Monday, January 30, 2023

Auba and Odegaard start, no Pepe: Man City v Arsenal team news

Arsenal take on Man City at the Etihad today, looking for the kind of upset that would bring us our first Premier League win of the season.

It’s a daunting task. Here are the official line-ups.

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Grealish, Torres, Jesus.

Subs: Steffen, Stones, Ake, Sterling, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Doyle, Palmer.

Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac, Tierney, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Saka, Odegaard, Aubameyang

Subs: Ramsdale, Okonkwo, Tavares, Mari, Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Elneny, Martinelli, Lacazette

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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How much is Arteta’s severance package. Looks like he’s making a play for it.

Jeremy DG

If Pepe can’t play, I’d actually be fully on board with this team selection and formation if he replaced Cedric and kolasinac with mainland niles and Tavares


Our defence looks truly horrible, add to that Xhaka’s liability on the midfield


Trust the process and we are close to winning league again


What they didn’t tell you is, the process is actually a process towards relegation.


and 3-0 at halftime


Shambolic to say the least!


Holy, you bl**dy called it mate.

It’s time to go Arteta. You’re f****ng clueless. The team looks f****ng clueless.

At one point Ederson was just standing on the ball for a good 10 seconds before anyone pressured him. Unbelievable.


Spot on 👍

Surely Saliba is better than Chambers/Holding and Mari !!!!

Nostalgic Gooner

Back to back 3! We only do this when the manager is truly under pressure.


Man City away probably has something to do with it, we’ve taken 2 points off them since Dec 2015

They’re a much better team than us, at best we’re looking for a really ugly smash + grab, if not we need to stay in the game, and keep the score respectable

If we try and play City in a game of football at their place, then we’d be like lambs to the slaughter

We gave them a game in the 1-0 loss at home last season, but the 1-0 at their place was incredibly flattering


Are they better than us or simply have a better manager? I honestly believe an elite manager can do better than Lego hair

Didrik Plehn

They are better than us in almost every position. We have some really promising talents, but this is PL and you need steel and leaders on the pitch…






Still not sure

feel we can win

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)



I feel sorry for you mate. It’s that optimism ey


I like it! Clearly set up to spring Auba on the counter and I think Smith Rowe and odegaard can help us close down city as they enter our half and immediately fire us forwards. Hopefully after his midweek hattrick he’s still in the zone to finish whatever chances we create! Obviously would be nice to have everyone fit but 1st world problems!


Well that didn’t go to your plan did it? 0 shots on target


Firstly, not my plan- I don’t pick the team!
Secondly, I could see the sense in the lineup given the lack of personnel- 3 at the back and a direct setup.
Thirdly, absolutely atrocious performance which an Accrington Stanley team playing 1-6-3 would have handled better!
But yes you’re right, positive words pre-game will always fall flat after a game like that.

It’s weird how poor we look this season given our performances against the bigger teams earlier on in Artetas stint as manager. Especially how bad we are at pressing these days. Very worrying.

The half

Cedric, Kolasinac

Wow. Just wow.

Old stimmo

Definitely out thought Pep in this selection


It’s a pity willian wasn’t available, he could have played a false 9 too


Kolasinac is more mobile than Mari

Bleeding gums murphy

Why not try Mari in midfield alongside Xhaka

Bleeding gums murphy

Please look up definition of irony 😂🤓

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Hahahaha! Please don’t give him ideas!

Bleeding gums murphy



Can’t wait for the Kolasinac reactions here!!


A player we literally can’t give away, starting against the best footballing side in the division. Hmmm.


Is pepe d latest to fall to the covid curse? Three at the back. Strange midfield. We can only hope

Bleeding gums murphy

Cedric holding chambers kolasinac, god help us. You would expect them four in a Sheffield United or Watford team.


That’s us I’m afraid.


Awful – all need replacing. Looks like he’s given up on Mari as well.

Why is Lokonga on the bench??


That public disagreement on the bench at WBA didn’t get resolved then….Kolasinac or Mari, what a choice.


Tapsoba upgrade next season hopefully…..


He knows Mari doesn’t have the mobility. We need Gabriel back *fast*.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Because Xhaka is the best player in the world.


Is there time to sell him still?

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Swap deal with PSG for Mbappe


But the other defenders are injured or not fit yet for selection

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Not even.


I do absolutely agree


no lokonga, kolasinac starting, quite the gamble
but i hope the front 4 thinks they are playing west brom away, cuz we need the 6-0 win #COYG

Nainsley Aitland Miles

If we win 5-0 we go above them on goal difference.


your vote ratio is 5-0 as i am posting this

Kareem Mohamed

And now yours is 😅


The old 5-1-4 formation. Looking forward to Xhaka dominating their midfield by himself

On the right path?



I strongly disagree with 99% of Arteta’s team selections


Wow, that’s not the team I expected & I don’t mean that in a good way!! Hopefully, my feelings about this team & likely set up are wrong 🤞


Nope you had the right feeling


Want to come back later and be proved absolutely wrong about what I think of those wing back selections.

Kareem Mohamed

I think Kola might be LCB (no way he is chosen over Tavares at LWB).

But tbh, I think I would rather just field Teirney there…




Kola!!? Hola Shit! Someone is pissed at Pablo. COYG

Viju Jacob

I think Arseta is tempting fate & signed his sack-wish. I can’t believe he set up the team this way and Xhaka in it again🤦. Why couldn’t he play Sambi instead?

In Arseta we rust.

Viju Jacob

Numptys who down voted are watching the match I hope.

Bill Hall

That’s an odd team selection!

Jeremy DG

Don’t mind the midfield and attack. That defence is though yuk. Leno out of form, chambers out of form, Cedric and kolasinac rubbish. Don’t actually think it will be anything more than a humbling loss but It would be so Arsenal to win this and lose to Norwich.

Corona XY

Don’t mind the midfield? That middle of the park is so thin! They’ll be up against Rodri, Bernardo and Gundogan – I’m terrified!


I’m with ‘Rona on this one. Xhaka as our ‘most defensive’ midfielder?


The full back back positions don’t fill me with any confidence at all. I really, really hope I am wrong but but I cannot see us getting anything from this game. I think 99% of us would take a draw right now


I think we would be happy with a draw even with our first choice 11.


I’m so confused…
is Smith-Rowe in central midfield or odegaard?
maybe both are with Saka as a second striker?
Is Tierney the LWB or is Kolasinac?
if the back 3 this week why not last week?
Cedric was rubbish against Chelsea – why not Maitland-Niles?

lots of questions…

Kareem Mohamed

You would think Maitland Niles would be a no brainer if we are playing with wingbacks…


Not risking injury ahead of his move to Everton?

Kareem Mohamed

I haven’t paid attention to his transfer saga in the past week, but why is he even on the bench if he is off to Everton?


AMN is the perfect player to defend Grealish. Cedric is certainly not.

Wherever they’re playing, Tierney & Tevares is better than Tierney and Kolasinac…

I’m not going to mention midfield because I don’t know where to start.

Didrik Plehn

AMN consider himself as a midfielder, that’s why he went on loan last season…

Pat Rice and Beans

Is Bellerin injured or what?

Didrik Plehn

Have been injured, not ready


I guess it’s 3-4-2-1 with saka and Eau de garde behind Auba


The exciting new fragrance for fans of the Arse…


Who’s the defensive midfielder in this team? Would have gambled with AMN or El Neny (strange as that sounds) alongside Xhaka.

They are going to likely overrun us in that midfield and have toy endlessly with our defense at this rate.

What the actual f?!


One thing I know: we’re fucked if we ever try playing from the back.


I understand the downvotes. There’s no “if”.


I also hope the FA wouldn’t cancel games for other teams when they start to have players out with Covid. Because it’s Arsenal now and no one seem interested.


Kolasinac making a comeback, was a plot twist nobody seen coming…

Fu*k knows what type of formation this is?

Talk about throwing a curve ball….

No Bellerin, even on the bench

Didrik Plehn

Bellerin has been injured, not ready. In addition, he want to leave.

Viv The 🐐

I never thought I would see Kolasinac back twice. Feels weird.


Its pretty much mission impossible with this lineup. I guess I’ll just try to enjoy the much as much as I can


Think that’s as much enjoyment for the day


Confusion everywhere arteta wont kill me 🤣🤣🤣


What a disgrace this is, our 30m center back in Saliba can’t event play ahead of kola.. Tavares and lokonga have done everything right, where are they?


Why do we have 2 keepers on the bench?

But to be fair with this lineup we should be allowed have two keepers on the field…


Why not three?


Why don’t we play one of our goalies on the front, it always worked in Fifa, we’ve got nothing to lose here anyway

Sensible move by Arteta putting an extra man in defence.

Pepe must have pulled out late for us to name 2 keepers on the bench, so hopefully not Covid.




I can only assume that Pepe is ill….?

And this fool reckons he gets off making people ‘happy’…..


What is that, a 5-1-3-1 formation? Or is Odegaard playing CM? Like Don Quixote, I’m baffled.


It’s a 1-2-3-2-1-1
An inverse, drunken diamond. All the coaching books call it revolutionary. It’s going to change the game forever I tell you !


3-4-3 probs


Pepe is unwell. Get well soon.

Diaby's Left Peg

Interesting selection.

But to people criticising it, look at that bench and who comes in? Maybe Ainsley for either full back but how much difference does that make?

Could be worse, could be playing Ronaldo, Kane or De Bruyne…


If Man City Draw or Lose this game, then they will have won, drawn and lost the same amount of games as we have

Just to put things into perspective.


Don’t hold yer breath…..


oh I’m not… but its better than holding onto the hope that so far this season, OD is averaging an assist a game, Auba scores 3 goals a game and Ramsdale is yet to be beaten.


So, is it 3-4-3 with Ø & Xhaka in CM?

Teryima Adi

Yes, we can. COYG!!!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

One of the worst lineups I’ve seen. The season starts in 2 weeks

Kentish Gooner

Yay we’re gonna get smashed with Cedric and Kola starting. I really don’t get it. What’s wrong with Chambers, Bellerin and Maitland-Niles?

John C

The surprise will be what formation we line up with, I’m going with a 433.

Back for of Cedric, Holding, Kolsainac, tierney

Midfield 3 of Chambers as a holder that slips into a back 3, Xhaka a little further forward on the left and Odegaard on the right

Saka right, Auba in the middle and Smith-Rowe on the left

Aleku Festo

Will real Xhaka manage to hold the city midfield I see something horrible happening this afternoon


Enough with the negativity.. Get behind the team.. COYG!!!




Ok that’s that then. Think I’ll go cut the grass


looks like a defensive compact 6 and fluid front 4. hopefully the talent shines through for us and not city.

Grannis Xhergkamp

Anyone know what has happened to Pepe?
Not even on the bench… (unles I’m just blind).

Lineup is very strange. Hope something even stranger happens and we get the result.
We probably will then lose the next match haha.

I’d be less surprised if I saw Arteta and Edu in the starting lineup.

Either way, full support as always, win lose or draw.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

I’m sure the the city team are shaking in their boots at the thought of how Xhaka is going to dominate them in midfield.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

If this is a bloodbath he should resign.*
If Xhaka gets sent off for a challenge that is as late as he is slow or looks bewildered by people who can actual run, MA should resign.**

*I know he won’t.
** I know he won’t.


With 50 minutes’ hindsight, this is a shockingly accurate comment.*

*I know he won’t.


Hope you placed a few bets 🙂

Viju Jacob

Prophetic about Xhaka


Woah there
I want your time machine

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

😂cry laughing 🥲

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

I’ve been in the time machine again and I can tell you that Xhaka starts, plays and is captain as soon as he’s back from suspension.


Ok, but now can you tell us the lottery numbers?

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Buying my tickets as we speak! 😂


Hmmm doesn’t go back 3 Vs Lukaku focussed attack. Goes back 3 Vs a midfield focussed attack. Feel we are going to get overrun. Hope I’m wrong.

Bleeding gums murphy

Chambers Leno 😂😂

Bleeding gums murphy

Sorry I’m not getting meself worked up today. I have high blood pressure as it is. Just gonna laugh at the keystone cops st the back

Bleeding gums murphy

Keep laughing folks😂😂

The Far Post

One CB with two RB and two LB. Hope it works. Excited!

Didrik Plehn

Pépé probably out with COVID-19


I’m looking forward to after the interlull. We’ve had to play the Championship play off Champions, the European Champions League Champions and now the Premiership Champions. It can only get better. Can’t it?

Kentish Gooner

Cool, game over six minutes into the match. Trust the process.

Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

Not even sure what we’re seeing here sadly.

Kentish Gooner

I’m seeing people mentioning the 8-2. Can see this being a PL record loss. I have absolutely no faith in this manager or team. He’s been hacked to the hilt, yet still lines up with two defenders that were essentially left out in the cold all last season – one of which he signed. I’m done with this sh*t. This Arsenal isn’t our Arsenal.

Kentish Gooner


Reiss Neverseen vs DicTetaBall

I’m not even sure what we can say anymore. This is a project clearly falling by the wayside.


The 8-2 was respectable until the 4th goal. This was respectable until the 4th minute.

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