Which players should Unai Emery drop against Burnley?

Even though Arsenal won their opening game away at Newcastle United last Sunday it is inevitable that some players will be dropped for the upcoming game against Burnley.

But who should Unai Emery drop? It is not going to be as straightforward as most probably think.

I would suggest that David Luiz will be brought in on Saturday but will it be Sokratis or Chambers that make way?

Keeping a clean sheet on the road last season became almost impossible, something that was achieved just the once, against Watford and so if you was one of the defenders that played against Newcastle you would feel very hard done by if you are then left out of the following game.

One solution is to go with three central defenders but that would then have a knock-on effect further up the field.

And it is not just the defence that will see disappointed players, it is hard to see how Lucas Torreira can be kept out and obviously Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe will be in contention for a starting spot.

There is going to be rotation, that is the way of the modern game but that tends to be more in the midfield and up front and it is easier to rotate the youngsters out as opposed to more established players.

That said, you have to think that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will find himself relegated to the subs bench but after that, it is not so clear cut.

Do you drop Joe Willock to make way for Torreira? what about Dani Ceballos, where would he play? in place of Reiss Nelson?

Obviously, a lot will depend on what sort of formation that Emery goes with but there will be players that are left out that simply do not deserve it.

So that is the question for you all, who would you drop and for who?


  1. We know Burnley are a physical team so, we need players who can go toes to toes with them, Ashley Barnes is also a big worry,which one of our defenders is going to be able to keep him quiet I honestly don’t know!!

  2. 46m spend 6 players signed, predominately on installments

    deducting Iwobi, we are still below the budget of 45m or even way less

    Raul has done well

    1. How did you arrive at the N46m for 6 players figure? And why don’t you think the Iwobi payment is also to be done on installments?

  3. I would drop Xhaka -> replace him with Willock in CM.

    Torreira or Guendouzi as DM, either will do.

    I would keep the defense same.


    —- Ceba/Mkhi
    Pepe – Laca – Auba

        1. Lool John Ibrahim aka Hafiz Rahmann talking about FIFA! Look at his older posts, they’re all about spending a fortune on players hahah

  4. If I were Emery, I wouldn’t change the winning team too much, unless some of them are unfit. This is to show the bench players that the reward of winning games is great

    I’d replace the ones with bad forms in Newcastle though, which are Mkhitaryan and Nelson:

    Maitland-Niles . Chambers . Sokratis . Monreal
    ……….Guendouzi …………. Xhaka
    Pepe ……………. Willock ………… Martinelli

  5. My starting 11 v Burnley (subject to availability) –
    Niles Luiz Sokratis Monreal
    Pepe Ceballos Willock Guendouzi Auba

  6. I’d love to see Torreira again… as well as Pepe, obviously ? And I’d also like to see David Luiz…
    Just goes to show with the team we put out on Sunday & the players we have waiting in the wings – we have depth!!!

  7. I don’t support the idea of dropping Miki, in spite of the few mistakes he made during our encounter with Newcastle, he is a very hard working player. He missed chances, misplaced passes but he also created for Auba who didn’t score. Let’s give him time, let’s not bench him for these young guys, lets usher in the young guys slowly. Football is a game of mistakes, every goal scored is a mistake from your opponent.

    1. Exactly…Miki is works very hard…he knows Auba well..

      every players make mistake not only Miki

    2. No worries, I predict Emery would keep him in the starting line-up to boost his confidence

      He might start on the left side though

    3. Its good to drop mkhitaryan for his poor performance, we have players who can do more better than him at the moment, there is no need dropping point now, and also know that next week will be liverpool. The rest team that played against newcastle should be giving the room to start. We have all it takes to win the league now.

    4. Burnley are most likely gonna sit deep and be compact in the box, so we’ll need someone who can unlock their defence with a killer pass which means one of myhkitarian/ozil/ceballos have to play that no.10 role. Which unfortunately means joe willock will have to drop to the bench. I’d also bring take out xhaka and put Luiz in midfield as we need that physicality in midfield against a team like burnley but we also need to retain possession to frustrate them into coming out of the box. Luiz/chambers can do this better than xhaka.

      AMN sokratis chambers monreal
      Torreria Luiz
      Pepe cellabos Auba

      Expecting another clean sheet and 3 points

      1. Malik, that is exactly the team I would suggest. ?
        Luis as a DM gives solidity plus passing range and a threat going forward, with Torreira being able to sit back in front of the two CB’s

  8. After Sunday’s game I would definitely stick with chambers – I had my doubts about him but can only remember him being beaten once for a header and he looked solid .
    Same with willock if Ozil isn’t involved
    Hopefully we see Pepe and laca and Luiz coming in .
    No point saying Xhaka should be dropped because it looks as though Emery sees him as a permanent fixture in the middle .
    All in all when everyone is fit I can’t see how we shouldn’t make top 3-4 with the players we have .

    1. I agree chambers has to stay,the guy keeps improving all the time and as a defender still is a baby I mean age wise!!

  9. 4-2-3-1.
    Replace Xhaka with Luiz and retain the momentum of the back four who played against the Toon.
    I don’t think Torriera will play due to slight fitness doubts so would play Willock deeper alongside Luiz. If Laca is fit I’d put him up front and my three just behind would be Pepe, Ozil and Auba. If Laca not ready then Auba up top and his place on left taken by Ceballos. If Ozil doesn’t play his place as the midfield pivot should go to Gwen Dozy.

  10. I’ll go with George with a little tweak.

    Niles Luiz Sokratis Monreal
    Pepe Ceballos Torreira Xhaka Martinelli

    Xhaka will start. Laca needs to be ? percent fit for the upcoming tough away game @ Anfield next week and @ home to Spurs forthnight. Laca can be used as a sub to gain game time.
    Ozil, if available, can come in for C8 when the deed has been done. We should not take chances. Micky can replace P19.
    We’ll have to wait till next week before the unleashing of PAL in Anfield.

    1. TBH, it amazes me how supporters always try to micro-manage team selections for a Manager. This is a professional who works with these players on a daily basis and has better knowledge of their physical and mental condition. FFS, let the manager do his job!

      1. Fans have picked their preferred teams before games since time immemorial so let us all indulge ourselves without your effing and jeffing, thank you.

    2. They are only opinions David, I don’t suppose anyone thinks Emery is going to listen to any of us,Opinions are what these topics are put up for, its just a view that we can all share with one another.

  11. chambers played well against newcastle bcos he was given a lot of space, he had yards of space to make a decision, newcastle gave us lots of respect. burnley on the other hand are a physical side, he might cave in when faced with in-your face-kind of attackers like ashley Barnes.
    Go look at the newc game again, chambers was jittery when approached.

    1. Mhki still a weapon to keep cos he’s got good workrate the toon game showed it but for the missd chance, misplaced passes he cr8d a chance Auba should have scored gr8 player mikhi is.

  12. I’m pretty sure Emery will “leave well alone” and play the same starting eleven and the same bench.The aerial power of Luis would certainly be an asset against a physical, long ball Burnley but I would leave out Socratis, not Chambers who was excellent against Newcastle.Laca and Ceballos will probably figure during the match.

  13. Leno
    Niles chambers Sokratis Luis monreal’s
    Xhaka Torreira/Guendousi
    Pepe Laca PA14

    523/352…. That’s my best bet for Burnley’s.

    I dont see Emery dropping Chambers nor Sokratis(except there is injury to any of them). I expect him to start Luiz to. So five at the back will be his option.
    I doubt he will start torreira because of his love for Guen. But captain Xhaka will definitely start.
    And that front line is definitely starting too.

    Prediction. Arsenal 2 Burnley 0

  14. This is the time to play our first eleven players…nothing else

    Look at other teams ahead of us…

  15. however much am excited with pepe’s signing, am quite sceptical of whether he will adopt in the premier league. am equally worried of his defensive work, remember watching him literally walk the opposition was counter-attacking instead of retreating to cover

  16. It surely depends on fitness. Is Luiz match fit? If not I expect the same back four.

    I reckon Xhaka starts so Guendouzi/Ceballos next to him again depending on fitness.

    The front three depending on fitness again Auba – Laca – Pepe/Mhiki

    We have some depth in squad so happy for some rotation.

  17. Mkhitaryan. Aubameyang. Pepe.

    Guendouzi. Xhaka. Ceballos.

    Monreal. Luiz. Sokratis. A.N Miles

    My predicted line up on Saturday

  18. Stick with Chambers and sub him if he struggles. Chambers deserves to Start again

    I think we need to start Mkhitaryan unfortunately because Ozil isn’t mentally ready yet probably to start and Pepe will be introduced gradually

    I would drop Xhaka

  19. Attack is the best defence . So I dream


    chambers Sokratis Luis

    Niles/Ceballos Torreira/Guendousi Xhaka/Kolo


    Pepe Laca Auba

  20. A guess: I think it’s possible that UE will start with a back five with Luiz in the mix, and PAL at the front, because that’s what he’ll want to use against Liverpool and he’ll want to give them a test run, even if other formations might be better against Burnley…

  21. Drop Xhaka he is pants,Mikhi does not perform often enough, my Mrs could have got closer with that chance he put out the ground in the first half,luiz, Pepe, Ceballos, Willock and Lacca should all start.

  22. I would go with 4-3-3, if I was the gaffer, but then I’m not!
    The security situation with Ozil & Kolasinac is still a mystery, so I guess they are not available for selection, but otherwise Emery should throw in an attacking forward line, especially when we are at home.

    AMN, Luiz, Chambers, Montreal
    Guendozi, Cabellos, Torreira
    Pepe, Laca, Auba

    If Cabellos runs out of steam, Xhaka comes in. Same with Laca of he still has the niggle, Willock comes in with a change in formation, with Auba becoming the central striker and Reiss comes in for Guendozi or Torreira. Then we play 4-2-3-1.

    To have Sokratis on the pitch to take on the physical Burnley players will mean he is a red card risk, hence I wouldn’t put him in

  23. Leno
    Niles.. Chambars… Socratis.. Monreal

    Guendouzi… Xhaka

    Pepe… Willock… Aubu.


    This team is good enough to win any team. Pepe and Laca has to be feature in this game in other for them to be match ready awaiting Liverpool match.

  24. Against Burnley, we not only have to win, we also have to use the game as preparation for Liverpool and Spurs, where we will need our very best.

    Chambers out for Luiz.
    Nelson out for Pepe.
    Mkhitaryan out for Torreira (he can help protect AMN)

    AMN Luiz Sokratis Monreal

    Torreira Xhaka


    Pepe Auba


  25. My preferred* starting eleven for Burnley is Leno, A M-N, Chambers, Luiz, Monreal, Torreira, Willock, Guendouzi, Pepe, Laca, Auba. I would omit Mustafi. Mkhi, Xhaka completely from the 18. PERMANENTLY TOO! Kolas and Ozil are not going to be picked for awhile yet, IMO.* Once all the new and old boys are fit, I would play Bellerin and Tierney at fulback , move AM-N into central midfield in place of Guendouzi(whom I much like, even so). I would play Laca in a withdrawn striker, starting now – in a Bergkamp position – with Auba centrally up front.

    We would thus have pace, power, mobility, creativeness and workrate, all aplenty in midfield with no Mkhi, no Ozil. Laca would be the natural and hard working link to striker from midfield, in a Ramsey style but without Ramsey’s irritating silly flicks and selfishness to get scoring glory for himself, above the teams needs. We would also have a much younger and more energetic team and less likely to be injured so often.

    The main REMAINING team weaknesses, once all are back, will still be at CB and RB( I am not a fan defensively of Bellerin but he is still the best we have right now in that position, when fit.
    Inthe theoretical and therefore vainhope that we could field that best eleven most weeks, I would expect top four. But of course we have not the current squad depth to use all those players even most of the time, as injuries would certainly happen and our back up is still overall rather weak, once most of the new buys are in the start eleven.

    But at least many of the end of last season’s existing holes will have been partly or even properly filled and we will finally, years too late, have real hope of going in the right direction and gaining speed in doing so.

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