Dubai squad prediction & Interlull fixture round-up

"I pick the team, and I say this blue metal thing is starting ..."

As we’ve reported previously, with a long gap before we face Newcastle on 1st April, Arsenal are due to fly to Dubai on 21st March for a warm-weather training camp before taking on local side Al-Nasr at the renovated Al Maktoum stadium on 26th March.

A number of the first team squad will not make the short trip as they’ve been selected for international duty (see below) meaning Unai Emery will likely bolster his numbers with kids from the youth ranks.

From what we can tell, the following first team players will make the trip:

Petr Cech, Bernd Leno, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi, Carl Jenkinson, Dinos Mavropanos, Mesut Ozil, Denis Suarez, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Alex Lacazette

Our resident Arsenal youth expert, Jeorge Bird, reckons the following youngsters could be in with a shout of being included:

Zech Medley, Julio Pleguezuelo, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Dominic Thompson, Cohen Bramall, Charlie Gilmour, Ben Sheaf, Nathan Tormey, Tobi Omole.

We suspect the trio of injured players – Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin – will continue their rehab at home.

Presumably, the final squad is still being finalised. When we get the full list, we’ll let you know.

Selected for international duty

Sokratis – Greece ??
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Lichtenstein | Away | 23rd March
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Bosnia | Away | 26th March

Lichtsteiner – Switzerland ??
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Georgia | Away | 23rd March
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Denmark | Home | 26th March

Kolasinac – Bosnia & Herzegovina ??
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Armenia | Home | 23rd March
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Greece | Home | 26th March

Elneny – Egypt ??
AFCON qualifier vs Niger | Away | 23rd March
Friendly vs Nigeria | Away | 26th March

Mkhitaryan – Armenia ??
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Bosnia | Home | 23rd March
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Finland | Home | 26th March

Ramsey – Wales 
Friendly vs Trinidad and Tobago | Home | 20th March
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Slovakia | Home | 24th March

Xhaka – Switzerland??
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Georgia | Away | 23rd March
EURO 2020 qualifier vs Denmark | Home | 26th March

Torreira – Uruguay ??
China Cup vs Uzbekistan | China | 22nd March
3rd place play-off OR Final of China Cup

Aubameyang – Gabon ??
AFCON qualifier vs Burundi | Away | 23rd March

Iwobi – Nigeria ??
AFCON qualifier vs Seychelles | Home | 22nd March
Friendly vs Egypt | Home | 26th March

Guendouzi – France under-21s ??
Friendly vs Germany under-21s | Away | 21st March
Friendly vs Denmark under-21s | Home | 24th March

Nketiah – England under-20s
Friendly vs Poland | Home | 21st March
Friendly vs Portugal | Away | 26th March

Joe Willock – England under-20s
Friendly vs Poland | Home | 21st March
Friendly vs Portugal | Away | 26th March

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my name is bob

Best of luck to all of our players, hopefully they don’t get injured!

Merizy goddy

Just praying for players to be injury free

David Hillier's luggage

Is there a reason AMN does’t get called up to the England U21 squad? He’s been part of the England set up for years, was a starter in the U20 World Cup winning side, is part of the Arsenal first team squad and is getting a lot of playing time – I’m not complaining, rather he not get injured, but you’d think he’d be a shoe in for a squad place at least.


It could be about the confusion of which position to play him. He sees himself as a midfielder, and played there several years ago, but has been all over the pitch since stepping up to our first team. It looks like he might settle as a wingback.


England often select players who haven’t nailed down a fixed posistion or even out of position. Oxlade Chamberlain was playing about 5 posistions for us yet still getting into the England side.


Lacazette still not getting called up?


This is one of the mysteries of our world. Especially considering guys like Thauvin are selected. But good for us!


It’s not really a mystery.

When countries have footballing strength in depth, as France do at present, and other countries have had in the past, a number of very good players often don’t get called up for international duty regularly, if at all.

This is not a reflection on their quality…it simply reflects the manager’s choices and pecking order of players.

And when you have a settled squad who are currently world cup holders, a reluctance from the manager to change it too much should surprise nobody.


Case in point, Spain and Arteta.


What about Benzema!


Out of favour since the Valbuena midget porn incident.


Recent world cup winners didn’t change their squad and they flopped in the next tournament. Germany mixed things up and won the confederations cup.
Although Spain won the Euro’s after the world cup.

Teryima Adi

Deschamps is obviously not a fan. He prefers playing a non scoring striker.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Deschamps was asked about not selecting Laca. He said Laca deserved to be selected but Giroud although not playing a lot was always performant when played by Chelsea. He did leave the door open for him: Things may change by June. What I don’t understand is that Giroud is too old to be expected to play the Next Euros. What is the point keeping him longer than two enjoy-being-part call-ups after WC?


Same as the World Cup- Giroud offers something different, whereas Laca’s skillset is closer to other striker so

A Different George

Giroud, scoring or not, is important in the way he works with Griezmann, who plays in a fluid formation as a 10/false 9/second striker.

David Hillier's luggage

The way he compliments Griezmann pretty much why he get’s selected, however it’s a touch annoying that Deschamps told Giroud in no uncertain terms that he had to move so as to play first team football or else lose his place in the France squad, yet he’s in pretty much the same position he was in at Arsenal (i.e. back up striker/option B) and still gets selected. Our hearts broken for nothing 🙁


And a non-playing striker who will be 34 in the next tournament. Instead of 27-year old laca who his one of the best strikers in the premier league. Regardless of everything of being said about Deschamps’s preferences, keeping the world cup winners unchangeded, the balance, etc., this is a stupid decision.

But don’t care about France, the more rest for laca, the better for us.


Can the money raised from unnecessary mid season trips halfway around the world go into the transfer kitty and not the Kroenke kitty please?

Teryima Adi

Mr Scrooge will never allow that.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

Blue Metal Thing has been training with us for years now, so glad Unai has given in to fan pressure and is giving him a try. He’s an imposing figure, he’s on the books, seems a waste not to use him, and we need that solidity in the squad!


We just need a wall of those in front of the goal


He can’t be worse than Mustafi, I don’t see a mistake in him and he is unlikely to go sliding in.

Dr Zebra

Haha watch Blue Thing get injured during the interlull…

Ordnance Dave

He’s injured




At leastleast staff does not get injured.


Blue metal thing and sign the balloon manekin in front of the goal (and less 1 mustafi) then we have one hell of defence next season

Arsenala Vista Baby

The blue metal thing has a name. His name is…

Leno me, I’ll be your friend

Crikey, Lichtsteiner has got to face Denmark, and whilst playing for Switzerland against Georgia he has to take Greece on all alone at the same time. That’s a heavy schedule.


I hope Guendouzi pulls out of u-21 squad. He needs to be rested. The jump from ligue 2 to Arsenal is crazy. We need to keep him fresh for the run in.


Well, it looks more like our second string is on international duty these days.

Petr Cech, Bernd Leno, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Shkodran Mustafi, Carl Jenkinson, Dinos Mavropanos, Mesut Ozil, Denis Suarez, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Alex Lacazette



I had completely forgotten Cohen Bramall. It’s a pity his fairy tale start to life as an Arsenal player hasn’t quite lived up to initial expectations. Much like Corporal Jenks.

Wish him all the best

Crash Fistfight

To be fair, I think he was working in a factory before signing for us, so even if it’s just a brief sojourn into the world of professional football, he’s probably set himself up for life even if he never makes it.


He was a really odd signing


No mention of Daniel Ballard amongst those players on International duty??

Forest gooner

Blue metal thing>>>> Mustafi




I cannot stand the international break…. no Arsenal for 2 weeks….. ???? I really do hope all our players come back unscathed ?

Thierry Bergkamp

Well at least we got to see those around us drop points and get knocked out of the cup


Very true… and how good it was ?

Thierry Bergkamp

What must Lacazette do to be in the French squad?
Surely Leno is close to being in the German squad.


Shame Nketiah can’t even get some minutes in this fixture for us. Although an international U20s match is probably still going to be a similar standard of opposition.



Crash Fistfight

A strange editorial decision.


I thought it was hilarious.


Can we leave Mustafi over there?


Where’s Saka??