Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


June 2021

Red Star Belgrade v Arsenal: the team and early prognostications and whatnot

by Bulldog Drummond

Stadion Rajko Mitić


And so off we go again into foreign parts, primarily with a different team from that which played at the weekend in the League.

Just so you know what to expect here is a picture of the stadium.

It is a 2 hours 40 minutes flight, and there is also a one hour time difference – Serbia is an hour ahead.

The total distance is just over 1000 miles.




Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

The team that we used to play BATE Borisov should give us a fair old clue as to those whom we might see in Serbia. Just to remind ourselves here it was…


Holding, Mertesacker, Mustafi,

Nelson,                                                             Maitland-Niles,

Willock,                                        Elneny,

Walcott,                  Wilshere,


Subs: Macey, Dasilva, Gilmour, McGuane, Dragomir, Akpom, Nketiah

Now of that collection of fine fellows we know that Mustafi can’t play, and I suspect Mertesacker won’t be asked to play two games in a row.  Same in an ideal world for Elneny, at least in the starting line up.  But…

On this basis, and given that most people seemed to think that the team against BATE did ok, we would need a central defender and a defensive midfielder.

The latter is fairly easy to find, assuming he is fighting fit – Coquelin, allowing Elneny to go onto the beach or be available to play in central defence, as he started to do in the Australian tour.   As for the centre back, I can’t think we’d take Koscielny, so we need someone other than Mert, Monreal and Kos.

Debuchy and Chambers are the two other men on the books, and Chambers is injured, which brings us down to three options

a) bring Debuchy back into the team

b) play Elneny in the heart of the back three

c) retain Mertesacker

But there might be one more option: bringing in one of the youngsters.  Now as always I have to admit that I am not watching the under 23s regularly enough to see exactly who is coming through, but I just wonder about Krystian Bielik and whether he might be ready to step up.  He was on loan with Birmingham last season, and didn’t even make the beach for the last Europa game, and if he doesn’t now, and the reason is not one of injury, then we might beginning to wonder about his future.

So what have we got?


Holding,           A,                   B,

Nelson,                                                             Maitland-Niles,

Willock,                                                       Coquelin

Walcott,                  Wilshere,


For A and B positions I’ve got two from Elneny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Bielik

I’ve put in Coquelin, but if he is being held back for the next league game we could use any of Dasilva, Gilmour, or McGuane.

The subs would then be those who are not used in positions A and B above plus the keeper Macey and the two forwards we saw last time giving us…

Macey, Dasilva, Gilmour, McGuane, Dragomir, Akpom, Nketiah plus one – Mert (to keep the kiddies in order if he is not playing), Bielik, or Elneny if he is not playing.

And so there we are.  It’s moderately logical, and probably completely wrong.

In the qualifying round for the Europa, Red Star beat Floriana of Malta, 3-0 at home and drew 3-3 in the Med.   More recently this season they have played thus…

Date Competition Home team Score Away team
Sun 24/09/17 Serbian League Crvena Zvezda 2 – 0 Vojvodina
Thu 28/09/17 Europa League Köln 0 – 1 Crvena Zvezda
Sun 01/10/17 Serbian League Napredak 1 – 0 Crvena Zvezda
Wed 11/10/17 Serbian Cup Crvena Zvezda 5 – 0 Dinamo Vranje
Sat 14/10/17 Serbian League Crvena Zvezda 4 – 0 Mačva Šabac

That gives them four wins and one defeat in the last five games and ten for with none against in the last three games.

Here is their league table

# Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 12 10 1 1 28 2 +26 31
2 12 8 3 1 24 9 +15 27
3 13 8 2 3 16 10 +6 26
4 12 7 4 1 27 12 +15 25
5 13 7 4 2 22 11 +11 25

So soaring away at the top of the league with only two goals conceded through the 12 games so far.  The kiddies will need to be careful…

More on the game in the coming days.

Recent Posts

9 comments to Red Star Belgrade v Arsenal: the team and early prognostications and whatnot

  • alex

    Bielik was injured last time I’ve heard of him. It seemed pretty longish too.

  • Steve Vallins

    Hi Mr Bulldog Drummond
    I’m sure Bielik is out till at least Xmas with a dislocated shoulder which I think was operated on

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    After their Watford PL away match lose debacle last Saturday evening, Arsenal have an opportunity to use this their Europa League Cup match away to Red Star Belgrade on Thursday night’s to bounce back into winning ways once again in preparation for their MUStT win first away Premier League match of this season against Everton next Sunday.

    But rightnow, Arsenal have a near centre-backs crisis in their first team squad on their hands to cope with and come out of their next two consecutive away games in all competitions not only unbeaten but win them all.

    Apart of Holding who should start this Red Star match, who are the remaining two centrebacks Le Prof will start for this EL Cup match and not jeopardized the outcome of the match as Mertesacker may not be able to play another cruel some match within three days interval and with the two centrebacks of Monreal, Koscielny and himself should be preserved to start the difficult Everton game. I think these two issues in centreback options is the problem confronting Le Prof now in this Arsenal away EL Cup match against Red Star and he has to solve the problem correctly.

    Debuchy has not been heard of neither has he been seen in any Arsenal game sitting on the bench and come on get into action for Arsenal to regain copetitive match fitness. So, how can Le Prof start him for Red Star? He may have him on the bench but not in his starts. I am running out of battery, till latter.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Heir get Burd did an excellent piece a few days ago about the young central defenders and who is ready to step up. Sadly at the moment there is something of an injury crisis at that level

    Bielik is out with a dislocated shoulder and unlikely to play for another couple of month.

    Ben Sheaf is also out with a fractured vertebrae and he hasn’t player at all yet this season.

    Julio Pleguezuelo is also injured, he came off injured in the U23 match against Leicester last month.

    Marcus McGuane has tended to be used as a CB in the absence of the other CBS. He was on the bench for the Bate game so is a possibility

    I guess that for this week it is most likely that Elneny will be called in as cover.

    Of course this is all Arsene’s fault as we clearly should have signed st least three more Centre Backs to cover for the six who are currently Banks es!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Autocorrect struck again

    Jeorge Bird wrote the article. On Arsenal

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    In the U23 game this evening both Debuchy and Coquelinayed 45 minutes. Debuchy had a header ruled out for offside. Arsenal. Eat Sunderland by two goals to nil courtesy of Dragomir (48 min) and Akpom (77 min).Reine-Adelaide only lasted 20 minutes before he was replaced by Ben Sheaf.

    Quite possible that Debuchy and Coquelin will be involved on Thursday I would think

  • kronologik

    Difficult ground to visit indeed. Would suggest to check out how Olympiakos despatched them here earlier in qualifying ground, fast counter attack is the best way to deal with this team.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I want to see Coquelin start in the Everton game as DM. So, if Le Prof agrees, he should not start him for Red Star but could have him on the bench for the should in case. Well, since Debuchy has been given a 45 minutes runout in the Sunderland game for the U23 and since there is scarcity of senior centre-back options for this Red Star match, I think Le Prof can take a compelling gamble to start Debuchy for this Red Star match. But has he played in a back three before? Maybe he has at U23 level. The 33 year old Debuchy is an experienced defender who if Le Prof gives him a start in this match should avail himself with the opportunity to stake a comeback into contention for a regular place in the EL & Carabao Cup games for Arsenal. True, ElNeny might be played as one of the three cenre-backs for this match.Thus, my envisaged Le Prof’s start and bench for the match reads;

    Debuchy Holding ElNeny
    Nelson Maitland-Niles Wilshere Willock Walcott Giroud Dasilva.
    For his protection, I don’t want to see Wilshere playing in the front three firing line but he can be interchanging positions with Dasilva at random during playing. For me, these starters are okay for this match. But it’s what is okay for Le Prof that mattered most. Anyway, I think he should repose confidence in me just as I have it in him.

    Macey Gilmour McGuane Dragomir Coquelin Nketiah Akpom.

  • colario

    Could we have a summary of the post at 7.49 please?