Arsenal’s final friendly: predicted line up and the Sevilla defensive wall

By Tony Attwood

This season sees a significant change in terms of substitutions and their use. Clubs can name nine substitutes in a league match and makeup to five substitutions in a game, but the changes can only be made on three occasions.

This makes the whole notion of the squad even more important than before, although with the addition of at least six Europa games (and we would certainly hope for more) that demand for a full squad was already clear.

As for today’s game, guessing the team is likely to leave one with all sorts of eggs over the face, but here’s a gamble anyway this one courtesy of Football London.


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

The Standard goes with the same team but a slightly different positional approach


Cedric, White, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Xhaka, Elneny, Odegaard;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

That starting line up has now been confirmed on  Bellerin, Maitland-Niles and Nelson are all on the bench.

Sports Mole had a different take with


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Xhaka, Partey;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;


The rest of the media pick and choose from among that set of players.

As for Sevilla they have lost Jules Kounde to Barcelona and Diego Carlos, to Aston Villa.   Marcão has come in from Galatasaray.

Last season Sevilla came in fourth in the Spanish league and their away form was interesting with just six wins, but 10 draws and three defeats.  They managed to score just 16 goals away from home and conceded 12.  That meant they had the best away defence in the Spanish League by quite a long way.  Real Madrid, the league winners, conceded 18 away from home, by comparison and Atletico Madrid who came in third in the league conceded 27.  So we can expect a wall in front of the keeper.

The game is once again, as with the previous friendlies on at £5.99 each.

Back to the issue of the squad and  shows the club now have 33 members of the first team.  Obviously some more of these players will depart as we get closer to the window shattering (or slamming shut as the journalists like to say) with Leno being the first to make a move (probably to Fulham).

Reports from Football.London talk of Nuno Tavares going to Atalanta and Pablo Mari to Fenerbahce.  Alex Runarsson, Arthur Okonkwo and Lucas Torreira also look to be ready to be loaned or sold.

That would leave Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun looking either for a sale or a loan.   The first two seem to have had their time at Arsenal although there could be a loan for Reiss Nelson, and Balogun is most certainly still developing his career.

All of which shuffling around would seem to leave us with a core 20 man squad who are seriously considered for league games, as below, with five more backing this group up and getting outings in the league cup and Europa League group rounds.

Here’s the group of 20.

Goalkeepers: Ramsdale, Turner

Defenders: Tierney, White, Gabriel, Holding, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, Saliba

Midfielders: Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Lokonga, Elneny, Xhaka

Forwards: Gabriel Jesus, Martinelli, Nketiah, Pepe

That’s looking to me like a rather good squad, so I am hoping that all the chat about a variety of players leaving is just the usual tittle tattle.

Meanwhile we have also just heard that Onkonkwo has joined Crewe Alexandra on a season long loan.

And now it is 1231 and the feed on for which I have dutifully paid is just showing a holding screen.

9 Replies to “Arsenal’s final friendly: predicted line up and the Sevilla defensive wall”

  1. The starting XI today: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus.

    Tavares is mentionned in the press here in southern France as going on loan to Marseille

  2. I hope they don’t try to walk the ball into the net ‘Wengerball’ style during the coming season.
    They tried t least 4 times if I am not mistaken. As much as I love such a goal…please shoot it in !

    Jolly good game as someone I know would say. And lots of fun for them visibly.
    The season promises to be interesting

  3. Well that was fun. I know it is just a pre season match but still the workrate, the will to run and to put pressure on the opponents was great to see. After the 4-0 we started a more controlling gameplan and that was rather well executed.

  4. good last outing of the preseason as players look sharp and solid all across the pitch. the team look ready to go and hit the ground running for the opening PL match. some may questioning the club decision to purchase Gabriel Jesus but i think it’s money well spend and for Granit Xhaka, wow’ what a transformation done under Mikel. Arsenal ’till i die

  5. A thoroughly dominant performance, albeit against a team not quite as advanced in their pre-season as us. If weproduce the same intensity as we did in the first 20 minutes then we will give problems to all of the other teams in the league.

    The real test comes on Friday evening away at Crystal Palace. COYG

  6. wow really Untold? now any comments i make have to wait for moderation and approved, even after 15 minutes it’s still under review while others comments not been put under review al all. i really don’t understand this site anymore, it feels like double standard practicing and they really try to silence you

  7. Busido, I’m sorry that you having to wait a little while for a comment to be published caused you such distress and seemed to suggest that you are being silenced.
    I would suspect like many sites that take a particular view on issues, we get a vast number of comments which seek to disrupt the site, or advertising items, threaten physical violence, or speak on wholly irrelevant issues. As a result over the 14 or so years we have been publishing, we have developed, and constantly evolved a set of simple programming approaches that help us get rid of comments that we don’t want to publish. Inevitably like most programs of this nature they sometimes accept items we don’t want, and sometimes get rid of items that we would normally fully accept.
    So you were held in moderation for an hour or so … and that causes you to fail to understand the site, an attempt to silence others, double standards. And all because your comment wasn’t published straight away? After you have had some 350 comments published on this site in the past.
    Upon reflection, does that not make you think that you are becoming parnoid – rather like a guy walking down a deserted street and finds two street lights are out, and thinks there is an assassin round the corner…
    Of course you can think that, you are free to think what you like, but there is also the issue of reasonableness and proportionality which might come into somewhere.
    It costs you nothing to read this site, it costs you nothing to wait for a little while for a comment to be published, and it would cost you nothing to adopt a civil tone and (as indeed many others have done over the years) to write and ask why your comment wasn’t dealt with without suggesting some nefarious or double-standard activity on our part.
    As far as I know, we have answered every single one of the emails we have had about non-appearnace, explaining why, or saying it looks like a glitch and we’ll try to stop it happening again.
    But your annoyance at not getting your own way immediately, with a service that costs you nothing, and your jumping to the conclusion that you are being stifled, really does say more about you rather than the site you are reading.
    All I can suggest is that you have some patience, and also consider one simple fact: not everyone sees the world as you do.

  8. Funny to see that Pool! winning the CS earns them descriptions like ‘Community Shield Glory’
    I believed it was a non-trophy not worthy of a front page ?!?!

    Ah yes…it ain’t Arsenal who won.

    Deadwood journalists

  9. Food for thought

    – Saka is getting much more streetwise. His penalty was smartly worked out. The pass he receives is either a little too long or his control not good enough. Which brings the ball too far for a direct shot. You see him slow down a little and move slightly to the left, just to get flattened by the defender coming roaring down his tail. The result is guaranteed. His second goal shows another side of his smarts.

    – Jesus is a 16 meters box fox. He’s got reflexes, technical prowess and that sense of ‘the ball into the goal’ we’ve been missing for so long. The day a defense has to confront him and Eddie, they’ll have a cartload of problems.

    – Martinelli wants goals but visibly cares less about himself scoring. His un-selfish assist to Eddie was brilliant and showed how quickly he can assess a situation, judging Eddie’s chances better then his.

    – Zinchenko does have a pass capability and the vision that goes with it that is impressive, getting a 40 m ball straight into the other player’s feet. This is going to enable switching sides immediately. He owes nothing to Xhaka, Martinelli oar Oodegard.

    – Saliba plays like he’s been part of the backline since ever. His tenure in France has visibly enabled him to grow and he looks ready and more mobile then White who on his side did a good job on the right side.

    These kids have fun playing together. It just transpires and talent is all around.

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