Molde v Arsenal: the teams. The chances of a game for Pepe…

By Bulldog Drummond

Although Arsenal went through the group stages last season as winners, there was a serious bit of slipping up going on in the second half of the campaign – exactly the point we are now at.

With three straight wins everything was plodding along nicely (although that third match saw something of a dodgy opening) but then it all fell apart…

Date Game Res Score Game number
19 Sep 2019 Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal W 0-3 UEFA Europa League 1
03 Oct 2019 Arsenal v Standard Liège W 4-0 UEFA Europa League 2
24 Oct 2019 Arsenal v Vitória Guimarães W 3-2 UEFA Europa League 3
06 Nov 2019 Vitória Guimarães v Arsenal D 1-1 UEFA Europa League 4
28 Nov 2019 Arsenal v Eintracht Frankfurt L 1-2 UEFA Europa League 5
12 Dec 2019 Standard Liège v Arsenal D 2-2 UEFA Europa League 6

In the end we came out on top but that didn’t help remove the sense of unease at those last three games, and it would be good if we could sort things out with a more positive spirit this time.

Certainly if the manager does put more youngsters in the team they will know it is their chance to shine – but I fear if he doesn’t then promote them to the League side, which as we know is struggling, they will start thinking, “If I don’t get in the team now, when will I?”

The Evening Standard doesn’t want to try its luck with a team even though they have some confirmed news, whatever that is, so they give us a squad.  But even that has the word “from” in it.

Arsenal squad from: Leno, Macey, Runarsson; Bellerin, Cedric, Gabriel, Holding, Luiz, Mustafi, Tierney; Azeez, Ceballos, Cottrell, Maitland-Niles, Smith Rowe, Willock, Xhaka; Aubameyang, Balogun, Nelson, Nketiah, Lacazette and Pepe.

Sky Sports tell us that David Luiz will return to the squad for the Europa League tie against Molde.

At least Sports Mole does give it a shot…


Cedric, Mustafi, Luiz, Maitland-Niles;

Xhaka, Ceballos;

Nelson, Willock, Smith Rowe;



The Independent has a bash with


Cedric, Mustafi, Luiz, Maitland-Niles,

Xhaka, Ceballos,

Nelson, Willock, Smith-Rowe,



And you may have spotted that this is exactly the same team as Sports Mole have.

The BBC are not doing teams but they are good on stats including

  • Molde had won three Europa League matches in a row before Arsenal beat them 4-1 in the reverse fixture earlier this month – but they haven’t lost consecutive matches in the competition since a run of a three games in October/November 2012.

As for Arsenal we are told that they

  • have only been defeated once in their last 14 away games in the group stages of a major European competition (W10 D3), against FC Cologne in November 2017 in the only game they’ve failed to score in during this run.

And finally here’s a good one…

  • Arsenal have scored at least once in each of their last 19 matches in major European competition (43 goals in total); they’ve only had a longer run once – 21 games between October 2003 and November 2005.

All those from the BBC.

As for the teams, we will see if this agreement over the lineup is valid.  Here are a few more.

However the Hard Tackle has given us a variation


Cedric, Mustafi, Holding, Maitland-Niles;

Xhaka, Ceballos;

Pepe, Willock, Nelson;



So there we are Pepe gets in the side.

And just one more… this from the Daily Express


Cedric, Mustafi, Luiz, Maitland-Niles;

Ceballos, Xhaka, Willock;

Pepe, Lacazette, Nelson.


Another vote for Pepe and a game for Lacazette.   We shall of course see.

9 Replies to “Molde v Arsenal: the teams. The chances of a game for Pepe…”

  1. I also noted that the main picture and headline in the BBC’s coverage of the game was all about Pepe’s sending off…….they just can’t help themselves!

  2. All things being equal in the Arsenal team away to Molde in the Europa League Cup competition group stage match day No.4 tonight as I believe us have known this already I must say.

    The strong mix-Gunners team that Mikel Arteta the Arsenal gaffer is expected to select to play against Molde should beat them and further move up their group B table to possibly clinched qualification to the knockout stages of the competition.

    This should therefore be the target of the Arsenal mix-team of some senior regular first teamers and fringe team players who will play in the match for Arsenal.

    And I believe a win in the match by Arsenal will mentally positioned hem well to beat Wolves when they host them in the PL next Sunday. Therefore. In my own believe, I think a win by Arsenal in tonight match against Molde will potentially serves as a metal confidence booster ahead of their meeting Wolves. Which I think is one of the vital ingredients in the highly competitive Premier League football matches. And I believe Arsenal will be better of if they beat Molde tonight to have this mental confidence booster.

    And for this reason, the Gunners should buckle up properly but not leave anything to slack or take beating Molde for granted in the match but give it all it takes in the game to beat Molde and beat them.

  3. I’m sure the way in which commentators behave must rub off on fans. In this game for example when a cross from Molde wasn’t met by a team mate we were told it was, “a fantastic cross, a shame nobody got on the end of it”. A few minutes later a very similar cross by Pepe was des ribbed as, what waste of a ball which didn’t go to anybody.”

    I remember Beckham being described by many as the “best crosser of the ball in the world” in his last season in England….despite the stats showing he wasn’t even in the top ten in the premiership for cross completions.

  4. The red card for Beckhams touch on Simeone is not that far away from Pepe’s two ton head butt of Aliosi. That is brilliance of the ‘cheating the public’ brigade.

    Arsenal not playing too bad but the player of the first half was Maitland Niles.

  5. Super forward momentum with the ball gets Arsenal a second with a pass from Willock to Nelson.

    Arsenal 2 up.

  6. Balogun comes on for Nkethia and scores with his first touch!!

    Sign the boy quickly Mikel – he’s a genius!

  7. Good win for Arsenal 3 – 0. The game wasn’t the greatest but Arsenal played well and didn’t get the PGMOL slope to play on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *