Ozil out, Elneny on the bench: Stoke v Arsenal teams

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Arsenal team news

Another difficult away day in the Premier League, facing Stoke at the Britannia where we haven’t won since 2010.

Here are the official line-ups. There’s no Mesut Ozil for Arsenal today, new boy

Stoke: Butland, Pieters, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Johnson, Whelan, Affelay, Arnautovic, Bojan, Walters, Joselu

Subs: Haugaard, Muniesa, Odemwingie, Adam, Diouf, Crouch, van Ginkel

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud

Subs: Opsina, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Arteta, Elneny, Iwobi

Follow the match and chat with fellow Gooners on the Arseblog live blog

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Lima

That balance in midfield worries me

Tommy Gunner

I can’t help but feel that that midfield is going to get absolutely schooled. Not much ability to dictate play in there. Hope I’m wrong.

Ox in the box

I think Ramsey and Ox are going to school Stoke and run them ragged. 4-3-3 worked great against Sunderland. They are no pushovers either, and this might be decisive. COYG!

Ox in the box

In addition to that, Arsenal can be vulnerable if everything goes through Ozil, if they mark him tight. And you can be sure that they would kick the lumps out of him.

Ancient Gooner

Ramsey in stead of Özil is probably stronger when you consider who we are facing.

Tommy Gunner

Physically yes, but away at Stoke is all about making sure they don’t get the bit between their teeth, and they way to do that is frustrate them by keeping the ball, not trying (and inevitably failing) to outmuscle them. We shall see

Sean

Not sure I’d agree with that. Yes Ramsey’s more physically robust, but I’d feel a whole lot more comfortable with Ozil’s composure and near faultless decision making in possession against a high pressing team.

Tarquin Farquar

Well said.

Adnan Kashogy

I think Ramsey and chamberlain suits today more than ozil because stoke are toughest opponents with big lads which for me ozil could not play his game as normal …

CJ

No Alexis, quelle surprise. But it’s okay, he’s just a little short and will be back for the next game (or maybe the one after that, or the one after that).

Perry S.

definitely saving him for the Chavs.

Dale Cooper

Time for Ox to rise.

Noodles

The ox in the number 10 role could work

rch

Think Ramsey will play futher forward and the ox will sit with Flamini

Ox in the box

I put my money on 4-3-3.

12th Man in The Clockend

I hope the reported ‘Foot Injury’ to Mes is nothing to worry about..

Tarquin Farquar

Pray Ozil is not serious. Bench looks very poor in terms of attack. Coyg

Arshavin's Left foot

I hope will rise up to the task. C’on we can do it!

Ox Sans Box

At least if Ramsey is playing CAM he won’t be leaving Flamini stranded defensively when he pushes forward? I’m really just looking for a silver lining here…

Alexstratz

Fear the worst, hope for the best.

london

This will not be a popular opinion but we are not going to win today.

Ox in the box

Good insight there, Nostradamus. What is the lottery number again?

nabi

what are the lotto numbers?

london

Why would I tell you two

Per

I am surprised to see Walcott starting. He has been so poor lately. He would probably be better as an attacking option from the bench. Well, I hope he scores a hat trick to prove me wrong. COYG!

loose_cannon

Looking at our bench, I’m not surprised at all

Ramsey's spirit

looking at our bench I’m even more surprised he is starting, how are we going to change the game if we need to now? Iwobi? Arteta Flamini was an option in mc, very defensive i know but it lets us pick ox or ramsey in 10 / right role and leave walcott on till 60 mins when we get to give 30 min rest to giroud who is playing alot of football, and take advantage of pace vs a tired opposition. Obv Arsene knows but that was my thoughts on our threadbare bench.

AntiSpud

Flamini is the most underated striker disguised as defensive midfielder I know. The is a legend. He scored a brace against the spuds, hit the Greek bar, and rumours that he scored on Taylor Swift. He is in a complete different league if you ask me. Ozil agrees with me in case you are wondering

Stillmatic

That bench looks really poor in all honesty.
Wish Rosicky was fit as would prefer him as Ozil back up than Ox.

Crash Fistfight

Our bench looks worse than theirs ffs!

It would be nice, just for once, to have our best players available when we’re playing a difficult match 🙁

Brent

Wonder if the “Get out while you can, Joel” fella made the trip to Stoke again. COYG!

Jsergio

I would love to be wrong…but don’t see a hope in hell of us coming away with 3 points with this squad. Please be wrong. Ps guessing we are cautiously waiting to the last game of the season to unleash Alexis.

Edu's Braces

Stay solid boys, I’m looking at you Theo. Aaron, you listening buddy?

henley gooner

Possibly the weakest team we’ve put out this season?

He's got no hair but we don't care...

Now, is Özil just out or ‘Arsenal out’ meaning we’ll see him again in 6 to 8 weeks?!
I suppose the orcs would have targeted him anyway and the incompetent refs would do anything about it. Better he has a rest, as long as it’s one game.

Noodles

We need Walcott to step up today

Petits Handbag

The last time we won here Bendtner, Vermalaen and Fabregas scored….cripes.

Andrei Arshavin

Going for a 2-1 win – one for Giroud, then a scrappy fucker in the 65th minute from Koscielny

aj

Guys be frigging excited for god sake!!!! We will smash em 3-0. Coyg!!

Paul

Worried about Ox and Theo but here’s hoping for the best….

Slysoulman

I have a bad feeling about this midfield. Hope his selection doesn’t come to bite le Prof in the butt.

ciderman

Hate to say it but Walcott and the Ox are the weak links in this line-up – gonna be like playing with ten men!! I don’t hold out much hope of this game improving my negative mood!!!

goonero

Everybody stay calm, this is no cause for panic https://media.giphy.com/media/LRVnPYqM8DLag/giphy.gif

Glasgow Gunner

The Ox has been good in the middle and it’s his ultimate destination. Today would be a great opportunity for him to really go for it.

A shackle free Ramsey is worth getting excited about.

I’m highly confident this will be another wonderful afternoon.

Ox in the box

Finally somebody I can agree with. I am really excited about this game and I’m looking forward to seeing what can Ox and Rambo do in the middle.

london

Man utd. putting into perspective how poor we were v L’pool.

Business Bill

Hoping and praying (esp for Ox).

Fletcher

Opsina …hhmmmmm.

Goonersmurf

Have faith. ?

Joel Carter

Really excited about the numerous exciting attacking options on the bench…

Ish

Rambo will haunt those slimy bastards (Shawcross). Ramsey and Giroud will be the stars of the show. Support the team and get up for it! Elneny in the 67

Mark

Going away to Stoke (who have beaten/tied some top teams there) without our three starting central midfield players and our best attacker in Sanchez is a very tall task (really four of our most important field players).

Timothy Lumsden

Coyg!

Alex

Football: Top of the league = I’m scared. Not top of the league = I’m angry.

Mabiribobi

Ox having an much better game today! Come on you Gunners!

greg

If ox could pass!

ciderman

Stoke City FC and their fans are the pits!!! I loathe these cretins and would put them in with Spurs, Chavski and manure for being complete and utter scum!!!

AntiSpud

Guys, relax. We are coming with 3 points for sure. No point of jinxing and overestimating stoke. They will be beaten this evening. COYG