BATE v Arsenal: ruminations on the team, the injuries and BATE’s potential

by Bulldog Drummond

Arsenal’s commentary on the injured shows us

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang In full training.
    Mesut Ozil In full training.
    Sokratis In full training ahead of schedule.
    Granit Xhaka In full training.
    Aaron Ramsey Right knee. Being assessed ahead of BATE Borisov (a).

Whether they will all play or not is another matter of course, but it gives us some options.

BATE are of course the champions of Belarus, because, well, they are always the champions.  They have been champions every year since 2006, which means it must be getting a bit boring.  Last season they won the league by just nine points which perhaps was a bit of a slow down for them.

If Arsenal need an extra advantage it is that the Belarus football season is a summer season – so they have not been playing much football of late.  On the other hand it is likely to be rather cold – probably a few degrees below zero.

As for the team, Transfer Tavern could be getting themselves into a spot of hot water as they are reporting threats of rioting by fans if Mesut Ozil doesn’t play – although quite why this is the case I am not sure – and neither it seems are they.  Rioting in an ex-soviet republic that has no real form of democracy seems to me to be a bit of an odd idea.    Maybe they just set up a fake account to give themselves a headline.

I guess the prime issue however is whether the boss is going to put out some of the youngsters for the match – even though we are now in the knock out stages.   The boss could leave the youngsters until the return match, but he might give a game to Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Mohamed Elneny and Joe Willock played in the Huddersfield match and so they could be part of the show too.  Suarez and Iwobi might be there as well.

Overall the SportsMole goes with a team made up of


Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal;

Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac;

Suarez, Ozil,


I am not too sure about this.  Cech not getting a place in goal doesn’t seem too like to me for a little danger Europa game, and not giving any youngsters a chance doesn’t feel right either.   Although it could be argued that they will be used if all goes according to plan and we get a good lead.

BATE’s last five games in the Belarus League at the tail end of their last season don’t really give much of a clue as to where they are…

Date Home team Score
Away team
21 Nov 2018 Shakhtyor 3 – 0 Bate Borisov
24 Nov 2018 Bate Borisov 4 – 1 Luch Minsk
29 Nov 2018 Bate Borisov 2 – 0 MOL Vidi
02 Dec 2018 Torpedo Zh 2 – 2 Bate Borisov
13 Dec 2018 PAOK Salonika 1 – 3 Bate Borisov

Overall, on paper there should not really be any problem – but unfortunately Arsenal don’t play on paper.

Last season we beat them 0-6 away and 4-2 at home in the Europa League group stages.  And we should remember that in 2015/16 they got through to the Champions League group stages where they did indeed beat Roma.

They are by no means a top club, but they are not utterly useless either.



8 Replies to “BATE v Arsenal: ruminations on the team, the injuries and BATE’s potential”

  1. Widespread reports that Özil wasn’t on the plane. Nketiah was but none of the other “youngsters”.

  2. Waoh! Why has Emery decided to drop Joe Willock for the BATE match? I think Willock is said can run into goals scoring position in the box to score and can also be at the right position at the right time in the box to score from the rebounds. But Emery has taken Nkethia to Belarus for the match but he hasn’t score in a competitive match at senior team level for Arsenal this season or even before unlike Willock who has at senior team competitive match level scored for Arsenal. Why didn’t Emery then take both Willock and Nkethia to Belarus for BATE? And Ozil is reportedly will not be at the game in Belarus to play against BATE. Well, Emery is the Gunners boss who makes the decisions. Let’s hope he has gotten the decision he took for BATE right for that’s what is important.

    Anyway and nevertheless, on paper, Arsenal should beat BATE Borisov at away in the 1st leg of the round of 32 teams match of the Europa League if not by 6 nil again tomorrow nigh but at least by 3 nil which if achieved will make Arsenal to be in pole position to knock BATE out from the competition with another defeat inflicted to them in the 2nd leg match at the Ems. And I believe Arsenal would have fully prepared themselves adequately to top BATE in all aspects of playing the match tomorrow night. And return home with a resounding victory over BATE.

    The Arsenal 3-4-2-1 formation starting XI and the 7 Gunners I have on the bench whom I want to see Emery use to play the BATE match are as below.

    Mustafi Koscielny Monreal;
    Guendouzi Torreira;
    iwobi AMN Mkhitaryan Kolasinac;

    What a strong Arsenal starting XI against BATE that I have up there. And Iwobi start the match at the right wing. Did he not score at away against Huddersfield from the right wing in the PL? Hmmm.

    Illev Lichtsteiner Jenkinson Mavropanous Elneny Suarez Nkethia. Hmmm.

    My bench for the match is looking quite strong too. But if Lacazette is on the plane, who should I drop on my bench to have him on it? He must be on the bench if he is not starting. For, he wouldn’t have travelled to Belarus if he has travelled to go and what the match. I think I’ll leave it to Emery to decide.

  3. “Last season we beat them 0-6 away and 4-2 at home in the Europa League group stages.”

    No, it was the other way around. We beat them 4-2 away with Giroud’s 100th goal for Arsenal being the most important part of the game and then we thrashed them at home with Elneny scoring a lovely goal.

  4. OT: Corruption

    A few variations on the link in the medja today. The report goes on to say that tennis leads football by a little bit. If 86% is both tennis and football, half of 86 is 43. So, if we round up to 50% for tennis, we are left with about 36% for football. So perhaps a round number for describing football by itself, is to say that about 1/3 of suspicious betting comes form football?

    The report goes on to say that Europe is the largest source of things (or that’s my interpretation), and Asia in second.

    I see nothing really country specific.

  5. Guardian has a lineup out.

    Arsenal (3-4-2-1)
    Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal,
    Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Kolasinac;
    Mkhitaryan, Iwobi;

    Beach: Leno, Elneny, Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Aubameyang, Suarez, Nketiah.

    That looks like the same lineup at UEFA.con.


  6. Drat, we give up a goal on half time. It looks like we are taking some shots. Some are getting blocked and some are on target.


  7. live match report is on line. I will try to update it but have some connection problems

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