Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Saka and Smith Rowe start, Auba and Odegaard missing: Slavia Prague v Arsenal team news

Arsenal take on Slavia Prague this evening, looking for a win to take us into the Europa League semi-finals.

Here are the official line-ups.

Slavia Prague: Kolaf, Bah, Holes, Zima, Boril, Stanciu, Hromada, Provod, Secvik, Olayinka, Kuchta

Subs: Stejskal, Kovar, Tecl, Sima, Dorley, Traore, Masopust, Lingr, Visinsky

Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka, Ceballos, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette

Subs: Ryan, Hillson, Bellerin, Gabriel, Willian, Cedric, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli, Balogun, Azeez

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
naked cygan

As long as everyone is focused and gives 248% till final whistle we should be OK.


That’s a very specific percentage. Would you take 245%?

Johnny 4 Hats

It’s so hard to judge a starting line up at present. Ceballos could play an absolute blinder or be a massive lump of shit. Laca could run round like a drunk seaside donkey or smash two in from 20 yards. Pepe could run past every man and put it top bins or spend the game doing stepovers in our penalty area.

But I can say one thing that I know is true….


Var Will Solve The Problem

Gabriel should have started instead of Mari . Slavia forward line is too fast and they press too hard. Gabriel have the pace to match…right now this defensse looks too slow, specially with Xhaka as left back. Fuck, im nerveous already.

It seems to me 3 at the back with fluid system of being anything 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-2-1 or 3-5-1-1 I hope the system ain’t confusing for the Arsenal players.

On the right path?

Pace isn’t everything. Per proved that… many a great centre back before him proved that. Intelligence is key.


He also had Kos who was extremely fast for when he got it wrong


C’mon Pepe! This is your chance for glory without odegaard and Auba and shitty willian!


What happened to Bellerin? He doesnt play anymore

naked cygan

We sold him to Bench FC with Willian.

Johnny 4 Hats

I think he just gets sick of our players and drops them. But then he gets sick of the players that replaced them. So he recalls them to drop the other guys. And the circle starts once again. Happened with Dani, Hector, Holding, Mari, Pepe…


He’s gone in the summer so i reckon Arteta wants a good look at Chambers before deciding what to do with him in summer


I’m kinda surprised he hasn’t given him any chance at CB considering Holding is the only other fit right footed option atm.

SB Still

A good look is fine but at RB is strange.


He’s better at RB

Dave Cee

I also think Chambers is probably the in form player in that position.
Looking at that bench, we are desperate for a midfielder this summer


Yes Bellerin seems to be on the way out, but I don’t get this lineup at all. Xhaka at LB against their lighting wingers? Given the fact we need to attack and score tonight, wouldn’t an attacking option make far more sense? Then no Martinelli after a fantastic weekend and Smith Rowe straight back in from the cold after a layoff, when has that worked out well for him in the past? I would start Martinelli and put them under serious pressure, get an away goal and keep the ball for the rest of the game with SR. But what… Read more »


He is playing a 3 back so xhaka is playing centre mid or defensive mid

Vaibhav Pandey

Xhaka ain’t gonna be LB, it will start 3 at the back and things will be very dynamic as per structure. Xhaka will mostly be left sided midfielder and would need assistance from Saka to cover some ground.


I guess he has no big big questions to answer then. Does he now?


He’s rested along with Auba and Odegaard ahead Fulham at the weekend. Big game that.




Just seen pictures of Auba on the sickbed, has Malaria


Apparently Auba has malaria, so I suppose that might explain his absence.


I thought he started the first leg. Clearly not in the first 11 at the moment though.


All he ever does is cut inside and get caught out of position. Chambers has outplayed him, gives more width, and doesn’t get caught out of position as much


Chambers hasnt been too bad but Holding is a horrific player. Honestly cannot understand why he keeps playing someone who consistently underperforms and is out of position


Because Holding consistently plays well as he did tonight




Holding ahead of Gabriel? Wow!


It’s more that Mari is ahead of Gabriel on the left CB position..


Can’t play both Mari and Gabby.

Kadiri Oluwatoyin

How you expect arteta to play two left footed players together so Gabriel have to been on bench


Nothing wrong with 2 left footers aside from rarity

Timorous Me

Maybe. But if you are going to test it out, this isn’t the game to do so.


How about all the times we’ve played like crap with two right footers?


Actually it closes the pitch playing two left footers at CB.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Xhaka starts again and a bench that is pretty average. I remember when our great club used to scare the shit out opponents. Memories eh.


Why shouldn’t our key midfielder play. He’s been excellent for some time


Sorry I missed the fact that he’s playing at full back. Hope he does as well as he did on Sunday.

Timorous Me

Well, we are missing three of our best players (four depending on how you want to classify Luiz), so that certainly impacts the quality of our bench.


If xhaka is playing ahead of Cedric and bellerin as LB tells you that bellerin is done. Cedric is on a tight rope. I don’t mind it as Cedric ultimately cost us that away goal.

Shame odegard is unavailable.

Hope for the best. Nice to see bolagun and azeez on the bench. Hope we wrap it up in style to give them some action.

Naija Gooner

COYG!!! Lesgoooooooo!!!!

Tomaury Bischfeld

I’m interested to see how Xhaka gets on at LB this time against a stronger team.


True, its a gamble, might work or might not work. At the end of the day if he makes mistakes in defending 1v1 you can’t really fault him.


Or is it Saka at lb again?



I hope you’re right.

Tierney Henry

Arsenal website says Xhaka at LB, although I reckon they could potentially change to the formation you’ve suggested if it’s not working. I reckon Slavia will be hitting us on the counter so Xhaka’s going to have his work cut out.


That’s what I thought.


I hope you’re right. I prefer Ceballos further up the pitch away from our own goal.


Great question. Could be Saka, with Xhaka covering?


MA very cagey on who is lb in his interview just now.


Sounds good to me

Someone On The Internet

I’m very surprised that this is our first choice back four with just Tierney and Luiz out. It looked a bit on the slow side to me. I was expecting Chambers to get some games at RCB with Luiz out, not to keep both of our natural RBs out of the team. I’m sure Arteta knows better than me though.


Maybe Chambers is the right side of a back 3 tonight???

Baichung Bhutia

On paper that back four has no pace and is very uninspiring. I can understand Cedric not playing LB, but why isnt he playing RB where he had some good performances. Also it helps the attackers when they have Cedric playing. There have been so many strange decisions, and some of the illogical ones (atleast to me) have actually worked. The only way to judge all this is with the results.

Vaibhav Pandey

Because this isn’t a 4-4-2 and most likely we will start 3 at the back!


We should win no probs but I’m worried by Ceballos. Please let me be wrong.


I’m confident this lineup will get us a win, but I am puzzled as to why Arteta isn’t more consistent with his CB pairing.


Because they are simply not good enough for being in an Arsenal team and injuries has tormented our defence.

Vaibhav Pandey

Because everyone at CB had made mistakes consistently so to break that cycle, he makes the changes. I think this is the obvious reason.


This will he tight but, Balogun from the Bench!


Blimey that’s a statement lineup. Let’s get it done!


Happy with the lineup. Bellerin, Gabriel and Cedric were poor last week so good to see form players selected. Martinelli gives us some speed off the bench if we need it COYG!!

David C

Saka or ESR as the number 10? They can certainly dovetail throughout. Great that they are back!


Saka or Xhaka left back?

Rawley Vaughan



Playing even deeper than normal eh?

Timorous Me

Just pushing out a little wider than usual.


when will Mr. Lego Head start a game in Europa League with Martinelli on the pitch? tired of seeing him being wasted on the bench!

Jeremy DG

Make subs quickly if it isn’t working please


i hope arteta have that in mind, because lately his first sub is happening at around 75 minutes…

Once a gunner

What’s is MA smoking that he can’t use Martineli and using Xhaka as a left back the guy that is not good in pace? But this is my club let’s smash prague.




No Gabriel? He’s our best defender!


That’s a very pedestrian back four. Hope they are not exposed. COYG! (Side note, who’d you fancy in a foot race among them? I think Rob would crush it.)


Don’t you forget that Pablo kept up with Vardy when we beat Leicester


Jeeezus, the bench is poop. Arteta gets his wish- our bench is so crap no one can criticize when he makes his first subs at 85 minutes.


Is okay, Auba has been “missing” for a while.

Hey ho, two shows a night, i’m here all week.
(try the veal)

Jack of All

Has no one noticed Mari isn’t actually slow? Kept up with Vardy against Leicester….not super fast but not Mertesacker.


Gabriel, Cedric and Martinelli should start.


I don’t feel comfortable with this. If Xhaka play’s at left back tonight, he will be targeted and might be heavily exposed.


Hoping we can take advantage of Holes in their back line.

I’ll see myself out.


I hope all the cunts joking that Auba has the Ozil flu feel good about themselves now they know he has malaria.

Come on Arsenal! Big won tonight please.

SB Still

Been worried about this match since the equaliser in the 1st leg.

The starting XI has, now some standard Arteta surprises.

Win this match, Arteta is a genius else it’s going to hard for him to explain his odd selections like Chambers at RB ahead of the 2 recognised choices, or in earlier matches, starting Willian ahead of the likes of Martinelli, Pepe, etc.

However, everything is secondary, lets win this match. COYG.


Jesus. Laca’s getting a new contract, isn’t he?

Some flu Auba has.

Obama Young

I know who Balogun and Azeez are, I’ve heard of our youth keepers Okonkwo and Hein, and our Icelandic backup, but who in the world is Hillson?


Get the fuck in there!!!


Fuck off


Get the fuck in there!!!

SB Still

Awesome, 2 goals up!


3.0 I hope that they don’t notice they have Holes in their defense.


This is the Arsenal I have dreamt of, cool and competent.


Now that’s the Partey and Pepe we bought


Thomas is a one man machine in that midfield while ESR, Pepe and Saka might get charged by Chech police for torture of Slavia’s defence tonight.


Pepe is so good on the left.


How about some substitutes

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x