Monday, July 4, 2022

Two changes, Gabriel and Bellerin return: Olympiacos v Arsenal team news

Arsenal face Olympiacos in Athens this evening, in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16.

Here are the official line-ups.

Olympiacos: Sa, Lala, Sokratis, Ba, Reabciuk, M’Vila, Camara, Bouchalakis, Valbuena, Bruma, El-Arabi

Subs: Karagyris, Tzolakis, Fortounis, Hassan, Androutsos, Masouras, Drager, Holebas, Sourlis, Randjelovic

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard, Willian, Saka, Auba

Subs: Ryan, Hein, Holding, Cedric, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Ceballos, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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Jack

Seems that Willian is a pretty much guaranteed starter ever since having that decent game against Leicester :/

Johnny 4 Hats

If only he could tell Martinelli what he’s got on Arteta…

beNZed

If only one or two of you had an original bit of “insight”.

Johnny 4 Hats

If you want insight read Stillman. It’s all cock jokes and merriment in the comment section bro.

NorthernGooner

Maybe Martinelli needs to go to Dubai for 5 days without telling the club, then play like he doesn’t care and tell the world how much he misses his old club, he’s tried everything else

Dave

He’s been playing well. I’ll support him.

Don’t worry your favourites are likely to play against Spurs.

NorthernGooner

Played well for all of one match….

My favourites are those who play well, or at least try, week in week out

Daveo

Lemonade?

Bleeding gums murphy

Willian has had about 120 minutes all told (if that) of decent football and starts again. Arteta is determined to justify an absolute terrible decision which he was very much part of. It may well cost him his job. If fans were in stadiums it may have already

Daveo

Great, we’re back to willian over ESR (and martinelli and pepe) 🤦🏽‍♀️
Given Arteta’s propensity to not change that should be the team until luiz or Xhaka’s next Red. And cue arteta quotes about willian turning games and his amazing form.

Canadagoon

ESR literally just got back to training the other day, probably being rested for the NLD. Chill and support the team, I miss Martinelli too but come on

davorsuker

Fully agree!
Utterly disgraceful team selections week in week out. So so unfair agains Pepe and Martinell

Nketibag

Leicester was an ok performance, but for me the most dangerous we have looked this season was that first half against Wolves: Pepe Auba Saka.
That is the front three that the opposition do not want to see. If I’m the opposing coach I’d want Willian starting all day. I just don’t get it Mikel, I just don’t get it. He is too conservative and that is leading to the fine margins going against us every week.

Voldermort

Exactly this. Well said NKetibag.Willian will play no matter what his form is. I really want to back MA but I find it so hard with the decisions he keeps making.

Fatgooner

If Willian doesn’t perform again and we get badly beaten tonight then it’s time for Arteta to go. Pepe had to start tonight. This tie is our season: why is he wasting time with Willian?

Blob

GO WILLY

SB Still

Arteta stands by Willian, Xhaka, Luiz. Arteta trusts experience to potential.

As long as he gets the results, I can’t complain. However the last league game was potentially crucial to the run-in.

Glen Helders left foot

What results has he been getting? We’re 10th in the league and out of 2 cups

Mentalista

Technically those are still results.

SB Still

Overall for the season it’s been below par for sure. I was thinking of his selection for Leicester game which I wanted to complain about.

My main point is, while Arteta says selection is based on form, time and again he has shown its actually experience (good or bad), is what he prefers, even with players who necessarily don’t want to be here (Willian and Xhaka)!

DB's first touch

ESR is probably being treated with caution with his return from injury, which I think is something we can all agree is a reasonable approach. I suspect (hope!) that Willian will lose his place in the starting XI once ESR returns. Having said that I think Pepe has shown enough in recent matches to be starting more often (I thought he should have started against Burnley), but today’s lineup is maybe also influenced by being the away team, which probably means Arteta is looking for more “technical security” than an improvisor like Pepe.

Dom

How is xhaka still getting a game

Martin

Because since his suspension he has been a key player and has formed a good partnership with Partey.

One rule for Xhaka, a different rule for Ceballos. Granted Dani himself is not without fault but I remember him saying that Arteta was the reason for renewing his loan. I wonder if he regrets saying that now.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

He’s making his bosses see how much we need a quality midfielder next season

No foot Norbert

Who else do we have in midfield really. Bearing in mind the spurs game on Sunday as well. If anything xhaka is more useful in European games compared to that prem intensity. He still needs to go in the summer but really our midfield bar partey is sub par.

Gio

Didnt like the selection
but, im not the coach, so
COYG

Rod

COYG!

Billy bob

I would have had Pepe or Lacazette over Willian but hey ho

Chidi

Despite his upturn in form its very questionable starting Willian over Pepe. That aside, I pretty much look forward to Willian’s performance whenever he does play which is pretty much everytime since his upturn of form because I do want him to come good. Coyg!

truj

Is it a good idea to mix the centerbacks all the time? Hope so an COYG!

Chippy Brady

FUCKING Willian.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Better make sure you two finish up before kickoff then.

Chippy Brady

If it meant he’d miss this match I’d take the hit!

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Well, if you play your cards right, he might just end up with a season-ending muscular strain.

Paul Roberts

What does Pepe have to do to get ahead of Willian? 🙁

RedHotHornBlower

Play better. Not scuff the ball when given the golden ticket as he did at Burnley.

Paul Roberts

How about comparing goals and assists between the pair in their last 5 games rather than one miss?

Vikrant The Gunner

How the hell Willian is getting place after series of pathetic performances.. odegard need to be improved to get place.. should have included smith rowe and martnelli/pepe

Dave

Who is Hein?

Phil Neal

He’s mates with Carl & Bud

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Mart Poom reincarnated.

Martin

Estonian international keeper. 2 additional always chosen for European matches.

Mentalista

So Runnarsson is 4th choice now? My word that bubbled has popped.

Chippy Brady

Willian will start every game for the rest of the season just because he played a 5 yard pass against Leicester. Meanwhile our young 75m signing and Brazil wonder kid sit on the bench. It boils my piss.

Dave

Just relax.

Pepe has been inconsistent at best and Martinelli is being protected after his injury and subsequent bad reaction in the warm up for Newcastle.

Willian has done well recently and not just for his assist. His general play and demeanour is improved.

Chippy Brady

Come on man. I agree that Willian has improved recently but that was from such a low bar that his improved performance are not even as good as Pepe’s not so good ones. Sorry for spreading negativity before a game. COYG

Dave

I personally wouldn’t select him but I’m not mad to see him play. I’ll support him tonight and every time he is selected though. No benefit to not!

Martin

Pepe has been in form in recent matches and although improved Willian is not nearly as effective

Hi Mikel. Nice to meet you, didn’t know you frequented Arseblog.

Drew

Bollocks, Pepe is the sort of player that starts to perform when he gets a rhythm. This only comes from a run of consecutive games, he has been playing much better. Arteta said that the team would be picked on performances but it blatantly isn’t that, well not as far as I can see anyway.

Keep it Real

Other than Pepe for willian pretty much spot on – need to show that we are playing well by putting this tie to bed

Baichung Bhutia

I would have Cedric over Bellerin as well. On the other hand we have an important game over the weekend as well, so could see Cedric start in the weekend.
But if we see Willian, Bellerin, Xhaka all start against Spurs, I dont know what to make of Arteta.

Martin

Why wouldn’t Xhaka start. He’s been one of our most consistent players since his suspension

Sagebrush

Xhaka is always an accident waiting to happen

mrugunner

that’s what he meant. he is consistent in his accidents

Gabe

Willian is going to be Arteta’s undoing…

mrugunner

arteta is arteta’s undoing.. he needs to go if we dont go thru

anonarse

Is Rúnarsson 4th choice at GK now?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He’s not in the Europa League squad.

Arteta loves Willy.

Danny

If Willian plays well tonight, will everybody agree to stop having a go at him? At least until he plays badly again.

Paul Roberts

I will but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen mate.

Dave

Nope because once someone is a favourite they can do no wrong and once they are hated that opinion is deep seated and immovable.

Sagebrush

No, he has been babysat for too long, patience afforded nobody else

Chippy Brady

What do you class as playing well? A 5 yard pass that counts as an “assist” or a 25 yard shuttling run where no defenders come to him, and when the first one does he passes it to Auba who scores? For me this is not playing well, this is the absolute bare minimum to be expected from a professional footballer, let alone one on 250 grand a week at a skint club.

Drew

I’d love for him to play well. Fingers crossed.

RistoJ

Hope Martineli gets some minutes tonight

Henkamp

Was expecting to see Holding start ffs. Luiz, like Xhaka, has racked up massive minutes of recent. And we all know he is no longer as young as he used to be.

Sokratis playing alongside some of the Teletubbies tonight; Sa, Lala, Ba.

Billy bob

Awesome comment, made me laugh

YaGunnersYa

I need to recalibrate to no longer being the ‘home’ side in Athens.

GraeB

Its an away game in Europe, first leg, so I’d expect MA to be a bit conservative. How much stick would he get for going all out attack and losing? 5 subs means the approach can change later if necessary.

Dave

Whatever he does it will be wrong. Even if we win!

GraeB

You’re setting yourself up for stick on here tonight Dave. I think you may be tonight’s Willian🤣

Dave

Yep, both did well

BigArse

Oh Mikel, you are a stubborn, stubborn boy. Still good team overall. C’mon you gunners!

Gunnar Elí

COYG !!!

Sagebrush

Don’t know what can keep Willian away from Arteta

CLEGooner

When James said Arteta was saving Willian for the Olympiakos game, the football gods laughed…

SterdeyGooner

Hope Artera isn’t managing this club next season

Biggles

Well, I guess we’re at the start of the “squeaky bum time” (as Sir Alex said) of our season as the next three games, against Olympiacos and Spurs, will determine whether we make any further progress or not in Europe or perhaps begin, at last, to slowly move up the PL. Plenty of discussion about the selection, as always, but it looks a pretty strong to me and there is a full compliment on the bench if/as needed. I suspect that it will probably be tough over the two legs though. Olympiacos are well ahead in their league, albeit not… Read more »

viegunner

was pretty sure olympiacos’ team was sn original piss take

Michael

Come on Willian! prove us all wrong.

Squillaci

WTFillian

K man

Arteta’s favoritism of Willian is so infuriating.
With play so much better without him I just cannot understand it

davorsuker

The fact that rubbish Willian is starting again is beyond me…

Public Elneny

Oh ffs

Drew

Fuck me what does Pepe have to do to get a run of games?

Mentalista

Come back 12 years older.

B JACK

i have come to accept that Arteta really just loves his willi.

jimbo

luiz willian xhaka dear god this team is a load of shite

Village Green

I’m finding harder and harder to warm to Arteta. Definitely not the kinda guy I’d fancy having a pint with. Stubborn stubborn man.

B JACK

Henceforth Arteta will be referred to as the Willi whisperer

Fuzz

Sa, Ba and Lala? Are we playing the Teletubbies?!

Tapps

Alright, you miserable fuckers. You’ve had your 10 minute whinge fest – now can we get on with supporting our club please (Willian included)?

mrugunner

i get the feeling we will play boring football again tonight with ESR out and willian in.
poor saka he’ll have to work twice as hard to create chances.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Xhaka. Again. Really?

Jamiee

Is Odegaard going to do anything positive in this match? Really disappointed in him so far.

Jamiee

I just got fkd 🤣

Blahblah

AHEM!!

Jamiee

He was terrible before and after the goal. Gave the ball away a lot and lacked any sort of communication.

FMT

Like the boys are competing for ‘who will mess it up’ tonight 🙄

Deano

Luiz really does have his moments.

RistoJ

Pedestrian so far, What’s happening to Hector did he lose it completely?

SB Still

This is not even shooting ourselves in foot, we shoot ourselves in the arse!

Ealing

Useless

Bergkamp2Wright

Pricks.

Jamiee

I’m so sorry for Arteta, the man has the most useless players at his disposal 🤣

Ealing

He selects them and tells them how to play. He does not understand that they cannot be trusted for that type of play

Jamiee

So in that case he should play without Ceballos, Partey, Xhaka, Leno, Bellerin from now on? They all are giving away stupid balls.

Ealing

Certainly without Liz, Ceballos and Xhaka. If they keep making mistakes and you select them, what message does it send?

SB Still

You mean the ones Arteta keeps picking over the ones who helped him turn it around from the game against Chelsea.

After 1.5 seasons if he has useless players, it’s on him and Edu.

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