Arsenal injury news and team selection ahead of Liverpool

By Bulldog Drummond

There was an excellent article in Goonernews recently which made the point that “Liverpool have not lost at home in 40 matches in the Premier League. You have to go all the way back to April 2017 when they succumbed to Crystal Palace in the league.”

The article also points out that Liverpool “have been expected to concede 1.25 goals per game this season in their first four fixtures. Compare that to last season’s xG conceded of just 0.72 per game and you can see there is a lack of security at the back at the start of this campaign.”

Now generally Untold is not a great fan of xG given that it can so often be highly inaccurate as a predictor, but there might be something in that decline, as even the notoriously lopsided Jamie Carragher has warned that “Arsenal could exploit this weakness, and with the form that both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have started the season, fans have to be optimistic that Emery’s side can score a goal or two at Anfield.”

As the article continues, “Liverpool conceded 14 shots against Southampton. They only conceded more on one occasion last season, in the Champions League final versus Tottenham, showing Arsenal could get more than the six they managed last season.”

Much depends of course on whether the win against Newcastle signifies a renewal of our old away form – the form that could take us through a whole season without losing away from home.  You will recall I am sure that in both 2001/2 and 2003/4 we went through the whole season without losing away.  

Now I am not saying we can jump from last season’s eight defeats to zero in one go.  But we moved from 11 defeats away two years ago to eight defeats away last season.  If we can get that down to four this season then we are getting close to the older form which made going to away games so pleasurable.   Whether that turnaround can start with this match, may be an awful lot to ask, but things do change…

As Goonernews concludes, “Whether that will be enough against Liverpool this weekend, it is difficult to tell. It certainly won’t be easy but it is hardly an insurmountable task that previous results at Anfield suggest it might be.”

Now moving on here are the latest injury details, based on information from Physioroom…

Player Reason Further Detail Potential Return Playing?
Hector Bellerin Knee Injury Continuing with on-field rehabilitation. 21/10/2019 No
Konstantinos Mavropanos Groin/Hip/Pelvic Injury Will be out of action for at least 6-8 weeks. 21/10/2019 No
Kieran Tierney Groin/Hip/Pelvic Injury Aiming to participate in full training in October. 21/10/2019 No
Granit Xhaka Lower Back Injury Bruising to lower back and leg. Being assessed. 24/08/2019 75%
Mesut Ozil Match fitness 24/08/2019 50%
Rob Holding Match fitness Coming back after a long injury.  Played 60 minutes for under 23s. No Return Date 50%*


* Rob Holding is scheduled to play the full game in the next under 23 match against Everton.  The 50% figure comes from Physioroom, but I can’t see him having any chance of playing in the Liverpool game. After such a long injury the last thing one would do surely is to give a player his first full game, away to Liverpool.

Meanwhile the youngsters on the fringe of the first team squad who are training with the first team are noted this week as Bukayo Saka, Folarin Balogun and James Olayinka.

iNews offer a team prediction of


Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Monreal;

Dani Ceballos, Xhaka, Guendouzi;

Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.


Meanwhile those mighty jokers Football.Loondon have this suggested line up


Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Monreal

Guendouzi, Ceballos, Xhaka,

Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette


Yep it is the same team except for a spot of positional changing.

Here is a third, this from the Standard and at least this one has some variation…


Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis, Monreal;

Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos;

Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang


Many pundits are coming in with their opinion at the moment and one favourite idea is that Arsenal need more experience in the defensive midfield role.  So just as we are all getting excited about the young players coming forward, the pundits are telling us that this is not a good approach, because we will be torn to bits by Liverpool.

As ever we shall see although of course these days that hardly seems necessary as the “Supercomputer” (whatever that is) at BT Sprout has already told us all the results in advance.

Premier League predictions supercomputer fixtures


32 Replies to “Arsenal injury news and team selection ahead of Liverpool”

  1. Hey Bulldog (just can’t resist)

    This seems a match suited to Emery’s 5-4 score line. It might be Liverpool with the 5 but goals should be scored unless Arsenal come out tentative as they have in the past at Anfield. If they come out on the front foot it should be an entertaining display of attacking football. Emery is unpredictable and I won’t try to project a lineup. It would be better to face Liverpool and even Spurs in 2 months time when all the injured are back but this is the squad os of Matchday 3. I’m still looking for a good show. As a supporter, I’m hoping for points. COYG!

  2. Will Frank Lampard the Chelsea manager being courageous this afternoon away to Norwich in the PL fielding the much criticised, insulted and maligned Chelsea player, Tammy Abraham by the Chelsea fans who scored twice today for Chelsea to give them their first PL win this season encourage Unai Emery the Arsenal head coach to start the much Gooners criticised Reiss Nelson at left-wing in the Arsenal PL match away to Liverpool? Or he will cave-in under the Gooners criticism pressure to not hold on to his beliefs in Nelson and start him from the bench? And will Emery also start the Arsenal team captain Granit Xhaka in the Liverpool big game or start him from the bench too? And what game starting formation will Emery makes the Gunners to lineup in array in the match? The much talked about 4231 or the less talked about 433 or my preferred Arsenal to start the match in the array of 352 game starting formation against Liverpool today’s evening at Anfield?

    My preferred Arsenal 352 game playing formation start and the Arsenal starting Xi and 7 man Gunners on the bench that I have for the match are as per my stated below.

    GK: Leno;
    Back-3: Luiz Chambers Sokratis;
    Wing-backs duo: ANM Kolasinac;
    Midfield-3: Matteo Dani Willock;
    Duo strikers: Laca’ Aubameyang.

    Martinez Mustafi Monreal Xhaka Torreria Nelson Martinelli.

    I know Gooners will shout me down for my including Mustafi in the Arsenal 18 for the match. But let them think first before shouting me down because Mustafi is presently the only available centreback than can cover for any of the trio centrebacks who I’ve started for the match. That’s assuming Emery will start a back-three defence for the match. And besides, should Mustafi not be given game time to be playing even as a substitute to help him to recover from his current low playing form to top playing form? Which he does will significantly improve his selling value in the transfer market.

  3. Watching the ManU Palace match. The commentator is so pro United as to be almost unbelievable. Hopefully Palace hangs on to take 3 or at least 1 point.

  4. If Palace hang on to take all the 3 points in the match away to Manchester United at Old Trafford this afternoon in the PL or at least come away with a point in the match. Would that not be Hilarious from the Gooners point of views? I think it will undoubtedly be. But has Emery chose to start Dani Ceballos as striker for Arsenal against Liverpool this evening at Anfield in the PL in an Arsenal 433 game starting playing formation or what? Because I am seeing Lacazette on the bench for the match. Which to me is a surprise. But who knows, Emery knowing what he is doing might see Arsenal beat Liverpool in the match this evening.

  5. 18.15; no laca … i’m afraid with that particular headcoach at the helm, we won’t need a super computer to add up the number of times pépé-mesut-auba + laca will be picked together. seems to think the only quality an attacker needs in away games is to run fast. what a waste. anyway, come on you red machine!

  6. Arsenal have the better team & quality and should win this match. The only fly in the ointment is the PGMOL idiots both at Anfield & in Stockley Park.

    Come on you Gunners.

  7. Emery should know….it’s not always good to play from the back. Sometimes you got to go long to release the pressure on defense ….

  8. The slope is there but not yet effective. Arsenal doing well despite the constant physical fouling. The Kop & the crew trying to pressurise the officials.

  9. Commentators being more stupid than ever claiming Mane to be top scorer in the EPL at the moment when Pukki (Norwich) is on 5.

    Suddenly Arsenal are moving the ball forward faster than expected and the Kop is getting hushed.

  10. Checking red card VAR for what!!!!

    Pepe again..
    Relax boy. Come Pepe

    Come on you GUNNERS

  11. Cabellos is carrying an injury????

    He looks so slow.

    Oops…wait. will VAR look at van dyke pull on Guendouzi?? And cancel the goal??

  12. Where is VAR when the Pool no 4 is making love to the Arsenal defender before the header!! Absolute farce.

    Oh It’s Moss the fat corrupt bastard in Stockley Park.

  13. The team seems well organised in defense with Luiz directing he setup. Van Dijk has been awfully physical, holding in the box, etc. but nothing from Anthony Taylor.

  14. This is the EPL showcase match Liverpool v Arsenal with Anthony Taylor choosing the Laws aided & abetted by Moss the plump on VAR screens from Stockley Park in West London.

  15. Regardless on whether you think the goal should be allowed or not, the simple fact the VAR spend more than a minute trying to find a red card when Salah fell all alone after the cross went past him, but didn’t even check the goal, shows how corrupted that organisation is…

  16. Suddenlt Taylor starts to see clearly but still keeps his cards in his pocket. Yellow cards don’t go well with Red shirts. Salah dives and fouls but he is such a lovely fluffy boy!!

  17. Just realised tat Moss is the 4th official & some other one of Rileys mice is in Stockley.!!

  18. At the end of the day probably a fair reflection of the match. But that doesn’t mean I’m particularly disappointed.

    We were playing away to the European Champions. The team that ran the most expensively assembled team ever, to the last day of the Premiership, so it was never going to be easy.

    Their team know each other inside out. Our boys are just getting to know each other.

    Personally I think the promise is still there.

    If we play like that away from home this season I think we will definitely improve our points tally, and if we do that could well be enough to get us into the top 4.


  19. Sorry not able to write a match report as I am not at home computer.
    First goal was okay for me. Sokratis held Van Dijck so could have been a penalty.
    the VAR checking a possible red card seemed a “Varce”
    Luiz how stupid can you be to pull the shirt of Salah who looked to be going wide anyway. And then as he already got a yellow card for this stupid foul he had to let Salah run away for their third goal.

    Once Pepe starts to score we will have a lot of fun with him. He can dribble but he still has to adapt to the PL clearly.
    Again I think we lost 30 minutes of playing the ball around in our own penalty area at high risk. Our chances in the first half came when we played forward with speed. But if you are passing the ball 25 times in your own penalty area you don’t bring any speed in your attack.

  20. Taylor in his job as one of Rileys corrupt band of select officials chose not to see van Dyke holding Guendouzi in the box while Matip jumps to head a goal. VAR did not see it either. Will Match of The Day see it? The corrupt way in which the game is officiated leaves a select set of teams the opportunity to succeed in England.

    There are several instances where cards should have been issued to Liverpool players but Taylor chose not to.

    It is what it is.

  21. Hey Tony, the issue with the front page seems to stem from wordpress defaukting the page to mobile view. Clicking on desktop doesnt do anything. Might be a pkugin that is causing it.

    Having said that im still pleased with the result we gave it to Liverpool and troubled their defence. Shame the finishing was not there. Congrats to Pepe dribbling past VVD after 50 games!

  22. I agree with the points made by Walter and Menace above. Also, Sokratis was held down in the box on several corners. Usual from the refs. Saw the silly things by Luiz but saw nothing on Van Dijk, admittedly a very good player but gets away with very rough play without even a caution.

    There were positives in the performance for me. Arsenal didn’t go forward enough but when they did they were dangerous. I think balls over the top to Ceballos and Pepe will become a staple and when they start putting their chances away no side will dare defend as high up. I thought the tactics and shape were good, but they were just sloppy too often. As Walter pointed out, passing back and forth in the box ad nauseum will be punished. Maybe they’re taking Emery too seriously about playing out from the back. Surely he has no problem with lashing the ball down the pitch before losing possession. But the most positive aspect today was a bit of fight and refusal to capitulate. That certainly will be rewarded going forward. Looking forward to the reverse fixture. COYG!

  23. It was always going to be a tough match at Anfield. The penalty call on Luiz was correct, but I get annoyed when thinking about all the times Giroud had his shirt ripped off over the years and nothing was ever called.

    Not sure why Emery seems afraid to consistently play his best players together. Last year with Ozil and today with Lacazette starting on the bench. We had our first goal within 5 minutes of Laca coming on. It’s a different dimension with Laca up top taking the CBs attention, allowing Auba and Pepe to attack from the wings.

  24. Walter observes that Arsenal were better when playing at speed in attack rather than taking time trying to play out from the back, somewhat unsuccessfully. Whilst I acknowledge that what he has observed is true in this game, I would add my own observation that the attacking speed he refers to consisted of attempted long balls to Pepe and Aubameyang. Such long balls bi-passing the Arsenal mid-field which appeared slow and laboured compared to the Liverpool midfield. Liverpool appear to have a strong team, especially in the middle of the field. It appeared much swifter in gathering balls and setting up the Liverpool forward play than the Arsenal mid-field could achieve. In Hindsight, perhaps both Lacazette and Torreira could have played from the start or at least both brought on earlier than occurred. Whilst today’s particular Arsenal mid-field grouping might be successful against weaker teams (e.g. Newcastle and Burnley), against as strong a team as Liverpool requires a more swift mid-field and players that can hold up the ball enabling other players to be brought into the game. Both Lacazette and Torreira appeared to add a much greater physical presence when they started. My observation here has left me a little surprised that Mr Emery did not effect change earlier. Bringing Lacazette and Mkhitaryan on with just less than 10 minutes to go suggests that the coaching side was devoid of a few ideas once their tactical plan had been ripped apart by a swift Liverpool team. My last observation regards the non-use of Callum Chambers in this match. He had a good pre-season and appeared most assured in his positional play and physicality and speed against Newcastle. Surprising he was left out in the last two matches when others were picked………..Still, all to play for over the next 35 matches. Perhaps Mesut Ozil might even get an U23 game sometime in the future…….. Something to savour for the future perhaps.

  25. We are seeimg our club destroyed in front of our own eyes but the blogtetteas and Twitter are still painting a rosy picture.
    The way we played last night was awful. Why would you leave your best players Ozil Torriera Mikki and Laca and field inexperienced players against a top2 side? Then play a 6/7 at the bavk and invite the opposition to attack and score.
    And see Emery vision he brings Torriera mikki and Lacca in the last quarter when we have already lost it.
    Hilarious and shameful.

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