By Bulldog Drummond
I made an attempt a week or two back at predicting who we might have in the team at this stage, and got suitably hammered for my efforts, partly in terms of team layout (suggesting Granit X was more than just a defensive midfielder) and partly for personnel (I left out Santi Caz because I don’t know where he is).
Arsenal,com have a list of players who might take part, which is presumably accurate
- Per Mertesacker,
- Theo Walcott,
- Mohamed Elneny,
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
- Jeff Reine-Adelaide
So no Santi there either. But who else is around?
Goal: Emiliano Martinez has been added to the first team squad, and is the only one not to have played in the summer’s two main tournaments.
Defence: Gibbs, Holding, Monreal, Chambers. I am not sure about Jenkinson
Midfield: Santi Cazorla – I guess he is ok and part of the gang today. Plus Coquelin
Attack: Iwobi, Sanogo, Akpom, Gnabry. Gnabry is the odd one who had that weird waste of time in WBA and came back and vanished again on the night of the under 21 play off game.
So that gives us (combining Arsenal’s highlighted list and those I am working out)
- Goalkeepers: 1
- Defenders: 5 maybe 6 if Jenkinson is ok
- Midfield: 3 (Santi, Elneny, Coquelin)
- Attack: 7.
So the attack looks bountiful: Iwobi, Sanogo, Akpom, Gnabry, Theo, Ox, Jeff.
Trying to pick youngsters to fit into this group, and recognising that the team will change at half time, is a bit tough. But I would go for Matt Macey in goal, Julio Pleguezuelo in defence, Krystian Bielik in midfield, Christopher Willock as a forward.
That gives us a squad of 20, which it just about enough to keep going. Here is the line up from the Independent web site
Chambers, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal;
Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Walcott;
No Santi Caz there. What is going on? The Evening Standard has an article with the headline including “team news” but they don’t put up a team.
So on the Lens… Here is last season’s top 10 from the second division in France. The top three were promoted to the 1st division at the end.
Not the best of goal scorers by the looks of things. But there is a bit of history there.
Lens were promoted to the first division on the final day of the season in 2014. But then the League’s National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG) found irregularities in the club’s proposed budget for its next season. The issue was a €10 million payment due from a shareholder that was missing from the accounts.
Lens president claimed a public holiday in the donor’s native Azerbaijan had resulted in the delay and said the club would appeal. By 15 July the missing money had still not shown up. Further appeals meant that the club was able to play in the top division but…
It was announced on 29 January 2015 that Lens’ promotion from Ligue 2 at the end of the 2013–14 season had been properly ruled invalid, and they would thus be automatically relegated to Ligue 2 for the 2015–16 season, regardless of where the team places. Thus, in August 2015 Lens returned to Ligue 2.
They play at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. The stadium’s capacity is 41,229 all seated – about 4,000 more than the city’s population. The manager is Alain Casanova who previously managed Toulouse.
I am still struggling to find out any more about Arsenal’s team for today, so please chip in. If I find more I will update.
Update: IB Times says
There has been a distinct lack of Santi Cazorla in training pictures released by Arsenal over the last week, despite the Spaniard revealing via Twitter on 4 July that he was back in training. His name was also omitted from the shortlist of first-team players listed as travelling on Arsenal’s official website. With his participation in doubt, Coquelin could feature.
IB also says
Gedion Zelalem, Ben Sheaf, Marcus McGuane and Krystian Bielik are among the other Arsenal hopefuls pictured in training this week who could make the trip. Joel Campbell, who recently underlined his intention to fight for a first-team role in north London, could also make the trip withYaya Sanogo and Chuba Akpom also back at the club.
Untold Arsenal of course has its man on the spot – Walter is at the match (as long as the tickets turned up in the post) and he’ll be giving us the usual run down on the game from inside the stadium tomorrow.
Actual team as on Arsenal.com
Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Monreal,
Walcott, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide,
On the beach: Macey, Gibbs, Bielik, Zelalem, Campbell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Willock, Gnabry