Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Ospina starts, Alexis up front: PSG v Arsenal teams

It’s our first Champions League of the season, away to PSG at the Parc des Princes this evening.

Here are the official line-ups.

PSG: Areola, Silva, Aurier, Marquinhos, Maxwell, Krychowiak, Matuidi, Veratti, Rabio, di Maria, Cavani

Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Lucas, Motta, Pastore, Meunier, Jese

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Alexis

Subs: Cech, Holding, Gibbs, Xhaka, Elneny, Lucas, Giroud

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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Stringer Bell

I have to say what the fuck is he doing


Ospina in goal. Ox starts. Alexis up front. Welcome to Wengerland.


I’m not really sure what everybody is complaining about. Aside from Ospina in goal I can’t see who else we could pick who is better. Apart from the disasters in the CL last year Ospina has been very good for us. It looks like the boss is playing him in the CL to keep him happy. Otherwise he would leave. Xhaka and Lucas are still very new, it’s not hard to understand why we left them out. Cazorla and Coq is proven and effective. Giroud has hardly played, and when he’s out of form he’s a pretty useless. If we… Read more »

Sheffield Arse

True, because whoever we pick, we play the exact same way, every single game, regardless of who, or where, we play.


Oh, so we’re all anti Wenger again? Fickle bunch. He lost the plot ages ago. A few decent results and you’ll all be back praising him until we finish in the same places we’ve been finishing the last decade. Fans have become as repetitive and tiring as his ineptitude.

Third Plebeian

I have to say agree. How in the world does Ox continue to get in the starting eleven after how many games being generally useless now? Also, I thought resting Xhaka on Saturday was so he could play tonight… Cech, too, must be disappointed. Strange from Wenger. Let’s hope it doesn’t backfire.


maybe coqueline is playing because we’re playing an away game and obviously coqueline is much more solid defensively than xhaka.
also since we’re gonna be playing without posession pace of alexis ox and iwobi is more suitable upfront . giroud is more suitable when we have possession.
what i cant understand is why cech’s not playing such an important match


Can somebody explain this to me? For all our supposed “ability on the ball”, we cant play without Giroud up front because we have no direct outlet. Let that sink in.

The comment that didn't get published on Arseblog News

1. Going for speed up front.
2. Effective use of lightning speed requires a dose of familiarity in the game. Hence he’s rested the new guys for this one.
3. He’s gone for the sublime creativity of Cazorla and that of Özil.
4. He’s picked Cazorla’s most reliable partner in midfield (remember last year?).
5. Giving Ospina the minutes that he deserves.
6. Overall, winning us the game and in style. Wagner ahhhtt!!

Terry Neill's conscience

Agreed with most….I reckon that Ospina had been promised group games to stay as our number 2……….would have like to have seen Perez start…..from a pace perspective…..come on Ox need to start delivering mate

Crash Fistfight

Your comment is nice and early on the list for people to attack if we don’t win (which I’d argue is more likely with that lineup).

I mean, what the actual fuck? He finally buys a striker and plays Alexis up front!


Iwobi up front? Either way Wenger has balls…or in this case just a bit silly. We will see. COYG


Looks like Wenger is trying to use speed and score against PSG on the counter. Their midfield is pretty good but with Cazorla and Ozil with Coq defending our backline. I see what Wenger is doing… Ospina thou? He better not fuck up. COYG!!!

Third Plebeian

I wish. Unfortunately, nothing about the Alexis-as-striker experiment has filled me with confidence. It’s an insanely naive front line going up against Thiago Silva and Marquinhos? Wenger has messed this up. Fingers crossed I’m wrong.

Third Plebeian

Ugh. 1-0 down in the first minute. Arsenal just aren’t very good, are they?

Sheffield Arse

No, they aren’t. They’re pedestrian and predictable. Again.

Why no Theo then for speed! Over oxo or Iwoni , Is he Injured not even on bench ?

David C

This is what it should have been:

Bellerin Mustafi Kos Monreal
Xhaka Cazorla
Ox (should be Joel!) Ozil Sanchez

Save Ospina for FA cup, easier CL games and the EFL cup…

Why is Giroud not starting?!?!?

Wenger, I really hope this works out, but it certainly looks like we’re making it hard on ourselves again.


This sort of arsing around certainly didn’t backfire in the group stages last season.


but really though


Perhaps he’s honouring the Brexit vote?


Well we’ve got the element of surprise, that’s for sure.


Classic! COYG!

Third Plebeian

True. I’m as surprised as PSG must be. This will all appear so ridiculous if we lose this game.


We got two striker on the bench and a winger starting as striker.What’s up with that?


Isnt it obvious? Probably just wanted an all ALEX frontline. Pretty neat. Heh

Bob Davis



What’s up with Theo, anyone?


It was said in the press conference yesterday it was a minor knee injury.


Specifically tonight, or in general?


never thought i’d say this , but walcot could’ve been an asset in these sort of games .with his runs in behind the defence and finishing he could have been a dangerous .


What’s right with Theo, more like!


Heads Gone?


I hate Adrian Durham. A fucking lot! Cunt.

Burn Baby Burn

oli? xhaka? ox?!?

I don’t get it.

Toure Motors

Good team selection, let’s be havin ya

Tony Phelan

Agreed. Good selection. It’s not at the Emirates !

David C

Giroud is also one of our best defenders in set pieces, he would have been the more cautious option.


Tony, this was almost the same selection as the Emirates on Saturday. We’ve barely rotated anyone. Bizarre line-up.


where’s walcott? wanted Giroud to start really, Alexis is a winger for me all day


Minor injury, apparently. I agree about Giroud and Alexis.


Very interesting line up


In terms of the Chinese proverb, yes.

Merty BFG

Xhaka over coquelin for this game I would’ve thought.. Also why the motherfuck is Ox starting? Only gonna disappoint as usual


Xhaka is pretty slow if you guys have not noticed. And with Verratt and Rabiot quick movements in midfield he would end up fouling a lot and risking a red card.


what the fuck is this???


The Ox is a liability in both defence and attack. Why is Arsene so obsessed with playing him? It does not make any sense.


Wenger’s trolling us again

Red Ed

What the fuck sort of pig’s ear is this? He could at least pretend to take the competition seriously.


The same competition whose group stage he has successfully navigated for 15 (or is it 16?) years running?

have a word with yourself.


Yes, as a second place finisher only to be eliminated in the next round. Perhaps this is the opportunity to win the group so as to be better placed for the next round, no? But what do I know? The man has only been coaching for more than 30 years so I am sure he knows what he’s doing.


Well he might think he knows what he’s doing, but the rest of us are asking what the actual fuck !???


no, he has not finished in second place to be eliminated in the next round for 15 (or is it 16) years running.

You said: “he could at least pretend to take the competition seriously” which is uncharitable, insulting, and absurd on its face. So in answer to the question “but what do I know?”, I could take the uncharitable and insulting route and say “the square root of fuck all” but instead i’ll just politely say that I see no reason to defer to your expertise

Red Ed

Last season we scraped through having made life far more difficult for ourselves than was necessary. This was due in part to Ospina having a mare in the first game. Surely you start your most difficult CL game with your best keeper and dare I say it, with a centre forward?


Haha the nutty professor strikes again

Mick Malthouse

I’m desperately hoping this is one of those occasions we look back at and marvel at Wenger’s insight!

Can’t help but think this could be the night he confirmed he has finally lost it.

Digital digs

It’s hard to imagine this is our strongest lineup, even if you factor in potential fitness issues in the moment. I’m sure Wenger has his reasons but I can’t see it.


I’ll defend Wenger to the death but I am very frustrated that he’s not playing Xhaka. I can understand Ospina (policy), Iwobi, Chamberlain, and Alexis upfront but I’m lost with Xhaka. There must be something we don’t know going on because you don’t spend 30 million on a bench warmer, especially if you’re Wenger


Maybe he’s hoping we score early then bring on Xhaka and Lucas to play on the counter? I’m sorry but I still rate ox over Walcott. As a defender, I’d rather face Theo.


Arseblog has become a haven for moody gooners to cry about every single little thing. Wenger obviously thinks pace is gonna kill them off. Support the team, cry about it when we lose.


Preach brother.


“IF”, not “when”.


I’ll support the boys til I die, doesn’t mean I’m massively confident this selection works for us 😉

Prefer alexis as the inside forward but someone below made a good point about Wenger showing trust in ox so we’ll see! COYG

Ill keeeep Holding on

The funny thing is, arseblog fans are a much more agreeable bunch than the #bbcsport trolls and Twitter warriors. Glad to see there are still SOME fans who will get behind the team, do or die.


Or cry about a baffling team selection and shout yay ! if we win..


Wenger knows..its his way of saying to Ox that he trusts him completely..I have a funny feeling he will have a cracker of a game today.


A thousand thumbs up for this, and another thousand if you turn out to be correct. That’s the spirit! I would absolutely love it if the Ox went out there and tore PSG apart.


Too much pressure put upon a man clearly out of form. imo


Yes, yes, yes.


I am sorry I cannot believe you think this (that it will somehow spur Ox). Maybe, maybe, but then you could use the same contorted logic on any of our players who may have had very poor games previous to this one. Couldn’t you? Anyway, I am going by their recent form (which I think most people would) and say it is a very controversial decision. I hope it won’t rebound but fear that it will. This is my view.


Ok ox didn’t have a good game. But it is absurd that many of the fans were crying over the team selection. Aw trains them, has more knowledge than us TV experts. If he picks someone just trust his decision and support the team. Its an arsenal game and we should all be excited rather than having negativity from the get go. I thought the team played their hearts out. Its a good result. Coyg!

Tom Gun

Why is everyone going nuts over the side? We are away from home so we are playing a team that will be devastating on the counter attack. Cazorla and Ozil can set it in motion for Ox, Iwobi and Sanchez – that’s some serious speed! Coquelin over Xhaka might not have been my choice, but Coquelin is brilliant at breaking up play and stopping attacks. As he proved all of last season and on Saturday. I actually think it is a very clever team in a Championship league match away from home.

Ducks sake

Ok. That would be a great explanation if you’d never seen these guys play.

But Ox is in the worst form of his life and has never ran in behind the defence.
Iwobi likewise doesn’t run in behind the defence and neither does Sanchez so your analysis makes no sense.


Probably because he bought two players for that style but isn’t playing them? Xhaka’s passing range would surely help trigger the quick counter and Lucas was brought in to be an actual striker in a counter-attacking line up. Why move Alexis from the wing (where he is a strength) to the striker (where he hasn’t really impressed) when Lucas was bought for that position?

I guess “play the players you have bought” is the natural progression from “buy some effing players, Wenger”…


What’s up with Wenger and selection ?


Ox playing?
Xhaka not starting?
Alexis up front?
My enthusiasm has just taken a kick in the bollocks!

Hopefully this is why I am not a football manager…COYG!

Cape Town Gooner

Why is Xhaka and Giroud not starting? I just don’t get it.


Let’s hope Areola has a real nipple between the sticks

Ducks sake

Gonna get smashed


let hope it all goes ‘tits up’ for him tonight


Purely speculation, but I think Wenger probably thinks playing all the new boys at once would upset the team chemistry too much for such a difficult game.

Not saying I agree, but that sounds like Wenger reasoning.

Stewart Robson's therapist

That doesn’t explain Ospina.


When you’re fed up of beating your little brother on FIFA all the time. That’s when you mix it up with an XI like this.

Wenger feeling the banter tonight.

Prash gooner

Haha!!! This would have been even more funnier if walcott started in the place of sanchez.


The bantz when Ox chips the keeper, the goalpost and row Z.


never liked Alexis as a striker.. he is way more efficient on the left


Did Arsene throw chits to select the 5 around Ozil?


Never mind our team selection, the PSG one is just as weird


Sometimes I think our team selection proves involves a magic 8 ball…



Public Elbeny Number One

Just what the fucking fuckity fuck fuck?



Wenger knows best right?? OK


Can we all just get behind the team. Clearly Wenger is going for pace. Using Coq to solidify and Caz to control possession in that midfield. Just because it’s not what you wanted doesn’t mean the team needs to be slated before the ball has even been kicked. COYG


“Can we all get behind the team clearly Wenger has gone mad”…..is how I read it haha!


This is the main reason Arsene should leave. He thinks more about the career of players than Arsenal as a club. Ospina in, why? because Ospina needs games so try him in CL.

Play Coquelin because he also needs games.

Play OX because he likes him.

Drop Xhaka because he doesn’t like him.

Ozil's chewing gum

In which parallel dimension does Wenger not like Xhaka? he compared him to Petit the other day?!


Please is it fitness issues? Or utter Madness again?!


Didn’t see that coming. On the bright side, strong bench.


Does he want to win this match or what ????

Little Mozart

I hope I’m wrong but my immediate response to this was “no Xhaka, no party”.


Don’t get the negativity here so much. It’s not the team that’s playing so much as who is left on the bench that’s got everyone wound up, what a new problem to have. Looking at the 11 on the pitch my only complaint is no petr in goal. Going to be amazing having Santi, ozil, alexis playing together. Our back 4 is looking good and kos isn’t out the team as he could have been. I’d love it if iwobi and chamberlain score now. And what’s wrong with our coq!

sixteen swans over ainola

Ospina: I understand, Wenger wants to use Ospina in the cups. I still would have had Cech. Cazorla and Coquelin: I understand, though I would have had Xhaka who, in addition, didn’t play Saturday. Iwobi on the right, I understand. He’ll do a decent job out there and Lucas may not yet be up to speed. But Alexis up front when Giroud is fit and rested, I find bewildering given Alexis is at his proven best on the left. And Oxlade-Chamberlain is just fucking mad: he needs weeks of rehab and confidence building before he should play again. I just… Read more »

sixteen swans over ainola

PS, Blogs. My last umpteen posts have been “awaiting moderation”. Every single sodding one.

These days I no longer post to contribute to the conversation, but solely for therapeutic reasons. Unlike this post, which obviously isn’t. Obviously.


Giroud is fit but not match fit to start this game, it was clear when he came on against soton he really strugled he looked heavy and out fo depth every air duel he made a faouk like he has iron strapes to his legs, i’m sure if he was match fit he would start the game but against psg is risky.

Ducks sake

Why is he not match fit? He’s been back training for weeks.


Speaking of aerial duels, well, Yeah, we can forget those today. If we play the ball in the air up to Alexis we might as well just pass it to their keeper so we’re at least in position to defend.


Cech is no brainer i have to admit, giroud needs game i understand not starting, ospina os a quality number 2 and i supose it is gentlemen agreement between and wenger tha hi will play the group stage.games and domestic cups, otherwise i’m sure he would have leave uf he didn’ have assuruance tha he will play games.

andrew uganda

Where is xhaka? Let’s just believe in arsene

die hard gooner

Terrible line up. it is as if he wants us to lose. This why I want him out. where is xhaka, cech. And I would have preffered walcott to ox for a match we should counter. or put perez with sanchez and iwobi flanking him. The man is insane.

Petit's Handbag

I don’t understand this team. The best we played was with Xhaka in the team….why no Xhaka!?
Giroud, Xhaka and Cech should all start. Does he not want to win the group!!?


or you could all chill the fuck out and enjoy the game.


i love how we all know how to line up against PSG. I’m sure we’ve all researched it thoroughly.


wenger you lovely little troll. if we win i want to see a smug close up on the final whistle

Luis Boa Muerte

If we win with this lineup PSG are shit and we would have won more easily with a better lineup

the stoat

Sorry but the mans a fucking idiot


You play your number 1 keeper in the CL

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