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Valencia v Arsenal. Media predicts Arsenal will play with only 10 men.

By Bulldog Drummond

The question is simple: do the recent reversals and upsets in the league make the players more determined in the Europa semi-final, or do those reversals leave them worried about making a mistake, tentative for fear of being the one to let in a goal?

We know the season is gone and we’ll end up outside what used to be the “not a trophy” positions but are now the “promised land” positions that we can’t reach.   Results have been disappointing – except for the win over Valencia.

But what of Valencia?

April saw them beat Real Madrid, and then lose to Rayo Vallecano.  They beat Levante and Real Betis, but lost to Atletico Madrid.  Then they lost at home to Eibar – but recovered to beat Huesca away 2-6.

Which leaves the league table looking perhaps like this… and I say perhaps because I have copied it from the usually reliable BBC website, but as you can see Sevilla are placed sixth although they have a better goal difference than Valencia.  Maybe you can tell me why.
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Barcelona 36 25 8 3 86 34 52 83
2 Altetico Madrid 36 22 8 6 52 26 26 74
3 Real Madrid 36 21 5 10 62 41 21 68
4 Getafe 36 15 13 8 46 31 15 58
5 Valencia 36 13 16 7 46 34 12 55
6 Sevilla 36 16 7 13 59 46 13 55
7 Atletic Bilbao 36 12 14 10 38 42 -4 50

With two games to go is is just possible for the seventh placed Atletic Bilbao to get into the top six and so claim a European place but it would mean one of Valencia and Sevilla losing both games while Bilbao won both, and with a movement of 16 goals.   So Valencia might lost 0-4 twice and Bilbao win 4-0 twice; that would do it.

I doubt anyone is really thinking about that, so Valencia are, like Arsenal, secure in the Europa next season and the issue on their minds is simply that of beating Arsenal 2-0, to make it 3-3, and give them entry to the Europa League cup final on goal difference across the two games.

3-1 would make it 4-4 overall of course, and that would lead to extra time and if not settled then, penalties.  4-2 to them, and any higher scoring game separated by two goals, would give the match overall to Arsenal on away goals.  Which means Arsenal need a tight defence.

If we look at the run through March and April we see that Arsenal did indeed have the tightest of defences:

Date Game Res Score Competition
0 Mar 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United W 2-0 Premier League
14 Mar 2019 Arsenal v Rennes W 3-0 Europa League
01 Apr 2019 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 2-0 Premier League
07 Apr 2019 Everton v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
11 Apr 2019 Arsenal v Napoli W 2-0 Europa League
15 Apr 2019 Watford v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
18 Apr 2019 Napoli v Arsenal W 0-1 Europa League

Seven matches with just one goal against us.  One could argue that the teams we were playing were not that good, but one goal conceded in seven still suggests a good defence.

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Now we are told that Arsenal is hopeless because everyone can see the defence is useless.

21 Apr 2019 Arsenal v Crystal Palace L 2-3 Premier League
24 Apr 2019 Wolverhampton W v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
28 Apr 2019 Leicester City v Arsenal L 3-0 Premier League
02 May 2019 Arsenal v Valencia W 3-1 Europa League
05 May 2019 Arsenal v Brighton and Hove D 1-1 Premier League

Five games and 11 against us.   Of course runs like this can change and change again but for now that is the run we are stuck in.

We know that Eddie, Koscielny, Willock, and Mkhitaryan are within the squad that has travelled – it reads

Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Bernd Leno, Deyan Iliev

Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Midfielders: Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi, Joe Willock

Forwards: Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah

From this we have a team identified by the Standard as…

Cech,

Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles,

Torreira, Xhaka,

Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Now it may strike you that something is wrong here – and indeed it is, but I promise you, the Standard only nominated 10 players – maybe they think Maitland and Niles are two separate players.

The Independent manages also not to get a whole set of players together…

Cech,

Mustafi, Sokratis, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles,

Torreira, Xhaka, Iwobi,

Lacazette, Aubameyang

Yep, same players.

Could one have copied the other???  My guess is that we will use 11 players – although who the 11th will be, is open to debate.  Monreal?

Here is the full set of results between the two…

Date Match Res Score Competition
14 May 1980 Valencia v Arsenal L 0-0 European Cup Winners Cup
04 Apr 2001 Arsenal v Valencia W 2-1 Champions League
17 Apr 2001 Valencia v Arsenal L 1-0 Champions League
10 Dec 2002 Arsenal v Valencia D 0-0 Champions League
19 Mar 2003 Valencia v Arsenal L 2-1 Champions League
02 May 2019 Arsenal v Valencia W 3-1 Europa League

My guess is that we will lose 2-1 and thus reach the final.  And yes, 11 players on each team.  At least at the start.

20 comments to Valencia v Arsenal. Media predicts Arsenal will play with only 10 men.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And let us hope we can keep the 11 players on the field till the end….

  • Josif

    @Bulldog

    It’s simple. La Liga has much better tie-breaker than Premier League – head-to-head is prefered to an overall goal-difference. Valencia drew with Sevilla 1-1 at home but won 1-0 at Sanchez Pizjuan so in case that both teams end the league with the same number of points, Valencia will finish above Sevilla.

    If we had the same tie-breaker in Premier League, we wouldn’t need an eight-goal swing in the last game to pip Spuds for Top 4 – simple 1-0 v Burnley for us and 1-0 for Everton at Spurs would have sealed us 4th place.

  • Josif

    Also, it should be said that Valencia have a better H2H with 4th-placed Getafe as well. So, if Valencia pick three points more than Getafe in the remaining two games, Valencia will finish above Getafe.

    They also have a cup final against Barcelona to play so our old mate Francis Coquelin has returned just in time.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Nketiah to come on in the 85th minute and score to take us through?

  • Josif

    If I have a player that I fear the most from their team, it’s Kevin Gameiro. He is an experienced forward who will test our defence again. Koscielny/Sokratis/Mustafi will have to remain focused for at least 95 minutes of the game.

    Their European results at home this season:

    v Juventus 0-2
    v Young Boys 3-1
    v Man United 2-1 (Man United had already qualified before the game so it didn’t matter to them)

    v Celtic 1-0
    v Krasnodar 2-1
    v Villarreal 2-0

    They have won five in a row at home. Only once they have beaten their opponents with a result they need tonight (Villarreal) though, one of remaining four results would give them extra-time and with three they would get knocked out. It’s funny they have lost just one game – against ten men Juventus as Ronaldo got sent off at 0-0 in 25th minute. Miralem Pjanić scored two penalties to seal big victory for Juventus.

    They were close to go out to Krasnodar – the Russian side had a 1-0 lead in the second leg thanks to a late goal but Goncalo Guedes, a dangerous winger, scored an equalizer deep into injury time to get Valencia through.

    In my book, we should do what we did to Napoli – attack from the start because, as we have seen in previous European nights this season, there is no point in sitting on your first leg advantage. Lacazette and Auba should avoid doing their favourite let’s-miss-as-many-sitters-as-we-can routine and score from the first chance that opens up. Valencia have an away goal and, unlike Tiny Tottes that have progressed three times this season thanks to that rule, we have been usually on the wrong side of that rule in the past, including our CL QF against Valencia in 2000-01.

  • Joe71

    Usual media nonsense that is always anti Arsenal. I am sure I read somewhere that they expect an Arsenal player to be sent off.May be they believed that so much they gave us 10 players at the start. Even that mini twerp expects us to be knocked out. He still has nightmares about Viera, Adams and Dixon bearing down on him like moveable trees, during his Liverpool days.

  • Goonereris

    Yep! Personally worried about Kevin Gameiro, myself. He is such a nippy player with an eye for goal. Also, aggressive and strong on the ball. Hopefully, we try to attack them too, so as to show our own potential to be a threat, going forward. It’s going to be nervy for both sides and extra-nervy for us seeing as Spurs got to a European CL final.

  • Osman Wurie

    we have meet six times and all is equal but this time around we will be in our way to the final i promise with dear confidence

  • Osman Wurie

    big things will happen for England teams that for sure four finalist form England that amazing and the two cups will be in England which will go in to the history books of football

  • John L

    I expect that Maitland and Niles will both start

  • Gord

    UEFA shows us starting with 11.

    Arsenal XI:
    Cech
    Monreal Sokratis Koscielny
    Xhaka Torreira
    Maitland-Niles Kolasinac
    Ozil
    Lacazette Aubameyang

    Beach: Leno, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Mustafi, Guendouzi, Nketiah

    COYG!

  • Daily Telegraph today

    Arsenal have only ever won the Cup Winners’ Cup (I’m not counting the Fairs Cup, sorry)

    Yes a nice balanced approach.

  • Team

    Cech, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

    Yep, the two copycat papers were wrong. We have 11 players.

  • Gord

    How to go Aubameyang! Nice assist Lacazette!

    We have (at least) one away goal now.

    COYG!

  • Great goal from Lacazette.

  • Menace

    2 away goals with Laca’s brilliant 2nd.

    Why was the nasty tackle on Sokratis not (would be referred to VAR for the final) a red card. It ripped through the stocking & skin.

    Dirt startig to be displayed by Valencia.

  • Menace

    The dirt continued till the end when 2-4 was still not enough to get Valencia subdued.

    The ref gives Laca a yellow card after the final whistle for getting kicked by some bad loser.

  • WalterBroeckx

    oh you didn’t miss my match report then LOL 🙂

  • Masterstroke

    Menace
    I think it was more for retaliation, but Gabby should have been booked for his part in it. Had a poor game didn’t he?

  • To confirm = Walter’s match review has appeared, and is on the site
    https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/75160