Coquelin starts as Gunners go 4-3-3: Man City vs Arsenal team news

Arsenal team news 2017-18

Arsenal have arrived at the Etihad Stadium as they prepare to take on Pep Guardiola’s unbeaten, table-topping Manchester City.

As expected Arsene Wenger has rotated his squad after making wholesale changes for Tuesday’s Europa League game with Red Star Belgrade. What was less expected is the change to the formation – we’re back to four at the back – in part down to our lack of fit central defenders.

Alex Lacazette also drops to the bench to make room for Alex Iwobi. It’s certainly a line-up with one eye on City’s remarkable scoring record this campaign.

Here are today’s official line ups.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis

Subs: Macey, Debuchy, Elneny, Wilshere, Walcott, Lacazette, Giroud


City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Stones, Delph, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, D Silva, Sterling, Sane, Aguero

Subs: Bravo, Mangala, Gundogan, Bernardo, G Jesus, Danilo, Yaya Toure

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I mean, I don’t wanna get too much ahead of things, but guys, I smell tactics all over!

Mein Bergkampf

One word – height. Or lack there of.

Mein Bergkampf

Let’s just hope they’ve nailed this all week in training and it’s not some last minute whim of Wenger. God, their front five… If this goes bad, it could go really bad.


I think it’s planned. Not selecting Iwobi for midweek at all is pointing to that.


yes. we all know how tall aguero is.

Mein Bergkampf

More concerned about their collosal CB’s from set pieces actually mate.


Why no Laca?


He’s gonna come up from the bench later to do what needs to be done.


Stop them getting a 5th goal?




Sob off u negstibe slime


Wenger trying to be tactical

Sheffield Gooner

He must feel great, being dropped every time for a couple of wantaways.

Not the best man management in my view.

Kung Fu Grip

I’m sure you have tons of management experience. Knowing when to drop fish in the fryer can be tasking.

Sheffield Gooner

I knew some clever twat would say that. It’s called having an opinion, which the words “ in my view” mean.

But yes, I’m senior management, just so you know.

Jimbo Jones

You didn’t even need to justify it mate. You’re spot on. Anyone with half a brain will realise that Lacazette is hardly going to be over the moon that he keeps getting subbed and not picked for the big games. Especially that its for two players regardless of their quality who haven’t committed to the club. Its a risk to change formation and drop our most natural goal scorer for a fixture this big. I can understand the need for defence and a cautious approach but with these changes and the Coq coming in (whose been dire recently) and Ozil’s… Read more »

Sheffield Gooner

Thanks. Unfortunately looks like we’re going to get well beaten by a better side. Good to see Lacazette score one though.

Arsene\'s zip

It’s because I picked him for my Fantasy League.

Chippys chip

Square pegs. Round holes. £52m striker on bench? Outplayed outclassed outkroenked outwengered

Belfast Gooner

Think we will set-up more like last time we won at City. 4-5-1. Ozil needs to put in a shift, and Xhaka needs to cut out the silly shit of giving g the ball away.

i think arsene has his mind of xhaka potentially losing the ball thats why he’s playing coq to mop things up after him. I would have started elneny in midfield and pushed aaron up and dropped Iwobi.


Great line up. Alexis upfront will make it harder for City to playmake from the back.


Exactly, same reason why the Boss used to go for Wellbeck in the big away games, whenever he is available. I actually like this line-up. The central midfield looks a bit stronger on paper, albeit maybe without the ball.


433 was long time coming. i always thought that with so much talented midfielders 3 man midfield is the best formation for us . and it will also protect ramsey more and allow him to do his shit in front of the goal


True. Also a back four might with two (at least) sitting midfielders might mean we aren’t as reliant on Ozil to defend well and make headers. That’s probably for the best.

California Gooner

City looks threatening on every possession and they’ve scored.

Fuhgedaboudit l

Maybe if Alexis had his heart in it.


…. … … …?!?
Don’t know what to think about this line up yet & can’t wait no more for kick off.
Stomach busing like… like never in fact.
COYG, bring out a display that will make us proud of!!!


hmm.. i think it works better with “buzzing” 🙂


Do we think Ramsey on the right and Ozil in the “hole” position?


No, it’s 4-3-2-1 according to the official site.


without the ball, it’s going to be 9-0-1. Hoof to Alexis whenever we get a sniff of it.


4-3-2-1 fantastic. This is better than what I expected. The only thing we need is clinical finishing. COYG

jack jack jack

Really happy to see this team – we could still get battered but having 3 in midfield is lovely.


Goodness, how dare I not take notice from the official site and only read the above article. Quick, downvote.

Kung Fu Grip

No doubt that you gave yourself the thumbs up in the previous comment..

Jimbo Jones

I gave him one too, not because i agree but just for shits and giggles…

Kwame Ampadu Down

I hope so.
I never really thought the 3 at the back suited us so not upset about that but I don’t understand leaving out Lacazette.


Has to be an injury.

Jimbo Jones

Agree, feel happier with a back four, didn’t expect this to be the game we switched in though as its been a while.

AL’s just dropped, he did the same against Liverpool if i remember correctly. He did start against Chelsea though. I dont think he feels he can have Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey plus a striker on the pitch at the same time but that said is Iwobi really that strong defensively? He doesn’t give us the workrate that Welbeck does when fit.


Actually had a dream last night that we went with 4 at the back… and the dream ended with me in bed with a worldly and waking up with a stomper.
Can’t wait to see what relevance this has on today’s game?

Dial square

I guess that means we’ll go 2-0 up, but then lose 5-2 ….


Regardless of the team he picked, even with the fact that City had a tough midweek game while Arsenal rested their players, I still reckon a drubbing is in the offing.


Gotta love your optimism mate. That’s how one’s gotta support the team am guessing


I’ll be there. But I expect a drubbing too. I’ll support us like I expect us to hand em a 5-0 thrashing but my inner monologue says otherwise!

Original Paul

What a ray of sunshine you are!


City are swatting aside every team they face. Our defence is chronic. Must just be a hunch


no! just no!


Why do we have people like you even supporting a great club like Arsenal. Suppose your tune will change if we were to win. So how about getting behind the team. I know we are not at our best, yet believe in the team to try and win this one. It’s called supporting, maybe try it once in a while.


why did wenger buy La cazette? to sit on the bench for tough away matches?


Because the club were in a position where they had to gamble on a different type of striker after yrs of not being aggressive enough when opportunity knocked.
Arsene wanted Mbappe, club wouldn’t pay for Mbappe.
Refused to compete for Lukaku or Morata… because we just don’t compete with certain clubs.
That left Lacazette
Lacazette is a good striker but not a great one…
And at 26 his ceiling isn’t going to get much higher than it is now.
I like him… but I’m not sure he improves us to any great extent.

Sheffield Gooner

But…. he does want to play for this club.

Just a small point I guess in this day and age of no fucking loyalty whatsoever.


But let’s be real.
We’re reportedly paying him £200,000 p/w?
More than Athletico would have paid him
And no one else was in for him.

Jimbo jones


Jimbo Jones

Hey Jimbo!

Super Stupid

Let’s leave our perfectly fit, 2017/18 top goal scorer on the bench. WTF!!’


Interesting front three from City. Aguero played 90 minutes on Saturday, same for Sterling. Was expeting Gabriel Jesus instead of Aguero at least.

Happy for Sterling though. He’s gonna get totally Kolasiac’d.


eh, Saturday –> Wednesday (against Napoli)

Gunter the Gooner

Not sure how Coq gets to start after his shambolic midweek display

jack jack jack

Because, depressingly, he’s the only senior defensive midfielder we have. I’m sure someone at some point might have mentioned that buying one would be a good idea…

Stringer Bell

It’s just highlights the negligence of Wenger not strengthening the midfield. Not feeling positive but you never know. My prediction is we will start ok and then city will slowly dominate possession win and a loads of cunts will blame Ozil. Coyg

Stringer Bell

I’ve changed me mind, we are gonna win coyg

Need Coquelin 2015, not Coquelin 2017 to turn up.

The Romford Pelé

Damage limitation springs to mind


room for that dud Ramsey but not La cazette? madness

jack jack jack

“dud Ramsey”

I despair.


Can’t understand why anyone would think this formation is a good idea.
Laca on the bench because we don’t need a striker and ozil playing because we want to see how we would do playing with ten men?
Sometimes i don’t know why wenger tries tactics


Man City have been tearing people up who play three at the back. I suppose Arsene thinks they won’t be as strong coming through the middle.

Still, this takes some guts to do. I’m not confident about it but hope it pays off. Lacazette and Giroud (who play well together we forget) to make an impact later on. It might turn out to be a master stroke.

Still, I expect us to ship five in the first fifteen minutes and to see a red. Life teaches you hard lessons!


bit worried abt coquelin……in past matches he has not impressed me and his tackling is dangerous. i will b happy even with a draw.


We all will take a draw very gladly here

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

Ironic that we’re the ones Going deep into city with our Coq out but we’re the ones who are in for a shafting!


Thank you! Was giving up on this thread till your golden words make me laugh


The selection of Coquelin and a 3 man midfield, along with the decision to start Alexis in Laca’s position probably suggests Arsene has a specific gameplan here. Stifle their play at back and through the middle with energy off the ball, whilst still retaining some decent possession and counter chances through the midfield and Ozil. Whisper it quietly, but this level of planning suggests… Tactics !

Glen Helders Left Foot

We are fucked, ridiculous team selection

Michael Bolton Wanderers

Coquelin needs to up his game. He’s been awful the last couple of games he’s started with the “b” squad. Hopefully better team mates will bring out a better performance


I like your name, fella.

Reason I thumbed you up.


Been pretty underwhelmed with Coquelin’s performances in the cup team’s 5-2-3 (or whatever it is), so here’s hoping this formation suits him better with the extra body in midfield. We really need our DM to perform today…


Don’t know why I’m surprised…article from Arsenal in Iwobi midweek equals him in starting lineup. Happens every time.


Okay. But why le Coq and not Elneny?


Debuchy in the bench?! where have all our defenders gone ??

The return of a Coq after one of his worst display in an Arsenal shirt doesn’t exactly bode well for one’s confidence.

Hate to say it but i’m calling for a 3-1/3-0 defeat


Trying to “suffocate” DeBruyne and Silva – might work out. Could go horribly wrong – you know the Arsenal way. But as in life I take the highs and the lows – and carry on


It’s the fabled 4-6-0 formation! Legend hath long spoke of it, but it was widely believed to be but a figment of the imagination.


Coquelin is in the middle of a back 3?!

Man mark for Aguero?

I hope we don’t out-strategery ourselves.


Wenger is a very stupid man! How can you leave the 2 goal scorers in your team on the bench then put the guy that can’t defend in a game you know you won’t control

California Gooner

Our best starting XI DOESN’T include Iwobi! What is Wenger doing?

Tuan Nguyen

Iowi, Coquelin. We let them 2 men advance

Fuhgedaboudit l

WTF??? That is a crazy starting 11. I thought Coquelin looked like shite on Thursday, it was recently mentioned that AW felt Iwobi needs work on his defense skills, and he sits Lacasette. Is he deliberately trying to sabotage the game? Also think a back 4 weakens us defensively, and I don’t understand using Kolasinac as a left back either.

Fox In The Director\'s Box

5-4-1 methinks and with our shite defence, I fear the worst even with 5 of them!


I simply can’t understand what the point of coquelin is in this game

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

How did Wenger turn us mighty Gooners into being hopeful rather than expectant? There was a time, a long long time ago where we’d go to the league leaders, whoever they were and think we CAN get something here, now we’re lucky if we have a shred of hope they we can escape without being battered (see mugsmashers)


Coq in middle of Back 3 and he’s doing ok. Better than a few of the others for sure.

aleksandr help

regardless of how well he’s doing compared to anyone else, coquelin in the middle of a back three is a pretty damning indictment of our squad and all round team selection/tactics


He’s really not

Making Arsenal Great Again

Iwobi, Ozil, and Ramsey have been atrocious today. They have been giving the ball away like it’s going out of fashion


No problem with formation. BUT I think we should play Lacazette. We won’t get too many chances in these types of games and we need to finish them. Also Alexis is better wide with Kolasinac supporting. In effect, we have negated our threat from the left. I would prefer to play Laca and Alexis as a double prong working higher up. Iwobi, Granit and Coq in front of back line. Someone should be in the hole in midfield slightly forward. That would be either Ozil or Ramsey. Personally prefer Aaron for work rate. …………….Alexis………………Laca…………………… ………………………..Ramsey………………………….. ……..Iwobi………………………………Coquelin…….. ……………………….Granit…………………………….. Kolasinac………………………………………….Bellerin ……………….Monrel………….Koscielny…………….. …………………………Cech……………………………..… Read more »


Arsenal played like a team. I thought Arsenal cannot get the 4th position like this. What are Arsenal need? Tactical or good manager or quality players? Defending is too weak.


You don’t fucking leave your 50m striker on the bench in a crucial game. Fucking old twit

Yankee Gooner

Clearly offside but fuck you, Xhaka: don’t switch off.


That is what you do.
You play Man City and you leave a player you paid £54 million for on the bench.
I don’t know what is worse – wenger and his idiotic decision making or the geriatric board of directors that keep this old fool in post.
And we are losing to a top four team.

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

Leaving Laca on the bench whilst you have Ozil and Xhaka doing sod all. Genius.
On the bright side, I’m looking forward to more garbage for an explanation that the dumbass media will eat up and smack us over the head with.



just have to keep telling myself wenger will have to go eventually. You can always hold on to that hope.


Apparently the manager’s position will be reviewed in the summer.
What exactly will he be judged on when it is clear that performances, winning matches and challenging for trophies is not a priority for the leach who is bleeding the club dry of everything?