Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Pepe, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles start, Willian dropped: Arsenal v Southampton team news

Can Arsenal finally win a game? We play Southampton at the Emirates tonight, and winning would be very nice.

Here are the official line-ups.

Arsenal: Leno, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Maitland-Niles, Ceballos, Elneny, Saka, Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang

Subs: Runarsson, Cedric, Luiz, Mustafi, Willock, Willian, Lacazette

Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Bednarak, Bertrand, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Walcott, Ings, Adams

Subs: Forster, Stephens, Salisu, Diallo, Djenepo, Redmond, N’Lundulu

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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Can’t bring myself to watch the game but I’m still hoping for a positive result. Hope the Arsenal we want shows up.


Feel you, but you gotta stick with it. Through thick n’ thin etc


This stick with it is bloody painful dan.

Heavenly Chapecoense

We will win but I do not encourage Auba to try a back flip after scoring today. He hasn’t practised it for a very long time.

Runcorn Gooner

When the going gets tough…..The tough get going. Come on you Gunners.

Terrifies me every single time.


don’t worry he’s not even playing through the middle, Nketiah is. I wish Pepe would play on the left and Saka play on the right Saka is better than Pepe at everything vision, Passing, shooting, dribbling, defensive contribution and he’s better than Pepe on the right because he’s smarter and can actually use his right foot as well. unlike Pepe who’s too left footed


Do what’s best for you.
Don’t listen to those thumbs down.
We got you.

Naked Cygan

Not sure why you got so many downvotes but I am with you. It is extremely hard to watch Arsenal these days, and unfortunately, we have the wrong Arsenal show up for a while now. But Like Dan said in the comments, we have to tick with it. I just hope if things improve, and improve fast. If Arteta is unable to get this team going we just have to take the bullet and bring in a manager with a strong CV who can take us to where we belong. Alos, I am not sure our team is set up… Read more »


It’s the children of anger. We have many of them here. They will downvote anything even if you write C’mon Arsenal.

I predict a 1-0 to the Arsenal.


PLEASE COYG. Just don’t lose.


Don’t like the bench


Bit harsh on the poor bench. I’m not too keen on who is sitting on it though..


Underrated comment haha

Heavenly Chapecoense

Is the bench made of balsa or northern european cedar?


The good thing is that they’re on the bench and not starting. Let’s hope they stay there, sit on it badly and get dropped further.

Adrian Drum

Finally he dropped WIllian


Willian put a shift in on Sunday, I thought he was at least really trying physically, which is a minimum requirement


I agree. I thought it was his second best game for us to-date. And that’s the problem…

John C

He’s also our leading assist making


He looks like he’s trying, he is not really. Every time he needs to make a last step towards the ball he stops. He doesn’t fuc*ing care.


Well, that’s some change. I hope this is a back 4 with AMN at fullback vs a back 3 with him at wing back opposite Saka. I suppose it could be one of those hybrid set ups. Whatever, just get a win boys.


fck hybrid. just dont lose.


I reckon he’s going 5 at back to counter Ings. In days of old we’d look for a 4 and be more attacking but at least AMN and Saka are better going forward.


I too reckon it’s a 333. Nketiah will play as the striker. If it’s a 433 or 4231 that puts Auba too far out on the wing; a 343 allows him to move towards the center. Similarly with Pepe.
I’m surprised to like the line up, and to find myself hoping its a five at the back. feeling rather optimistic about this game actually! Come on!


Sorry, that’s supposed to be a 343…


Willian dropped to the bench finally? What a glorious day it is. Merry Christmas everyone

Artetas Assistant

Merry Christmas! If Pepe can be given free rein and take responsibility as the most talented and marshal that average front three, hmm 🤤

Artetas Assistant

Quite good frontline actually

John C

If people can’t recognise that Willian isn’t the problem but the pace of which the ball is moved forward we’re in real trouble. If the ball is as slow to get to Pepe it will make no difference


like the idea, let’s see it executed for fucking fuck sake


Luiz, Mustafi and Cedric on the bench, wth.

We need a win so glad he’s changed up the starting XI. COYG!


Should have clarified, too many defenders there taking up young talents like Smith-Rowe, Nelson and Balogun slots.


Think he’s expecting his team to score some goals today, and with the amount of work Gabriel and Holding have been doing, it’s not unwise to have some replacements on the bench.


Agreed – Nelson might still have a knock, but there should have been at least 1 of Smith-Rowe or Balogun instead of carrying 2 CBS… Especially when both are leaving at the end of the year. Might as well have a kid to throw in that might actually have some developing potential.


Finally! No Willian and Xhaka out due to his own petulance. We win this one 3-1 (Pepe, Auba, Eddie). This is where we turn things around!

P.S. Maybe Hector can use this time to practice throw-in’s?
P.P.S. Leno better not get injured 🙁


Well Theo’s done his part to fulfil your prediction…


Auba back on the left? I don’t mind that especially as Eddie only seems suited for centre forward.


Willian must be injuried since he’s not starting.


Arteta probably confronted Edu and said to him if you’re really backing me you need to let me drop Kia’s boy!


Our midfield is paper thin – Elneny, Partey and potentially Maitland-Niles are the only ones up to standard.

Tonight: Ceballos (not good enough) paired with Elneny in a double pivot, Maitland-Niles right-back. Saka probably left wingback with Tierney dropping into a three at the back formation.


It’s a step in the right direction, but do we really need three defenders on the bench? Our problem is scoring goals. I’d have preferred to see Nelson and either Smith-Rowe or Balogun there instead of Mustafi and Luiz.

Still, I’m quite optimistic with the starting XI. Let’s hope a whole bunch of Gunners break out of slumps today. Come on Arsenal!


Nelson is injured. Not sure why ESR isn’t there


He’s made of glass!


Willian, your contribution was really nothing.

Hail Gus!

Thanks Moz 😉


Willian, Willian, he brings really nothing


A jumped-up Chelsea boy who never earned his place (in the starting XI). 😉


He was looking for a job and then he found a job and heaven knows we’re miserable now

A tetra

There is a Gunners-light that never goes out!

Dermot Collins

It’s an improvement but why go for two Central Defenders on the bench and Cedric when Smith Rowe or Balogun could take one of those slots ? We all know that our most pressing problem is going forward and scoring goals. Arteta’s conservatism could see him lose his job and the club lose these talented youngsters.

Hail Gus!





Dubai just phoned… they are not happy.


Who’s dat? Kia from his Penthouse about his Willy being pulled?


Rolling on the floor laughing! Me not Kia…


Absolutely no reason why those guys can’t go out and get a result. It may take someone to be a little more selfish or ruthless to get into the box but they can do it.


Hope Theo doesn’t play well!

Tony Hall

Finally he drops Willian, personally I would have dropped Auba as well and had Eddie up front with Joe or ESR behind but I guess it is a step in the right direction


Auba needs to practising scoring…preferably in the opposition’s net this time!


I’d have had Smith -Rowe sitting where William is sitting


i like this lineup, especially if they set up with 4 at the back.


It’s a massive opportunity for Nketiah and Maitland Niles. Are they good enough to take it?


Not sure about Eddie unless we get around the box more. I’d like to see him with Balogun against Citeh next week.


We’ll find out soon enough and I guess that’s all we’ve wanted as fans. Personally I think Eddie gets unfairly criticised and AMN overhyped at times even though I like him.
Let’s hope they both shine tonight.


Saka is playing as a 10 or is he a wingback?

Hail Gus!

Reckon it’s 4-2-3-1 with Saka left of the three (Eddie in just behind Auba and Pepe on right)


I fully rate this line up, well played Arteta for finally dropping Willian and Laca (he’s not been as poor as the former but had it coming), starting AMN and Pepe

We love to see it


So who on the bench is a game changer ?
ESR & Balogun deserve better imho + Cedric should have gone in with AMN more attacking ? Just a thought !


It’s the first time we have seen the combination of AMN, Pepe and Elneny.

I believe the workrate of elneny is going to help AMN fully utilise his energy to help create space and support Pepe

Ben naija

We will win this game.


The bench should have Smith and Folarin.

  1. I cannot tell you how happy I am to see Willian out of the Starting XI;
  2. I cannot tell you how happy I am to see Xhaka somewhere in space.

Xhaka often in space – usually where an opponent was standing until he ran into the box and left Xhaka behind.

Ponsonby Gooner

Let’s hope the players can and want to rise to the occasion as Soton are genuinely a decent side. A lot better than Burnley. I still think there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way we’re playing though, not just player selection. Guess we’ll see what’s served up to us soon. COYG


Not so sure about Nketiah, an extra man in the middle like Willock or ESR, depending on the setup, would have been nice.

Willian and Lacazette on the bench is a good start, though.


Hope this change of selection works. We’ve just missed out on Sam Allardyce to one of our rivals.


I think our number 1 pick Pulis is still available though.🙏


I’d rather be relegated than take Big Sam at The Arsenal.
Bilic has been poorly treated IMO but that’s typical of the WBA owners.

The spoon

ESR, why isn’t he at least in the bench. Lack of creativity yet we won’t luck the guy who can offer something. Hope Pepe has a good game, he needs it, we need it, Willian needs it.

Hail Gus!

Yep, Arteta still doesn’t quite get it does he?


So who do we think will get red carded for touching Romeau’s face today? Ceballos most likely candidate…

John C

Looks like another losing team to me.

The inclusion of Maitland-Niles and Nketiah and the dropping of Willian looks like he’s allowing the fans to pick the team.

I don’t think there’s a player in this side with a single premier league assist this season to their name in this starting eleven.

Things are looking dire.

Paul Roberts

Why has he dropped Willian??

Still love Wenger

Comedy gold!

John C

Because when you have your second highest assist maker suspended you might as well drop your highest assister as well!!

Gooner Stoner

Don’t worry, finally we got 3 points today. All three goals score by Auba.


Let’s see what kind of shit sandwich we’re served up tonight.

Colonel Bergkamp

Couldn’t make this up. Theo scores at the Emirates. Cedric will come on for this week’s OG later on.


Useless fucking pricks


I don’t know now, really.


They are dominating us, all over


Well, relegation battle is on. Time to panic.


We are a fucking SHAMBLES!

Today Walcott. Then in the next four matches, Iwobi, then Giroud, then Welbeck, then Gibbs.


If we lose this he needs to go. At this stage the players need someone else picking the team. We might get a new manager bounce and stay up. It’s so fucking awful.

Up North

We’re utterly shit tonight and the dark place of Championship Football is closer and closer. We dont act as a team , only 11 single players running around like headless chickens. Sorry Arteta,I dont think you fix this


Making Walcott look like Henry in his pomp.

Vaibhav Pandey

His time should be over, if players cannot be coached to pass the ball properly in tight paces then he has to go.


It is not as bad as I have seen in recent matches and Ceballos was unlucky his tackle caused the pass to let Walcott in.

I think we might actually score a goal tonight, but chances are it probably won’t be enough.


The team is fighting everything right now, including themselves, and you can see how hard everything has become — that’s a slump that only goals and points will cure. But we need a piece of luck. That’s how it works. Fingers crossed. I think Arteta was wrong to exclude Ozil from this squad as we desperately need that negotiator of spaces and the killer pass, but hopefully we can get into January and see what happens then. I hope we give Arteta the chance to see this season out as I honestly believe great things are in our future with… Read more »

Surely can't get worse than Wenger, right??

Lots of talk about an attacking midfielder being targeted in Jan. Anyone else think we need another Party type mid to play along side him before MA will play an out and out attacking mid. Franck Kessie maybe?


Thank Dennis, a goal!




I hate what I am allowing this team to do to me

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