Monday, February 26, 2024

Guendouzi in, Xhaka not in squad: Arsenal v Chelsea team news

It’s Mikel Arteta’s first home game in charge of Arsenal today as we take on Chelsea at the Emirates.

Can he gets his first win as boss? Can the Gunners actually remember how to beat someone? Here’s hoping, and here are today’s official line-ups.

Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Luiz, Saka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Ozil, Nelson, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Martinez, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Willock, Smith Rowe, Pepe, John-Jules

Chelsea: Kepa, Rudiger, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Emerson, Willian, Abraham, Mount

Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Lamptey, Jorginho, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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Derek G

I thought that Chambers was suspended ? Didn’t he receive his 5th yellow card in the last match ?

Derek G

My bad, he missed the last game due to the suspension.


He served his suspension


It’s few tough games for arteta.Just want to see the hunger of our players ..results will follow efforts.. and also bye -bye xhaka.. You will not be remembered fondly.


Have fun watching Mr headless chicken run around ? Doubt he’ll do much better


Xhaka is packing his bag for Germany-bound?


Seems like Xhaka is off – after all this we shouldn’t let him leave for a cut price deal however.


Agreed 100%. Time for Raul to show the entire Football community that he is a tough negotiator and not a weak one like his Arsenal predecessor.

Bai Blagoi

His price depends on his performance.

Dave M

Well in that case, 20 quid?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I blame the fans for Xhaka having to leave. Who will be our next victim?


Eternal blabbermouth


Xhaka slowly went off the field and reacted horribly to fans response to that. He has absolutely refused to admit he did anything wrong in all of this. Fans have every right to boo a player who they perceive isn’t giving his all to help the team win – ie he cared more about showing his displeasure at being substituted than he did about getting off the field quickly to give his team more time to try to win.

He’s a bang average player as evidenced by the teams he’s being linked with.

Dave M



Atom, fully agree, my sentiment as well.


Ok, that means that Xhaka is going in January. At least that’s settled. We will surely sign a replacement, let’s hope we can get somebody good. Onward.


Got to assume this means Xhaka will be on the move this January. A move which I think makes sense for all parites ultimately. I think its a shame that it has ended quite as bitterly as it has, especially as we finally look like we have a manager who has grasped what every fan and pundit has been repeating for the last 3 years (Xhaka is not a defensive midfielder). Still, all part of the process. If we can get some decent cash for Xhaka and Elneny that we can re-invest in CM or CB then that has to… Read more »

Hopey dopeu

Flabbergasted that lacazette is starting


He has a decent record at home and against the bigger teams if I remember which may be a factor. I can see the logic in giving him the chance to play himself into form with a game like this.

Equally, drop him after one poor performance and is certainly not going to do him any favours confidence wise with everyone apparently starting with a clean slate.

Still, we have Pepe as the option if he struggles again!


We should be able to get the money we paid for Xhaka. Then maybe we can invest in a strong unit of a player to boss the midfield. They don’t have to spectacular. They just need to be able to run, able to lay off a short pass when the ball is one and tackle.


Looks like we’re saying goodbye to Xhaka.

I like Xhaka, and whilst I wouldn’t say no to a more dynamic upgrade, I wouldn’t be surprised if the club managed to downgrade with his replacement.

It’s a inexperienced team with full backs playing out of position, but Chelsea also have some youngster out there as well.

We really need 3 points, because United’s team are designed to counter, and our team isn’t designed to stop counters, I don’t hold much hope for Wednesday.

Reality check

Exciting to see what Guendouzi can do with help of a proper DM. Just needs to take less touches in possession and be a second quicker in defense..


Nelson ahead of Pepe again? I guess it’s the Willian effect this time. I’m gonna have to continue trusting Arteta…for now

The Spoon

Bring Pepe on when Chelsea defenders tire. With his pace he can cause problems, as long as the game isn’t out of sight by then. Hopefully Nelson has been practicing his final ball last few days!

Wilsheres Middle Finger

It looks to me from everything that is being said by Arteta and the players, that he is looking for absolute maximum commitment and effort and is not getting that from Pepe yet. It would undermine everything Arteta’s doing to make an exception and play Pepe regardless of his effort levels. Hopefully Pepe can respond positively and give his everything to be the player we all hope that he will be for us. I have a feeling we will be calling this a masterstroke later in the season when Pepe is blitzing defences and banging them in.


Overmars 2.0. Yass!!!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Freddie hinted he wasn’t starting Pépé because he hadn’t worked hard in training. Arteta came and had to say the same thing which is alarming. It means Pepe doesn’t respond positively to what his managers say.

Reality check

Nelson is probably Arteta’s first project. Just needs some finetuning and confidence and Arteta has given him his full backing. The advantage he has over Pepe atm is he works hard in defense and is educated in Wengerball.

Tasmanian God

But for him to start scoring also, like last season, I feel like he should play on the left.
Then again, we have someone else who scores there..who maybe should play in the middle.

Big Dave

Let’s hope Xhaka recovers from his “illness” before he flys to Berlin ?


Chambers back is good news, provided he and Luiz can keep going on the same level as the Everton game.

Also, kind of worried by the lack of creativity in this team, so let’s hope Özil has a hell of a game.

In Mikel We Trust!


Nelson instead of Pepe, do me a favour.


Just shows how poor current Arsenal squad is. Few injuries and players like AMN, Saka and bloody Nelson are starting regularly and out of position to make matters worse.

Right across Sunderland!

Bit concerned about the Torreira/Guendouzi midfield pairing. Every time I’ve seen them together in a ‘2’ it’s been a disaster. But, I’m backing Mikel to have sorted out some of the problems relating to this already. And if Xhaka was this amazing player his fan boys keep claiming, why is only a mid table Bundeslegia team trying to buy him? What a big baby. Got arsey because he failed to handle a situation (he made worse) properly. Good riddance. Worst Arsenal captain ever (and people moaned about Gallas being a poor captain). 2-1 to the Arsenal. Pepe to come on… Read more »


Torreira has been playing incredibly well, Guendouzi like trash. Honestly that Xhaka/Torreira midfield is really quite good.


Gueduozi and Ozil means no one willing to head the ball in midfield. Hmm, hope this work.


Let’s hope Guendouzi doesn’t cost us this game! He’s coming up with all levels of idiocy in this game so far – extra touches, unnecessary shoving, pulling, u name it

Hiiiii guys

This is the Arsenal I’ve wanted to see since Wenger left. Love the passion shown by every player. Fully be hind the manager and players who give their best even if we don’t win. Effort is 200%. Well done Arteta. COYG


Guendouzi is a on tight ropes. Willock after 60mins

Dave M

Tbf he’s improved as the game has gone on and it’s working his ass off!

Right across Sunderland!

Great 1st half from Arsenal. Compact and the effort is there.

Guendouzi the only worry (apart from Chamber’s injury…but at least he did walk off). Apart from Guendouzi, they’ve all played well.

But big shout out to Torreira. He’s been immense.

Paul Roberts

The best first half I have seen in years. Great shape, pressing and we are even playing out from the back well!

Right across Sunderland!

I’m now 100% convinced we got the right man. In Arteta we trust.

Right across Sunderland!

Well 99% 🙂

Second half still to go


Torreira back to his obvious position. What a change it makes.
We need to buy good defenders!!!


I’m gutted for Leno! He’s been our best player this season. Screw the ref on Jorginho! That was a red card! Mustafi tho! Never goes to the ball, always running back to his goal. Can’t block. Totally useless!!!


Came to say the same about Leno. Feeling awful for him, he has saved our bacon so many times this season, hope fans don’t jump on his back now. All in all, encouraging first half, second half was awful. We need that intensity the whole 90+ minutes, but I guess with time it might come

Right across Sunderland!

Biggest robbery since the Michael Owen final.


Absolutely! And Laca should have gone after the hour when it was clearly obvious that he has ran out of gas. His pressing and overall contribution considerably lowered. Leno to err is human.. you’re forgive, but please don’t put us in such position again. Mustafi backing out instead of closing the down on that guy is incredibly a “no brainer”. Mustafi will always be Mustafi anyways. But I’m happy with the team’s overall performance and dedication (especially in the first half). Even Auba put in a great deal of defensive shifts. That second goal was like a dagger strike right… Read more »


Could have done with Xhaka today. We did not have enough control second half. Guendouzi and Torreira were OK but the midfield relation to the forward line dropped. Nelson looked beat, Ozil also started to flagg. Would have preferred Granit on instead of Willock, have him sit deeper with Torreira and have Guendouzi pushed forward to harass higher up. Willock is a willing runner and always with effort, fashioned a decent chance BUT just feel we lack guile with too many young players (or non performing ones like Pepe) Without sufficient control in middle of the park (and timely subs)… Read more »


If we lose Xhaka (and even if he should stay), I hope we are considering Emre Can.

We still lack copntrol in midfield and evidently without Xhaka, we are still struggling.

But Emre Can has the PL experience, is versatile to cover Cback and may be able to spark something further with his compatriot Ozil. At 25yrs and wantaway at Juve, surely one to consider unless you are the Arsenal board.

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