Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Gabriel on the bench, Rice, Timber, Havertz start: Arsenal v Nottingham Forest – team news

It’s the first Premier League game of the season, and we take on Nottingham Forest at home.

Here are the official line-ups.

Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Timber, Partey, Rice, Odegaard, Havertz, Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah

Subs: Hein, Tomiyasu, Kiwior, Gabriel, Jorginho, Smith Rowe, Nelson, Vieira, Trossard

Nottingham Forest: Turner, Worrall, Mangala, Gibbs-White, Johnson, Yates, Aurier, McKenna, Danilo, Boly, Aina

Subs: Horvarth, Williams, Kouyate, Awoniyi, Wood, Niakhate, Elanga, Freuler, O’Brien

Follow the game on the Arseblog live blog

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Johnny 4 Hats

Er… What now? 

Johnny 4 Hats

So the BBC have Saka as the 8, Havertz as the CF, Nketiah at RWF and Rice as CB.

Surely that’s not right…?

Johnny 4 Hats

Arteta just inverted my brain.


Any chance you feel better now or do you need to invert one of those hat as well?

Johnny 4 Hats

I inverted my hat once but I became Leverkusen centre back Jonathan Tah.

(This is actually a very clever joke)

Adam Goon

Thats AI for you!

Johnny 4 Hats

Arteta Intellect?


Rice at LB, Timber at RB maybe? Would be surprised if Partey wasn’t anchoring midfield.


box midfield




white – saliba – timber
partey – rice
odegaard – havertz
saka – nketiah – martinelli

Johnny 4 Hats

This makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the clarity dude.

But a little surprised we didn’t try this system out in preseason…

Or maybe we did and I just wasn’t concentrating.

Johnny 4 Hats

Plus, they are 3 at the back so maybe we are matching them like-for-like.

Johnny 4 Hats

I love that Arteta is like “fuck 2 centre backs. Saliba can do both”.




Or Partey at right back as we ended last season?


You can say that again.

Wow this is exciting, and a bit scary. Feels like a radical departure and something I’m not sure if neither our players nor the opposition know what to do with

The Arsenal

Herbert Chapman would be proud if that’s the case.


The beautiful thing about this is our two wide centre-backs in this lineup are also top quality fullbacks. Or the fullbacks are also top quality centre-backs. This is just masterful team building.


Plus Thomas can cover White if he makes a run and Rice can cover Timber

Hopeful Gooner

Seriously though, Trossard ahead of Nketiah all day long no matter what…


We can bring him on during the second half

Bleeding Gums Murphy

I agree but I have this feeling nketia will score today.


Can you do us tonight’s lottery numbers while you’re on a roll?


Partey RB is my guess


He is going to play as Dm. We will switch to 3-4-3


That would’ve made no sense given we have two healthy top class RBs


Arteta did say he wanted to be unpredictable

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

He also said he had new ideas but the run in wasn’t the right time to try them


Wow that is a bad lineup to try in the first game of the season


Not if it works


Partey at RB again. We did this against Forest last season. Gabriel must have a knock which is throwing everyone a bit.


Must be an injury concern with big Gabi surely? COYG


Nope. He is on the bench


WHAT?!?! Where the hell did that lineup come from? That reads like a Forest fan picked it! We are still gonna win anyway but bloody hell that’s bizarre!


Arteta overthinking and trying to be too clever.

What’s the point of pre-season if you’re experimenting in the first competitive game?

Just play your strongest team, Arteta!!!
It’s not hard!!!


Probably same system different personnel


Why no Gabriel?!
This is all a fucking joke!!!
Just play your fucking strongest team!!!


I’m assuming he’s hurt, otherwise he always plays. Literally always.

Bleeding Gums Murphy

Other than when he doesn’t play and then it’s not Literally always.

89 again

Maybe wait until the 1st game of the seasons starts before having a melt down.

Man Manny

I wish you’d wait for information rather than react based on assumptions.


I honestly don’t understand this line up. Arteta better make sure we win, else he’ll come in for a lot of questioning.


Don’t judge the team looking at the line up buddy!!, Its how we play when we have zinchenko playing. It will look much better when we are playing


Lol. Beginning of season and we are already seeing some Pep-like line up! Partey at right back? Don’t think I fancy it, but I am not the boss.


Interesting that Kiwior doesn’t get the nod, with Timber outside him…


He’ll play the Cup games


I’m not sure if it’s as much about our CB situation as Arteta wanting to try this out for the sake of having a 4 man midfield with Rice, Partey, Ode and Havertz all together. Firstly because that’s a fucking scary midfield and hard to leave anyone there off, and playing Havertz in his more natural attacking position rather than the Xhaka role, but maybe also because there’s something particular about Forest he identified to necesitate this.

Sammy Nelsons Arse

We haven’t got a clue how they will line up neither will Forest

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Good point


Partey at RB again. We did this against Forest last season. Gabriel must have a knock which is throwing everyone a bit.


I know you have to keep the opposition guessing but your own team too?

Third Gooner

Arteta the Mr. Unpredictable!

Norwegian Wood

The famed WM.

White, Saliba, Timber at the back.

Partey and Rice as CDMs, with white given the license to roam.

Havertz and Odegaard as Cams, forming a boxed midfield with Partey Rice.

Then three forwards.

What is most interesting is that White can easily drop into defense to make us a back four out of possession, then step out of it to create the situation I described up there once we regain possession.

This is the future of this wonderful club, people. It is exciting.

Norwegian Wood

Rice* can drop into defense…



Is this the suprise element Arteta was talking about all this time? I hope to see Ramsdale as a defender one of those days lol


Or maybe even as coach:)

Ponsonby Gooner

3-2-2-3 Arteta expecting a low block so trying something new using less defenders?


Partey RB?
With TT and JK on the bench not sure why?




that’s what i thought.


Very strange but I hope we win


Looks like a 3-5-2 with Kai and Eddie up front, and White Saliba Timber at the back.

Adam Goon

I hope trying to fit in Partey, Rice and Havertz has not broken Arteta early.

Bill Hall

It’s not that different, if you took Havertz out and Gabriel made it a back four that would be our normal line up, well apart from Eddie replacing injured Jesus!

James have Partey 2nd on the team sheet, RB.


Still trying to figure out the lineup


Possibly back 3 to counter their overcrowding of midfield?


Partey at Right-back again? With Ben White and Saliba shifted over?
Surely that can’t be right, but I have no idea what else it could be.


Interesting line up and formation, could possibly be playing with 3 cb’s and Saka and Martinelli as wing backs. Maybe would allow one of the centre backs to roam further forward causing more confusion for Forest.

I miss santi cazorla

Inverted wingbacks


Partey and Rice covering for the cb who moves forward, making the movement of players very unpredictable, excited to see how it pans out.


Jusus, Zinchenko, Tierney, Holding, Elneny and Balogun are not in the team nor on the bench for different reasons. This season it’s even competitive to be on the bench!


Oh wow how Tierney not even on bench. Interesting…

Public Elneny

So it seems to be either a back 3, or a back 4 with Rice at CB or (please no) Partey at RB

Hmm, the Saliba-Gabriel CB partnership is a real position of strength for us. I really hope Arteta doesn’t plan to break it up


Arsenal (3-4-3, right to left): Ramsdale (GK) — White, Saliba, TImber — Odegaard, Partey, Rice, Havertz — Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli




Turner finally gets to start at the carpet in PL, but will play for Forest instead. We’ll score against him, surely.

Man Manny

Good God! I have been turning this lineup this way and that in my head like a picture puzzle. Is Partey right back? Could it be White and Saliba at CB?
I just have to watch the game, it seems.
The important thing though is the three points and a convincing win.

The Arsenal

So everyone’s inverted.

I miss santi cazorla

When was the last time white played in the central defence?


I’d said 3-2-4-1
Just I thought Gabriel rather than Timber


Trust the process everyone … we know forest will use a low block with everyone behind the ball and try hit us on the break… so 3 at that back makes sense … be nice if Kai could play target man feeding Martinelli, saka and nketia with flick on from head and foot ….

come on you gunners

The Arsenal

Game delayed as Arteta has jammed everyones brain with his lineup

dr Strange

Just watched the prematch with Arteta and Gabriel isn’t injured.

I bet I will be proven wrong but in that case this lieup is just stupid.


Hope the new lineup works better than the new ticketing system


I hope this ArtetA system will function better than the new Arsenal Ticketing System 😄


KT nowhere to be seen………


Could be he’s being held out as transfer negotiations for him on underway.


Wonder if there is an issue with Gabriel such as an illness or a slight injury making him not quite 100% and Arteta just being safe with him. Seems really strange to have the player that played the most minutes last season of any field player (only missed 11 minutes out of the full premier league season) not start the first match so Nketiah could start unless there is an issue of some sort.


nketiah – always on the teamsheet, never on the pitch


Didn’t age well

Public Elneny

I don’t know, how do we have the depth we do and end up with Partey at right back after 1 injury? Like what’s the point in having Kiwior if he’s not going to play today?


“I always dreamed of starting a Premier League match at theEmirates. So I left and joined Foresr.”


Arteta is doing too much.
This is really not necessary.
Even if it does work, why tinker so much?
And I still don’t think having Raya compete with Ramsdale is a good idea


I don’t think the players trust Kai Harvetz yet.
They seem reluctant to pass to him. Kai has not helped either with misplaced passes.


I think after all the years I have watched Arsenal play I believe they always complicate the way they play and always struggle to beat low end teams, like last year, because they try to be too clever for their own good! Todays game was a prime example of the system, instead of playing our strongest back line of Gabriel, Saliba, Timber, white, Arteta had to accommodate Nketiah and ruined Arsenals fluent way of playing, we need to pick our strongest team and play with venom and not have any compromises if we are serious title contenders! Arteta listen and… Read more »

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