used to be an absolutely S**T defender.Now he is an absolutely CRAP defender.(Thank you Uli Hoeness).
          Xhaka-Another who has improved under Emery.This is solely because he has Torreira next to him.When AMN is fit do you seriously believe Xhaka will still be in the team?
          Mykitarian-Has had one decent game against Fulham this season which is why he has been on the bench most games.Yet YOU feel he is performing?
          Iwobi-No doubt this lad has shown immense improvement in his play this season which is not too difficult when you consider how bad he was last season.Played well against Fulham.His best game for the Club is what people have written.So let’s see-How many assists has Iwobi made this season?NONE.How many goals has Iwobi scored this season?ONE.Yet YOU seen to be satisfied with this.
          At least be consistent.If you feel Ozil deserves to be benched for inconsistency then at least wake up to the fact that most of the team has as well.But Ozil is the ONLY player to have started EVERY game he played out of position.Every other player has not.

          1. Sue says:

            Nice little bun ?

          2. RSH says:

            ozil played on the right majority of last season. He played there when Germany won WC. He is not being played as a winger. He has a free role. Enough of the out of position nonsense.

      2. jon fox says:

        Simple answer. He is bone idle!

        1. Phil says:

          That’s a very poor response JF.I know you are not one for stats,especially based on 4 games,but I bet you would find Ozil’s workrate is one of the highest in the team.The fact he is not so effective is due to him being played too wide not because he is lazy.It was not a lazy player who was the ONLY team mate Lacazette had to pick out the cross to against Watford in the last few minutes of the game was it?A lazy player would have just let the move go on in front of him.Ozil didn’t.Ha made the distance up to support his teammate that lad to us scoring.How is that the actions of a “Bone Idle” player?Especially that late in the game?There is more to effort and commitment than simply running around like a headless chicken.Support play is every bit as crucial as running 30 yards to tackle someone.It’s the same as a player creating space to receive a pass by running to create space.If the ball doesn’t get to him he will look to be out of position and tad blamed for not trying.As Ozil continually is.
          When have you ever seen Oxil not want the ball?He always wants the ball.The fact he see’s so little of it is because he is being played too wide.He is not effective out there.Everyone knows this even Emery.I believe he asked Ozil to go out there because he wanted Ramsey in the team and knew Ramsey could not play there.So this is Ozil sacrificing himself for the team and getting slated for it.
          Poor judgement from you JF.I accept Ozil being criticised for performing poorly but not for lack of effort.If Emery thought ANY player was not putting in the effort or not being effective he would take him off.Other than Chelsea Away that hasn’t happened.And it’s no coincidence that we created next to NOTHING in that game when Ozil came off.Dos’ent that in itself prove how much he is missed when he is not on the pitch.Even when played out of position?

          1. jon fox says:

            Sorry Phil, But we must agree to disagree. i ADMIT TO BEING BLUNT WITH MY VIEWS and sometimes am too strong but to more fully explain my view on Ozil, I do agree he jogs around and covers enough miles per 90 mins. But he does not run hard enough , often enough for me. He does only token closing down when challenging and I believe even our most naturally gifted creative player, as in any club, should not get a free pass never to challenge opponents in possession. And challenge like they mean it too. Of course I don’t expect him to slide tackle or go around kicking opponents Paul Scholes style. But when you watch other teams most creative payers, eg, KDB or David Silva at City, they work their socks off. Erikson too and Hazard. But our top creative player , in my view , just does not work hard enough. Mere miles per game tells us nothing of real value; it is sprinting when the vital moments arrive that is more important to note. I do value stats but not misleading ones which are just not designed to tell the whole truth, as in my post the other day about Merts passing percent being high in the stats list; but it told us nothing EXCEPT that he could pass back and forth ad infinitum in his own half to Kos over five yards, when under no pressure. That type of thing is what I dismiss as meaningless. His consistently negative body language is a terrible example for a senior player to set our younger players too. I have become bitterly disapppointed with Ozil and fully expect him not to be here next season under Emery, despite that hard to overcome huge wage hike. The club will find a way to shift him. UNLESS he changes his ways, which I still hope but do not think will happen. I also think ONE of the reasons he has, wrongly , been played wide is his lack of committment in the centre. LETS NOT FALL OUT THOUGH AS WE AGREE ON MOST THINGS.

          2. Phil says:

            Jon-I’ve always said that Ozil divides opinion with his body language and as our most talented player he must be more dominant in games.but I will never agree he is lazy.As regarding tackling I can only agree Ozil will never be a Flamini type who threw himself into anything that moved.But let’s agree Ozil will never be this type of player.
            And if Ozil played for Citeh there is no doubt in my mind that he would shine every bit as much as Silva and KDB
            Ozil came to the Club with Giroud,Walcott and Podolski(who delivered far more than the other two).Now He has genuine pace and movement in Lacazette and Aubamayang yet finds himself played wide.
            My hope is Emery drops Ramsey and moves Ozil to a Central free role.That is where he is more effective as has been proved.Even Wenger forced him wide last season to accommodate Ramsey and Wilshere.Remember Madrid at home?We never got Ozil on the ball till late in the game when he moved in the middle and he immediately made us more dangerous.Its not rocket science.Or is it?

          3. ozziegunner says:


  4. Innit says:

    I’m glad to see Koscielny is back
    Missed him big time
    He won’t be ready for a while. He needs to come in slowly
    But he will help us big time (injury permitting)

  5. Innit says:


  6. aubamezzette says:


    I feel Ozil ll do better on the left, playing left footers on d left n right footers on d right helps with their creativity as regards ground/low crosses xcept they are scores (which none of iwobi or ozil is).
    also aubameyang lacazette needs to play together in their favourite positions, probably with lacazette in d rooney-role.
    mustafi is a calamity waiting to happen which is only emphasized with (improved but still not good enough defensively) bellerin beside him.
    holding,torreira,iwobi around bellerin ll minimize the weak-link on d right.
    kolasinac is better offensively n monreal is more needed in CB.
    also Kolasinac did well against Leicester last term.

    1. Phil says:

      How about playing him centrally in a free role? Ozil is NOT a wide player.

  7. jon fox says:

    As possibly one of the Gooners who most considers a sound defence at ALL TIMES to be vital(which is the main reason I had wanted Wenger sacked a full decade ago and ever since), I would NEVER play Mustafi or Bellerin , except in dire injury crisis. This week, due to CB ‘s injuries I would be forced to play Mustafi but NOT Bellerin. So here is my team to start against Leicester: Leno, Licht, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal, Torreira, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Myki Auba, Laca. I would not play Xhaka as he is slow in thought, deed and just not good enough at our level. Ramsey would have to be on bench but would never start were I manager(in fact he would be out of our club by Jan 2nd 2019). Ozil is just too idle and I cannot STAND players who do not give 100 %, which is why I conducted an almost lone campaign- at that time back in 2008- to get the appalling Walcott out the door. My philosophy in football as in life itself, is that the prizes go to those who crave them the most and NOT to those who are effectively couch potatoes who laze around the pitch. LOOKING FORWARD A TRANSFER WINDOW OR TWO OR THREE, I FORESEE ALL THE INEFFECTIVE/ LAZY / SELFISH PLAYERS GONE AND MORE DYNAMIC, DRIVEN PLAYERS BROUGHT IN. No player who is prepared to coast through games, (just picking up the obscene wages that all Prem players get, but which can ONLY be excused when they give 100% every week, but not otherwise) should EVER wear our shirt. Those types are cheating the fans, the club, their teammates , themselves and the sport itself. I would run them out the door so fast they would not know what hit them. NO exceptions, however talented they may be. After all, we are not a charity. Nor are we social workers but committed, financially hard pressed fans(most of us) of a glorious professional football club whose aim is to constantly win glory and trophies and we are the moral owners of Arsenal FC. It is up to US to guard the standards so gloriously set in our long and special history, by not allowing idle cheats to effectively steal wages from us for NOWT in return. That includes the legal owner, a cheat supreme!!! That last battle – KROENKES EXIT – is our real challenge!

    1. Phil says:

      JF-I am keen to know what you feel is a player who does not give 100% and is labelled as being lazy?I don’t believe we have one single player that can be called lazy.Especially under the management of Emery.Players have commented how fitter they are this season so they must be certainly putting the effort in on the training ground.This is proven by the fact that other than Chelsea Away we have finished games so much stronger in the second half.I can understand players being called out for not performing but lazy?Never.

  8. Sarmmie says:

    I won’t blame ozil for not giving his all ‘this’ season, I don’t know if anyone plays football here, but there are a few things as painful as being played off position, especially when you’re (arguably) the best in that position
    Ozil is being played out wide cos of someone he’s definitely better than, coming off an int’l issue as painful as his, and for someone who’s trying to prove a point, I won’t blame him for being frustrated

    And for not giving his all ‘last’ season, I won’t blame him much either, cos apart from monreal and lacazette, nobody actually gave his all throughout last season

    1. RSH says:

      you don’t care that he doesnt care for the job he gets paid millions to do? Please be my boss

      1. Gunman says:

        This is for our prolific contributor to this comments column…Mr Phil. Please beware you are drifting into the ‘I know it all’ band.

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