Maitland-Niles at left back in a back four: Arsenal v Liverpool teams

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Arsenal badly need a win against a big team this season, and getting that tonight against Liverpool would put us above them in the table and into the top four.

It won’t be easy, especially given how well their attack has been playing recently. Here are tonight’s official line-ups.

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Wilshere, Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Mustafi, Coquelin, Elneny, Kolasinac, Welbeck, Walcott

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson, Henderson, Can, Coutinho, Salah, Mane, Firmino

Subs: 7 other blokes, one of which is probably Oxlade-Chamberlain

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Joel
Joel
2 years ago

Ahhhhh!!!

Dreamcast
Dreamcast
2 years ago

COYG.
We can do this.
Let’s play for the badge.

ronaldo
ronaldo
2 years ago
Reply to  Dreamcast

ha, the wage packet more likely

Dreamcast
Dreamcast
2 years ago
Reply to  Dreamcast

This far (1st half), Liverpool should be 3-0 up. Iwobi and Sanchez has been pretty terrible just like Ian Wright said. We’re playing like a team without purpose…no fighting spirit.
We need a through overall of the management team.
Wenger, honourably resign.

yen
yen
2 years ago

Oh dear. So we’re deploying an out of position 20yo youngster with little PL experience against an in-form Salah. Meanwhile, there’s a proper left back just right next to him at CB and another one on the bench.

Of course I want AMN to do well, but this just seems so, so risky… will be more than happy to be proven wrong though.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down
2 years ago
Reply to  yen

Yeah, seems completely bizarre. Why not play Monreal at left back & either of Mustafi or Chambers in the centre. I worry about our midfield (as always) too. I fear another game where Xhaka is exposed on the counter.

Still, gotta hope we can get at them enough to get the won. Their defence looks as weak as ours !
COYG !

Goonerink
Goonerink
2 years ago

Either he shuts him down and gets a massive confidence boost or he can’t manage. The pros don’t apply as much to nacho or sead.

yen
yen
2 years ago
Reply to  Goonerink

So we’re risking it all for one player’s development? This is a “6 point game,” team success and 3 points that come with it should be our priority.

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down
2 years ago
Reply to  Goonerink

Getting the right result is more important than hoping one individual might get more of a confidence boost than another.

yen
yen
2 years ago

I support the whole “let’s give youngsters an out-of-position experience to learn the trade” idea, but this just seems a bit unnecessary.

Yet again, I feel like this is another big game when we’re not deploying our best XI.

Sheffield Gooner
Sheffield Gooner
2 years ago
Reply to  yen

Yep. Lessons not learned from Anfield.

I’m worried.

yen
yen
2 years ago

Exactly. At least we’re starting our club record signing, who happens to be our best striker as well. I was really worried Wenger gonna go full Welbeck.

For this game, I would actually go back to 3 at the back with Kos, Mustafi and Nacho. Kolasinac at LWB.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers
2 years ago
Reply to  yen

Honestly I think any match where xhaka starts is is not deploying our best XI. And iwobi ahead of welbz, what’s up with that?

Voldermort
Voldermort
2 years ago
Reply to  yen

totally agree, playing AMN against the likes of west ham or newcastle is one thing but this Liverpool team can cause massive damage. he’s a good player no doubt and luckily arsenal fans are intelligent enough to realise that if it goes pear shaped its down to Wenger and not the player. just hope his confidence doesn’t get knocked like so many before him. rediculas decision in my opinion.

ronaldo
ronaldo
2 years ago
Reply to  yen

salah aint all that, he is overated

Third+Plebeian
Third+Plebeian
2 years ago
Reply to  yen

I also don’t understand why Wenger insists on starting Iwobi in the big games. Such a bad idea.

Mein Bergkampf
2 years ago

If the Ox comes on, he should play for us. He owes us a performance against Liverpool…

cincyeaglefan
cincyeaglefan
2 years ago
Reply to  Mein Bergkampf

If Ox comes on in a Liverpool shirt it WILL be like him playing for us. Wayward passes and worthless shots. It’s just what our defense needs.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight
2 years ago
Reply to  cincyeaglefan

Cue him coming on and scoring a hat-trick.

(That is tongue-in-cheek if people aren’t aware.)

Indian+Gooner
Indian+Gooner
2 years ago

Niles going against Salah is going to be extremely dangerous. Not looking forward to anything. Just put on a decent performance and save our faces.

Chuffy
Chuffy
2 years ago

This line up………… I don’t fancy our defence against their strikers. Kolasinac has been dropped then. What did he do wrong?

cincyeaglefan
cincyeaglefan
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuffy

Played 90 a few days ago? He’s older and may need the rest time.

Arun
Arun
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuffy

A lot. His passing or rather non-passing has been atrocious, deserved a drop.
He is committed and all that, but at the end you gotta play football and he has been pretty average defensively.

Voldermort
Voldermort
2 years ago
Reply to  Arun

And yet the manager continues to play Sanchez. Who gives the ball away constantly and looks totally uninterested..

Chuffy
Chuffy
2 years ago
Reply to  Arun

I understand, but he has 3 goals and 2 assists. Niles has played all Europa league, Carabao Cup and 2 Premier league and has hardly set the world alight. Does he even have an assist?

If what you’re saying about his passing, then why hasn’t Alexis been dropped for giving the ball away about 10p times in 3 matches?

This seems such a risk in a huge game. If it backfires, see how people react then.

Chuffy
Chuffy
2 years ago
Reply to  Chuffy

100 times. Not 10p. ?

John C
John C
2 years ago

I get that Maitland-Niles hasn’t done much wrong, but i don’t think he’s done anything outstanding either.

A front line of Salah, Firmino, Sane and Coutinho is a considerable step up from Newcastle and West Ham, this has unnecessary risk all over it and it looks like Wenger will have his excuse already made if we lose.

PeteyB
PeteyB
2 years ago
Reply to  John C

Wenger’s decision, not really sure how he could use that as an excuse. AMN looks really promising but if he is torn a new one tonight by Salah nobody will be surprised and blame will lie squarely with the boss.
It’s late where I am so I’m going to sleep and pray for a nice surprise in the morning.

John C
John C
2 years ago
Reply to  PeteyB

This is typical Wenger, the season’s gone so he’s getting in the “we may have finished 5/6 but that’s the cost of developing young players like Maitland-Niles” excuse primed. You can’t make that if Monreal or Kolasinac are playing.

Next season will be better!!

Nick
2 years ago

WTF two international left backs and Wenger plays a promising midfield RIGHT sided players as a left back against the most prolific wide forward in the premier league just now !!! His team selections get crazier and more bizzare by the week !!

Saps
Saps
2 years ago
Reply to  Nick

He is probably the fastest defensive player available to combat Salah’s sheer pace.
Bellerin’s gonna be preoccupied with Mane.
Chill and support the team.

Media Hates Arsenal
Media Hates Arsenal
2 years ago

Wenger is officially ruining the club.

Moscool
Moscool
2 years ago

Nervous

Conchetumadre
Conchetumadre
2 years ago

Alexis to put two in the back of the net.

gunnerdaremkd
gunnerdaremkd
2 years ago
Reply to  Conchetumadre

Well he should do that he is paid for to do that. He will get his move away from club anyway so why you dont contribute to the team while yoh are there for your last months of contract.

Greg
Greg
2 years ago

Half expected per tbh

Finlay307
Finlay307
2 years ago

Would go with Mustafi CB and Monreal LB.

FIngers crossed

ronaldo
ronaldo
2 years ago

not the best of line ups, looks like wengers set us up for a draw

PBM
PBM
2 years ago

AMN will do well tonight. It’s Hector and KOS I am worried about. Cmon the lads..

ItSanogo-al
ItSanogo-al
2 years ago

Ospina for right back!!!!

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter
2 years ago

Although I think we would be better off with a back 3 + 2wingbacks, I’m at least glad that AMN is in the lineup. AMN’s pace will be key when Sanchez gives away possession and Liverpool midfielders send Salah on a counterattack break
COYG!

Da Oli G Show
2 years ago

Wenger a few months ago: “I know if I play a young defender it will cost me points.” And yet here we go playing a young defender (who has only been a defender for a short time) in an extremely difficult spot, despite having much more experienced options available.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter
2 years ago
Reply to  Da Oli G Show

Young, but have u seen him run. He is fast, and we need fast against Salah. ALso, his previous games, he’s put in decent defensive shifts. I am satisfied with seeing him starting today.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight
2 years ago

At least if we lose we can blame it on the weird line-up, rather than our general ineptitude.

Fuhgedaboudit
Fuhgedaboudit
2 years ago

I’m good with the lineup except Alexis. He belongs on the bench until he’s gone.

QMantis
QMantis
2 years ago

Must be the lack of pace in our back line that gets AMN the left back spot. Not sure why we have the other centre backs at the club if Monreal is first choice cb. Anyway despite what seems a strange team choice coyg.

He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...
He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...
2 years ago

Sanchez might as well be on a plane to citeh already. No effort or chasing.
Bellerin also isn’t remotely the same player anymore.

Shambles
Shambles
2 years ago

Is iwobi also looking for a move to liverpool? Because he seems to be playing for them today.

Media Hates Arsenal
Media Hates Arsenal
2 years ago

Wenger is a disease that has to go , he has ruined Arsenal , i hate him.

mike\'s espresso
2 years ago

Hate is too strong, but I do share a deep frustration at his inability to rectify problems, a principal one being his obsession of playing players out of position in important matches. When was the last time one of his risks paid off? Looking at Sanchez being a constant in the line up, despite being obscenely profligate, makes me wonder if Wenger has lost his confidence.

FanniBoyWelbz
FanniBoyWelbz
2 years ago

Disease that has spread throughout the team. It’s just sad to see and hard to watch.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again
2 years ago

This is one of the worst performances I’ve seen from an Arsenal team…and I’ve seen them all. I can’t wait for Alexis to be gone. This is an embarrassing performance by every single player on that pitch

djmexida
djmexida
2 years ago

Xhaka !!! Yes……

Espen
Espen
2 years ago

Wilshere misses with two shortpasses and fans cheers. Xhaka misses one long crossfield pass and fans boo. Fans are subjektive, biased and irrational. Still we are convinced our opinions should matter. Like toddlers offering an opinion. As a toddler I think the problem is the team and how we play and defend as a team. And not the mistanke of individual players. Then it is a manager problem.

shropshire lad
2 years ago

Clear the lot out and AW.

QMantis
QMantis
2 years ago

Looking very poor and playing with fear, no answer for their press . midfield really not with it. time for a change bring Danny boy on while only 1 down, his pace and power will cause problems.

djmexida
djmexida
2 years ago

Salah destiny to score

Espen
Espen
2 years ago
Reply to  djmexida

Alexis and Xhaka and özils destiny to score.

He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...
He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...
2 years ago

Pathetic.
The excuses will be tremendous.

He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...
He\'s+got+no+hair+but+we+don\'t+care...
2 years ago

When he was playing well I could see the point in keeping him and not selling but a Sanchez that doesn’t chase or score is a luxury we cannot afford if we want to make the top 4. Sell him in January and buy if we can.