Arsenal team news for the “home” game in Greece against Benfica



The Standard confirms that Thomas Partey traveled to foreign parts where we play the club of one country in the country of another.   They add that “If Partey isn’t fit, then Dani Ceballos is expected to start alongside Granit Xhaka in central midfield.

They also suggest that Kieran Tierney will take over for Cedric Soares and that as Martin Odegaard has started the last three games so he could now drop out.

This leads the Standard to give us


Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Ceballos, Xhaka;

Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang;


The Daily Excess offers



Cedric, Gabriel, Luiz, Tierney;

Ceballos, Odegaard, Xhaka

Smith Rowe, Saka, Aubameyang;



which is rather interesting because I think that makes 12 players.  They may well have changed this by the time you get to it, but it gave us some amusement earlier today.

with presumably Odegaard linking the ball through to Saka, or spraying it out wide.   Benfica have been scoring at a rate of 1.65 goals a game but conceding fewer than one goal a game, yet if Arteta clearly thinks that their threat up front is limited then yes he might try this aggressive approach through the middle.

Sports Mole suggest this however


Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Xhaka, Ceballos;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;



The Daily Mirror has


Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney;

Ceballos, Xhaka;

Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang;



which actually is the same as the Standard and probably what the Excess really meant to put up.

The Short Fuse has…


Bellerin, Luiz, Mari, Tierney;

Ceballos, Xhaka;

Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang;



Football London always anxious to be different gives us the full squad that has flown to ancient Greece for the home game.

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Mat Ryan & Karl Hein.

Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes, David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers & Kieran Tierney.

Midfielders: Willian, Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny, Martin Odegaard & Emile Smith Rowe.

Strikers: Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah & Gabriel Martinelli.

That is 24 players.

Kick off is at the rather bizarre time of 5.55pm GMT and it is being shown on BT Sprout.  Tony’s youngest daughter has this week given birth, and I am delighted to report everyone is doing fine.  The Untold team will be relying on this latest member of Tony’s family for commentary.  It will be probably a damn site more interesting than anything the Sprout has to say.

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25 Replies to “Arsenal team news for the “home” game in Greece against Benfica”

  1. Congrats to Tony for being a grand dad again, may the new untold member grow to be a success in his/her life endeavors.

  2. Team

    Bellerin , Luiz, Magalhes, Tierney
    Ceballos, Xhaka
    Smith-Rowe, Ødegard, Saka

    Subs – Ryan, Hein, Soares, Chambers, Mari, Thomas, Elneny, Lava, Willian, Pepe, Nketiah, Martinelli


  3. Congratulations Tony. Good health and Gods blessings to your daughter and Grandchild.

    Just watching the Benfica match. How was a Benfica player allowed to stand in our wall? He pushed the wall before the kick was taken and VAR did not review the kick or the wall.

  4. The free kick was a chance but a difficult chance and their only chance and guess what they score , how many times does this happen to Arsenal .
    We’ve got to go and kill this game off .

  5. 2nd half is going to be a massive test of character overall we are the better team , my worry is tactically it seems to be working for them . After last season got a bad feeling about this .

  6. Think we’ve got to score 2 and win , the draw and penalties are now out of the equation .

  7. Poor pass selection right now. We’re getting the ball back and making panicky passes.

  8. whew…full time.

    Wonder if the press is going to laud our resilience or pound us for not winning 7-0?

  9. When we depend on our quality we win. There are times when our system allows our opponents gifts but when we play with aggression we can be awesome.

    Our next matches will not appear so bad now.

  10. It was a strange match. We enjoyed the ball but many are still not making runs into the box and/or finding people; a lot of balls passed around the perimeter with nobody open at the time of reception. It’s almost as if our players are afraid to move out of a position or are not reading their mates’ positions/movement.

    What is good, is that we have 2 players (Saka and Tierney) who are consistently making runs which allows people to give them the ball and predict what they are doing. Now, to get other people to on board, too.

  11. Rudolf

    Me too. Ok not the best performance ever but there’s more than one way to win a football match and tonight it wasn’t quality (although the goals were) it was sheer guts.

    Others get credit for wins like this. You know, winning when not at your best. Digging out a result. Etc. But as GGG suggests. Will we? Somehow I doubt it but we’ll see.

    Tierney was immense. MOTM for me. Pretty obvious I think. Sake and Auba produced the goods, despite what I thought were under par performances.

    And I was pleased for Willian who did, as has been suggested elsewhere, make a difference when he came on. Lets hope this gives him the confidence to kick on.

  12. Interesting headline from the BBC about Arsenal “edge through”. For other teams it would be a “magnificent comeback” or “never say die” win! As for BT sprout and the repeated claims of “this is typical Arsenal” when something went wrong. Sickening.

    And finally, congrats Tony….didn’t think you were 9ld enough 😉

  13. Is ERS wasted on the left , only my opinion he’s more effective playing at a number 10

  14. There were a lot of good passing movements but the killer pass was always ignored apart from the Saka ones and the Willian to Tierney. Tierney made it more than just a pass with his fantastic strike.

    The other killer was Ceballos header – deserves mention in dispatches. Damned back passes that just don’t need exposure in our game. So many that have led to goals or gifts to our opponents. Arteta reacted quickly and correctly.

    Arteta has to improve the system and eradicate the poor defensive positioning of incompetents.

    Our midfield need to shoot when chances arise with correct technique. It is simple technique not rocket science!!!

  15. From

    2 minutes ago
    Squawka Football

    Bukayo Saka’s game by numbers vs. Benfica:

    100% aerials won

    57 touches

    92% passing accuracy

    5 touches in opp. box

    2 tackles

    2 ball recoveries

    2 shots

    2 chances created

    2 assists

    2 good.

    And I thought he was under par. What do I know ?

  16. Congratulations Tony & daughter.
    Children are a blessing, grandchildren doubly so
    Best wishes to all.
    3-2, Up The Gunners!

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