West Ham v Arsenal: four different predictions of the Arsenal lineup

By Bulldog Drummond

The story so far…

This has been a very strange build up to a match for me, not least because of what was discovered in the second article (“Why are clubs fouling four teams particularly”).  We will absolutely have to come back to that in the near future, but for now we need to conclude the build-up to the West Ham match with a look at the team projections.

Really there are not too many issues to be decided, and the Independent gives us what I suspect will be a fairly common choice of players


Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares;

Xhaka, Elneny;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;


The Xhaka Elneny solution in midfield looks ideal to me, and the return of Elneny is something that we’ve been suggesting for a while on Untold, especially in the light of his performances in the Africa cup.

The issue up front is whether to play Nketiah or Lacazette – Lacazette is the man for the assists, Nketiah is the man to score.  Shame we can’t play both.

So it is really not too surprising that Sportsmole go with the same line up.

Football.London have picked up on Untold Arsenal’s idea of having several different writers’ lineup reported in the article of the day. (What is the plural of line up – is it lines up or lineups?) 

But more to the point, how dare they nick our approach!  (It is of course a fact that you can’t copyright an idea, so there is nothing we can do about it, except say “you saw it here first”).

They have got several of their writers to come up with different lineups.  Here’s one…


Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tomiyasu;

Elneny, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;


So two changes there – bring back Tomiyasu now he has recovered from injury, and play Smith Rowe instead of Martinelli.

One of their alternatives is rather radical…


Tomiyasu; White; Gabriel; Tavares;

Elneny; Xhaka;

Odegaard; Saka;

Nketiah; Smith-Rowe

Actually, that one is harder to understand because they have put in the semi-colons all over the place but I think that is what they are implying for the lineup.   But quite why one should put a semi-colon after each player’s name suddenly must be a matter for their proofreaders.  (I always thought that was proof-readers with a hyphen but my auto correct now thinks it is one word).

One more from the FoLo collection


Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tavares;

Lokonga, Odegaard, Xhaka;

Saka, Nketiah, Smith Rowe

No real explanation as to what is going on there, nor why after such brilliant displays Xhaka and Elneny we should not carry on playing together.  Nor why one would suddenly put Leno in the team.   It’s not as if people don’t know what he can do, and so he doesn’t need to be advertised for sale.

I can’t find a predicted lineup on the TalkSport web site but they do offer this thought:

  • Arsenal have won more Premier League games in May than any other side (50), while the Gunners also have the best win rate in May in the competition (59% – 50/85).

Which I guess is as good a place to end as any.  We’ll be back to go over those very odd fouling figures that we discovered en route, in a short while, with a certain amount of double-checking, but for now, as they say, “Enjoy the game”.

Linesup indeed.



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