Rumour: No Granit Xhaka for Man City clash

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Rumours this evening suggest that Granit Xhaka has not travelled with the Arsenal squad for tomorrow’s game against Man City at the Etihad.

The suggestion comes from the Manchester Evening News who, weirdly like stalkers, pictured the squad arriving at their hotel this evening.

They also say that there’s no sign of Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Ainsley Maitland-Niles, which means that either Stephan Lichtsteiner or Carl Jenkinson will play right back or right wing back depending on the formation that Unai Emery selects.

Laurent Koscielny is in the squad after Romelu Lukaku tried to kick the side of his face off, and Mesut Ozil, often not included in difficult games north of the Watford Gap, is also in the squad.

The Gunners have dropped back down to the fifth in the table after Chelsea’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield today, so matching that result – which should be no problem at all – will see us move back into the Champions League places.

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Gooner Dave

Is it bad that I can’t wait for next season already!

Mootilated

We were saying that at the tail end of last season. And the season before ?

CorporateMan

The difference this time, mate, is we have a brand new coach. See?

PGunner

Yes, it is Gooner Dave. We still have much to play for and I for one am excited to see if we can give City a good game tomorrow and reckon we can still give it a shot in the Europa league.

Goonerink

Liverpool and city’s dominance coupled with our top 4 challenge on top of the rumoured warchest next season(again???) and our players returning from long injuries I can see why some hold that sentiment.

Hantal

There are no rumours of a warchest this season

Goonerink

not tabloid no, however people crunched some FFP, salary, commercial deal etc. numbers explaining why we are so tight atm and how we can spend more in the summer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=TZGylBqnmyQ

a great breakdown of our finances.

atom

The long and short of it though is we really need to be back in the CL if we hope to have a budget larger than what City/Liverpool/United typically spend on one player.

Arsenala Vista Baby

Europa League is a must win. No excuse

Runcorn Gooner

Interestingly when we played Abu Dhabi Vulgarians in the first game of the season we were hoping not to be beaten by too many. Fast forward 4 months and the same thoughts are with us.

Hantal

Worse this time

Shite

So tomorrow I reckon we will come out of the blocks fast, push hard and miss a couple of chances before we commit a defensive horror show and find ourselves 2-0 down in mere minutes. Then we will lose at least one defender to injury, down tools and concede plenty more (at least one of them a penalty). If we lose by two goals or less tomorrow I’m considering it progress.

Frog

If only this wasn’t so true!!!

SB Still

Yes that’s the script for many of our big games. However we can see a two green shoots – Tottenham and Chelsea.

Emery has never bet Pep in his career.

Hopefully it’s a big miracle, we get the 3 points, become genuine top 4 contenders. I’m off to hedge my emotional turmoil with a bet on City winning by 2 goals.

Nordin

He will put Özil on when the cause is almost lost and everyone will blame him for the lost. Classic Unai

Atom

Time to stop with the Ozil nonsense. He has just as many people on here who think he can do no wrong vs those who think he can do no right. Not every game has to be about Ozil

Mpls

True Atom, but per the OP, we’re also talking hopeless truths here.

Thomas b

Wow, you’re a mind reader?or you have just been watching the same games as me the last few years ?

Jht

Black moment between 20-30mins and game is 2-0 to city and all over faster than you are able to say “a cat”.

occams hatchet

We are such a mess right now. Devastated by long term injuries. Hardly ever able to play the same CBs together for consecutive matches when we actually have CBs available. Our two remaining right backs are so sketchy we’re hoping a 21yo CM can take over for them. Manager rarely plays our most creative player and seems seems to have a running feud with him. He sparingly plays our second most creative player–last season’s POTS. Mkhi has been out for over a month. No one to play wide on the right in attack, so our brand new signing who’s been… Read more »

Episco

Since Wenger is out, there’s reason to hope. COYG

Jude

Spot on bruv… Although, I will keep one eye out for our formation and starting lineup

Red-Sky

what a load of nonesense.

Alex

Will the media and fans say Xhaka is sulking because he didn’t play at all on tuesday? Or will he be considered as truly injured? I know what the answer would be if it was Özil.

Parisian Weetabix

Hi so while I agree that the media 100% doesn’t really have a clue what’s up with Ozil and a fair amount of the stuff they publish is conjecture, do you see why this is still an unfair comparison? Do you understand that they don’t just arbitrarily decide that Ozil is sulking and not really injured? It’s not just because they randomly hate on him. It’s because the guy has frequently missed big matches with minor injuries that are rarely satisfactorily explained, frequently fails to have any sort of influence on games in a manner indicative of a lack of… Read more »

Andy

*stands and ovates*

More of this on the internet please.

La Défense

More Weetabix!

Alex

Btw according to blogs for Özil it seems playing Argentina in a WC finale is easier than travelling North…

Anonymarse

It’s grim up north

NigelTufnel

The problem with the north…too many northerners. And the weather.

Papa's Got a Brand New Leg

Please tell me this is a Game of Thrones quote and it’s not just my mind converting it to one.

Ric

Fair enough tbh

Axel

Will miss his passion has been great in most of the big games this season hopefully Guen can rise to the occasion

Mpls

Yes, yes, yes, but is St. Denis in the squad??

Wolfgang

Emery has never beaten Guardiola. There is always a first time. To do that.
everybody knows you have to keep it tight at the back.
The dm ie danger men must never repeat never be allowed where possible
to remain isolated/marooned to run and shoot.Of course easier said than done.
Otherwise it could be a replay of the MU game.

Thierry Bergkamp

Torreira, Guendouzi and Ramsey probably, up against, Fernandinho, Silva and DeBruyne.
We’re gonna have to summon the power of Santi to get anything from this one.

Mpls

Ramsey man mark and constantly dribble at Fernandinho and draw a card out of him early. Guendouzi to man mark DeBruyne, Torreira keeps close watch on Silva. PEA on the counters.

Wolfgang

The ref is also crucial provided he makes impartial decisions ie give apenalty
where its due.Arsenal have been denied spot kicks which could have changed the course of the games.Conversely Arsenal opponents have been like wise. On balance ,the gunners shd have at least 2/3 more spot kicks.
Then there is the linesmen/women.
In a 50/50 he may give os when the gunners have scored a goal.
You never know .Remember the rf was given a record 15 penalties
in one season and that helped him win the epl.
He left because he could not sustain the winning run.

GraeB

What?

Stephen

These next two games will make an interesting comparison. We play City this weekend and Huddersfield next week. Chelsea play Huddersfield this week and City next week. They just beat Huddersfield 5-0. If we can even get a point from the City game and they lose to City then we can win against Huddersfield and be ahead on points. Of course form would tell you they will get the point at City, we will be trashed and then struggle in a 2-2 draw against a relegation side.

But hope springs eternal and all that.

Stephen

Good Lord. I just looked back over my post. The perfect example of the frenetic mental gymnastics this club puts us through in order to find hope.

Monkey knees

Confident of nicking a point. Don’t quote me on that, mind. Cough.

Petit's Handbag

Without Granit we are fucked. He’s our only player who can spread plays on a counter. We are fucked. Hugely.

Fatgooner

The only bright thing about our inevitable defeat today will be that City will go back above Spuds. If we did manage to pull off a miracle and win it would help the scum in their unlikely title bid.

Chibs

You would be dead in an Invincibles season

Mesut O'Neill

Leno
Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
Suarez Torreira Guendouzi Kolasinac
Ramsey
Lacazette Aubameyang

Paul Roberts

Wow playing Suarez out of position already?!

ToucanSam

Or … Jenks in a 4-4-2

Mpls

Hard part is the 4th mid without Xhaka. If we had him a midfield diamond might have been the goods again.

Andy

So if a team like Crystal Palace can go to the Etihad and win why can’t Arsenal? I’ll tell you why. Palace, in spite of their League position have a half functioning Premier
League defence. Whereas Arsenal have a half functioning Sunday League defence.

Who really believes we can go to city and keep a clean sheet? If we were to concede just a single goal that would be an achievement!

Our record away to the big 6 is dreadful and let’s not beat about the bush, fucking embarrassing!!

It’s been like this for years!!!!

GraeB

Teams like Palace go there with a lot of patience and don’t worry about pushing everyone forward.

They keep at least 6 players around the penalty area and defend its edge and don’t go upfield, 2 just in front covering laterally but ready to break, and 2 deep but looking to just run onto clearances aimed behind full backs.

We go full out on every attack and watch as Sane and Sterling use their pace to get in behind full backs and feed Aguero.

I’d love us going out to keep a clean sheet first and foremost.

Andy

Seems I was right then.

Red-Sky

Look, we are probably in for a mauling. But on the bright side, we’re done with the 2 toughest games of the season ( Liverpool and City away). And if we lose, we’re still just 3 points away from 4th place. Our rivals haven’t yet played the leaders, when they do they too will lose points.

To that end, what is required today is a decent performance even in defeat, we need to keep the morale high going into the next rounds.
If you’re gonna lose, then lose, just don’t embarrass yourselves.

Futsboller

I have to agree with this — we’re heading to City at the worst time (we’ve got some significant injuries, they are looking to make a statement-win), and we have to stay very compact in our end (two banks of four defending, keeping everything to the outside, with our two strikers bothering their defenders whenever they can) and try to keep the scoreline respectable. We might not have much of a defence, but that doesn’t mean we can’t defend properly. We just have to be set up right and given the clear orders — three centrebacks with wingbacks just doesn’t… Read more »

henry

“..so matching that result – which should be no problem at all..” Exactly! F**** yeah! COYG!!!

Jason daniels

Win today. Jenko at right back please coz litchsteiner is old slow and useless

GraeB

Agreed in general but would prefer “past it” to “old” given how much younger he is than me!

Mpls

Hear hear

Paul Roberts

Don’t worry lads we got this….:-)

Jason daniels

When his good his good. When his bad well ….. we need consistency. Hopefully suarez brings that . We should have secured perisic and malcom for thus season so as to start banging early next season