Alexis starts, many changes: Arsenal v Cologne line-ups

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It’s our first foray into the Europa League tonight as we face Cologne at the Emirates.

Arsene Wenger’s team clearly has an eye on Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Chelsea, lots of changes from the side that beat Bournemouth 3-0 last weekend.

Here are the official line-ups.

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Iwobi, Alexis, Walcott, Giroud

Subs: Macey, Wilshere, Mustafi, The Jeff, Kolasinac, Akpom, Nelson

Cologne: Horn, Heintz, Hoger, Zoller, Hector, Cordoba, Bittencourt, Mere, Klunter, Lehmann, Rausch

Subs: Kessler, Sorensen, Risse, Jojic, Osako, Guirassy, Horn

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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Alex

Happy enough, let’s do it!

lee dicks on

How long till Bellerin gets injured this season?

cdm995

Iwobi in midfield? Or a 4-2-3-1 with Maitland-Niles at CM?

eddymc2

Looks like it to me. Iwobi in the centre of the 3, Niles & Elneny behind. Front line should be good for a goal or three (fingers crossed).

Gooner4722

Playing everyone in their natural positions would make too much sense.
Probably Bellerin as a LWB and Niles as a RWB or Bellerin on the RWB and Maitland Niles on the LWB.

Dave M

Either way its madness if he thinks we are playing Bellerin every game. I mean we only had a whole summer to get the positions sorted. Right now with Monreal playing CB we have pretty much zero cover for either. At least not any that Wenger has any confidence in to actually play…

I’d say I’m rather concerned for Hector’s health over the course of the season

Dave M

Well I nailed that. Zero cover for our wing backs…gonna be a long long season for Bellerin and Kolasinac. They better not get hurt…otherwise…gulp…

Andy Mack

AMN can play as RWB…

jack jack jack

Looks like that to me…could always be Maitland Niles left wing back and iwobi/elneny centre mid but that seems much less logical. Would be excited to see Iwobi in the 10

Post January Blip

I think it’s a 3-4-3 with Iwobi and Mo on in the centre. AMN is on the left

Putney

Kind of a snoozer line up. Wish Wilshere and Nelson was starting.

Mistafi

Wenger already said Wilshere is not match fit.

Tim

Nonsense.

We get to see Maitland Niles, Iwobi, and possibly JW10, the Jeff and Nelson all in one game. No better way to see what we’ve got coming through. Unless you want to watch a u23s game – doubtful. Personally I’m stoked I’ll get to see these kids in a really tough competition. No better way to see if they’ve got it.

alexy

Might be a 4-2-3-1, but then who knows if AMN is going to play left wingback (or even a centreback with Monreal on the left), and Iwobi at CM.
Excited to see how we play and hopefully we can see Nelson later on.

Laughing Stock

Monreal will definitely NOT be playing wingback. We need his legs fresh as he now a first choice CB. Saying that, this is Wenger making the decisions…m

Ben Rivers

So reverting to a back four or ainsley as the left wingback? Hopefully the former as maitland niles isnt a wing back haha. Although he was decent enough at rwb when used. Surely elneny and iwobi arent sturdy enough as a midfield two. Looks like a back four team to me, so I guess its a back 3. Haha good old wenger

Xhaka\'s left foot

Looks like a 4231

ChicagoGooner9

Really hope JW10 gets a run today. COYG!!!

Tasmanian Jesus

Maybe Lehmann gets a red card and makes it easier for us.

Dylan

Yep…happy it’s strong…can’t afford any fuckups tonight

Santi\'s Smile

Wish Bellerin didn’t need to be risked. Regardless, really interested to see something new.

Conchetumadre

I hope Alexis can score and get red hot this weekend

eddymc2

Watched the first half of Atalanta-Everton and well, Atalanta did some very bad things to Everton. For anyone who still thinks this tournament will be a cakewalk…

Porco Rosso

Exactly. There are some serious teams out there and if the players walk in thinking the way some fans are, we will get taken to the cleaners. The Carabao cup this isn’t!

My name is Jeff

Teams doing bad things to Everton seems to be the trend this season.

Maestro

Where is Chambers?

Dave M

The dog house

Mpls

On the phone with his agent, I would assume.

Dave M

Double agent

Naija gooner

I SEE A PATTERN, ONCE THE BOSS DOESN’T FANCY YOU, U DON’T STAND A CHANCE

caligunner

Isn’t he hurt?

arsepedant

That’s fucking strong line-up and a pretty damned good bench! I’m expecting us to score a lot of goals, Walcott and Giroud are going to be making a case for more regular playing time. COYG!

Tim

I want that but Cologne are too good for that. It’ll be a tough win.

GraeGooner

Just reviewing the blog at half time – wonder what everyone thinks of our strong line up now?

Rich

4-2-3-1?
With Nyles and Elneny in the middle?

Tim

“…it’s Nelson…he’s taking on one. He’s done another. It’s squared and oooooooh WHAT a screamer by the Jeff!!”

A last minute winner provided by our two hottest prospects would be magical way to kickstart this season, and the Europa League.

London

where’s chambers?

Trez

Looks like a 4-3-3 with a Iwobi – Elneny – AMN as the midfield 3. I would’ve started Debuchy instead of Hector.

eddymc2

Nope, all indications (team sheet, official club Twitter) are apparently Iwobi and Elneny the midfield 2 in a 3-4-3. Maitland-Niles now deputizing at LWB. Why are we force-fitting (constantly this season so far) like there isn’t this other concept called “other formations”?

JosGoon

guys, what happened to Debuchy and Chambers?

PeteyB

Looks good. Kinda expected to see Debuchy on the bench at least.

Man Manny

Who’s getting in the crosses for Giroud?

bdotm

Finally we see The Jeff

Crash Fistfight

I’m hearing the start is delayed by 60 minutes due to crowd trouble (the Cologne fans are a load of twats, by all accounts).

cagooner

Match delayed. Crowd safety. ?

I\'ve seen us win 10 FA Cups

So Ox isn’t our starting line up?

That’s right, I forgot he isn’t in Liverpool’s starting line up now.

el nino

There’s Germans every where!
Holloway Road is swarming,, its like an alternate universe where Ze germans won the war…

hars

Am I the ne one who read Bittencourt as bittercunt

hars

only*

Da Oli G Show

Plan A: Bellerin and Monreal will play every single minute of the season.
Plan B: there is no Plan B.

caligunner

I don’t think you want to find out what planB is lol

bob davis

That’s a good side! I wasn’t expecting Alexis to start. I hope they don’t cancel the game after the crowd trouble.

Mark

Certainly a strong enough lineup to win. Would rather see Kolasnic in there instead of Bellerin as he could benefit from more game time more than anyone being new to the team.

KingKolo

Wasn’t sure why the Arsecast boys forgot Maitland-Niles as an obvious back up to Bellerin on the right. He’s played defensive midfield and winger – not a bad combo. He’s quick, can tackle and can cross from what I saw of his Ipswich loan… anyway lets see how he gets on tonight. Probably jinxed him!

Okgunners

What I would love to see today is a focused Sanchez, who’s done moping about still being at arsenal and is ready to get stuck in for a new season!! A goal or two from him would go a long way for our teams moral