Standard Liège v Arsenal: the return of the prodigal?

By Bulldog Drummond

And so on to the final game in the Europa group stages in which we play Standard Liège away.   And what we will find in this match is an illustration of a key point that we have been making on Untold for the last couple of seasons.   Some clubs have crowds that support their team in a game no matter what, others have crowds that will not turn up, or will jeer and boo.

Standard Liège are one of the clubs that can usually call on a very partisan crowd to give the home team a lift, all so very different from Arsenal in recent years where placards calling for the manager to be sacked can on occasion be one of the main features of what is happening in the ground.

This of course gives Standard Liège a boost for this match, and they will know that some of the Arsenal away support can turn against their team rather than given unconditional support, if they don’t like what they are seeing.

But these days Arsenal players must be used to not getting much help from the crowd, so hopefully they are now able to cope with this scenario, and that might well help them in this match tonight.

Here is the league table before this final game…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 5 3 1 1 12 5 7 10
2 Eintracht Frankfurt 5 3 0 2 6 7 -1 9
3 Standard Liège 5 2 1 2 6 8 -2 7
4 Vitoria Guimaraes 5 0 2 3 4 8 -4 2

For Arsenal not to go through Eintracht Frankfurt need to draw or win against Vitoria Guimaraes (a win seems likely) and Standard Liège need to beat Arsenal by five clear goals (which seems less likely).  To go through as group winners Arsenal need to win the match.  A draw will only leave Arsenal top as long as Eintracht Frankfurt also draw.

So we go into the game looking for an away victory, which presumably means a strong team.  Standard Liège’s recent results suggest they will look for a win but are not that strong.

Date Competition Home team Score Away team
23/11/19 League AS Eupen 1 – 2 Standard Liège
28/11/19 Europa League Vitoria Guimaraes 1 – 1 Standard Liège
01/12/19 League Standard Liège 2 – 1 Cercle Brugge
04/12/19 Cup Standard Liège 3 – 0 Rebecq
08/12/19 League Royal Excel Mo… 2 – 2 Standard Liège

The league table in Belgium looks like this with Standard Liège in third spot.  There are 16 clubs in the league.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 17 13 3 1 38 7 +31 42
2 18 10 5 3 37 20 +17 35
3 18 10 4 4 35 19 +16 34
4 18 10 4 4 37 24 +13 34

What happens depends pretty much on which Arsenal show up.  The one that got the three goals against West Ham or the one that played the first half.

Obviously we have Manchester City on Sunday, so we are not going to want to risk all the best players.  Holding, Bellerin and Tierney are all still being assessed so I would not expect them to play in this game which means we will use Maitland Niles, Kolasinac, and Chambers plus one other.   But not Mustafi who is I believe suspended.

Clearly Standard Liège will need to go onto the attack from the start if they are going to knock in the goals, and that gives Arsenal a chance to catch them on the counter.

The4thOfficial website gives us a team of


Maitland-Niles  Sokratis Luiz  Kolasinac

Xhaka Guendouzi


Saka  Lacazette  Martinelli


Football.London gives their chosen team as


Maitland-Niles  Holding Luiz  Bola

Guendouzi Willock

Nelson Smith-Rowe Saka


Read Arsenal also select Smith Rowe and make the point of this being his first game back since injury – and a useful moment to return indeed if he is fully recovered.

TBR Bootroom tell us that Tyreece John-Jules, Robbie Burton, Zech Medley and James Olayinka were all involved in the latest training session ahead of this game.

That gives a fair smattering of choices.

24 Replies to “Standard Liège v Arsenal: the return of the prodigal?”

  1. Tony,

    listening to Memphis Depay after he confronted a Lyon ‘supporter’ insulting one of his teammates after Tuesday’s game – incidentally Lyon progressed to playoffs – you can rest assured : some other teams in Europe have abusive ‘supporters’, Lyon being one of them.

    His comments shine a fresh light on what a player feels when he get insulted and booed while on the field.
    Should be written down verbatim and made available in the next issue of the Arsenal newspaper or put on posters all around and inside the Emirates, so all these so called supporters who can read realise what disastrous consequences their behaviour has on the players and the team.

  2. Martinez
    Solratis, Luiz, Mavropanos
    Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Guendouzi, Bulayp Saka
    Reiss Nelson, Lacazette, Emile Smith Rowe

  3. Subs

    Leno, Chambers, Zech Medley, James Olayinka, Aubameyang, Martinelli and Tyree John Jules

  4. The Daily Annoyance is being onnoying (again). Their headline has Arsenal to be eliminated while the ManUre boys vying for first place. Arsenal could get first place as well, but no, we have to bash Arsenal.

    And UEFA still have the same “Arsenal reporter”, who I don’t really think supports Arsenal.

  5. Midway through the first half, we have 4 attempts with 2 wide and 1 on target. Opposition also has 4 attempts with 1 on target.

    We probably have an insignificant excess of possession and passing accuracy. Fouls are even.


  6. One minute of time added on before half time, no score.

    Arsenal have 11 attempts with 4 off target and 4 on. Opposition has 6 attemps with 1 off target and 1 on. Everything else is about even.


  7. Our defence is sad. The simplest of clearances goes to an opponent. We are so fortunate to have not conceded. When are our coaches going to learn that we cannot play out from the back. We must revert to the longer clearance and quicker forward momentum.

  8. Our defence should never turn their backs to a shot. It is cowardly and not what good defenders do.

    1-0 to Standard Liege

  9. I had to go “deliver” Mom to the senior’s rec centre, and I come back to see a 2-2 final score. Wonderful, they got a point. Not quite what was hoped, but it is better than a loss.

    Lacazette(79m) from Saka.

    Saka(81m) from Martinelli.


    And Frankfurt lost, so we top the group.

    What we need now, is for ManU to lose.

  10. Nitram – I was working short stints in Moscow/ Greece /Canada /Middle East and missed a lot of games as they were not televised. Home games had NF recruiting so gave them a miss.

  11. Well here is the Guardian headline yesterday after Spurs were dispatched with 10 goals in 2 games against them by Bayern : Spurs brushed aside as Coutinho seals win.

    And here is the one tonight after Arsenal tied a game and got 1st place in their groupe : Gunner hit back to top group after flirting with disaster.

    So a real disaster for Spurs is ‘brushed aside’ and a tie with 1st place ‘flirting with disaster’.

    And for both Spurs and Arsenal, the talk is about fringe player, not young players, which is definitely not the same thing…

    That about just says it all about the way the press mis-portray football.

  12. You would never think we topped the group judging from the first five items from the NewsNow site….

    Many Arsenal fans slaughter ‘absolutely shocking’ player v Standard who ‘needs to leave’ Gunnersphere (Weblog)19:42
    “Easily worse than Mustafi”, “League One level” – Lots of Arsenal fans discuss “awful” ace FootballFanCast.com21:25
    ‘Allow it’, ‘Sickening’, ‘Shocking’ – Many Arsenal fans launch attack on player at HT v Standard Gunnersphere (Weblog)18:41
    Keown blasts ‘lucky’ Ljungberg & hails Arsenal star as team’s only leader
    Martin Keown slams one Arsenal player after the draw against Standard Liege Football.London20:59

  13. MickHazel

    It’s beyond a joke and there we have one of our own leading the assault.

    But lets not forget Keown just recently was claiming that Denis Bergkamp actually wasn’t all that after all.

    Honestly I think the mans lost the plot.

  14. Good to see as win the group , despite a little scare. A spirited fightback, without letting our heads drop. Keep it up guys .
    Up the Gunners !

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