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…
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.
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
Saka Lacazette Martinelli
Football.London gives their chosen team as
Maitland-Niles Holding Luiz Bola
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.
- Are Arsenal really making progress, or are we starting to slip back?
- Luton 3 Arsenal 4: maybe it is time to say positive things
- Luton v Arsenal – the referee, the team, Saka and Cliff Bastin
- Luton Town – how do they play the game. The tackles, fouls and cards.
- Luton Town v Arsenal: Grim football, fewest goals, lowest possession rate