Arsenal: If there is a game in the Ukraine who will play? And if not, why not?

By Bulldog Drummond

We have a certain lack of certainty today over such issues as

a) will the game be played at all

b) who will play in the Arsenal team.

Yesterday we had a brief look at the regulations that Uefa were using to impose a move of the match from the normal venue to the nominated second venue, and rather surprisingly there seems to be no clarification thus far as to whether the match will go ahead at all.

All we do seem to know for sure is who is in the squad.   The list appears to be…

Cech, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Lichsteiner, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Jenkinson, Martinez, Guendouzi, Gilmour, Iliev, Medley, Nketiah, Osei Tutu, Smith Rowe, Thompson, Willock, John Jules, Saka.

For the first match at Arsenal Stadium we had


Lichsteiner Sokratis Holding Monreal

Torreira Elneny

Welbeck Mkhitaryan Iwobi


Which is now obviously going to change.

We don’t have Kolasinac, nor Pleguezuelo, Mustafi, Sokratis, Holding etc etc

Elneny could play at centre-back, a role that he has played in before. Up front we seem to have placed Eddie as the key player with Smith Rowe, Ramsey and MKhitaryan  behind him.  Which then gives us this sort of line up


Lichtsteiner, Holding, Elneny, Jenkinson,

Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles,

Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Smith Rowe,


But then again, there is no certainty there is going to be a game at all.

However not everyone agrees – and they don’t just see a different team on the pitch they have other people on the plane as well.   Here is the Express’ team published on line today at 0632…


Lichsteiner Pleguezuelo Holding Jenkinson

Elneny Maitland-Niles

Smith Rowe    Ramsey    Iwobi


So here’s a thought.  Maybe there are two planes carrying Arsenal players.   Maybe there is a third venue.  Maybe they are going to play at both venues at once.  Maybe I’ve got the wrong squad details.  Maybe there is no crisis.   Maybe the Express has got it all wrong.

No that last one couldn’t be right.

Could it?

Who knows?   But let us save a moment to think of the players who are actually in the squad who don’t even get on the bench.  It’s a long way to go for something that isn’t happening.   I mean I only have to walk across the room and put the TV on.   They’ve had to get into the plane, sit still, walk across the tarmac, get into the coach and drive to the hotel, then get up again, and quite possibly come home.

And what about the poor TV stations.  What are they going to show if the game doesn’t go ahead?

It’s tough to know.   It is a tough old world.   Maybe the game won’t be played at all.

Writing match previews isn’t supposed to be like this.

6 Replies to “Arsenal: If there is a game in the Ukraine who will play? And if not, why not?”

  1. Sorry to go of topic, but lets be honest it is a bit quiet anyway.

    I was just having a look on for the latest news on tonight’s game (nothing more than untold has already informed us about at this stage) when I came across this interesting stat via a tweet:

    ‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now scored with each of his last 8 shots on target in the Premier League. West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski was the last GK to save one of his shots in August! The last player to score with 9 consecutive shots on target in the PL – Berbatov in Sep 2012’

    Amazing stat, and lets hope he keeps it going this weekend.

    Add this to the time-per-goal stat that is also very impressive, and we obviously have a great player on our hands, and whats more I personally think there is more to come.

    Way to go PEA.

    Good luck to the guys tonight(assuming it goes ahead of course).


  2. OT: Caution League

    In keeping this caution league up to date, it is apparent that Liverpool was consistently at the low end of receiving caution. Most of how I am measuring caution, is based on what the referee does, a little is independent of that.

    In the news today, are a bunch of stories out of yesterday’s Champions League game between PSG and Liverpool. It was brought up that Liverpool has won the EPL Fair Play award a number of times in a row (most said twice, at least one said three times). That at least makes it possible for it to be Klopp’s policy for his players to not foul opposition, which would lead to a reduced amount of caution being measured for Liverpool.

    Is that how most Untolder’s see Liverpool, as a team trying to avoid fouling opposition? Or has Liverpool had meetings with PGMO in the hopes of getting special treatment? Or something else?


    Nice trivia on PEA Nitram.

    I too wish good luck for the team, assuming the game is played.

  3. Why would we take 3 goalkeepers and only one striker?

    Mkhitaryan seems to be available for every match in very competitiion.

  4. I ran across a News blurb from the Kyiv Post about the game. The page at Kyiv Post, originates with the Associated Press, and is just a short summary saying the game is on. There is a link to more information, which directs you to an article at the Washington Post. Can’t the Kyiv Post do its own work?

  5. @Gord,

    The 7amkickoff blog had a very good numerical analysis piece that I picked up yesterday showing just how odd Dean’s numbers are in our games compared with those of the other ‘top six’ clubs.

    Of course that assumes that people understand analysis which clearly the writer on I news can’t

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