Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Quaresma, William Carvalho, Luis Figo, Peter Schmeichel, Phil Babb (!), All played for Sporting and, had they still been in the green and white shirt, this evening would be very difficult but they don’t. In fact, Sporting Lisbon had a player revolt in summer which resulted in players cancelling their contracts and leaving the club.
7 players left including 4 Portuguese internationals, and all left on a free transfer. And we think players in the PL have too much power! Without too much research this happened because Sporting got a new Chairman who created a poisonous atmosphere within the club, they then went on a losing run resulting in some fans attacking the players on the training pitch, giving the players the right to cancel their contracts.
Needless to say, this has weakened the team and this season they sit in 5th place in the Primera Liga.
As to their players I know Zip, but I am sure they will be hard working, good on the ball etc etc etc
We come into this game in tremendous form and, despite a mounting injury list, Emery is certain to play around with his squad and we may well see Smith Rowe or even Elneny in midfield.
Catwalk Mustafi Holding Lich
Ramsey Curly Elneny
Both AMN (Cons) and, believe it or not, Carl Jenkinson are travelling with the squad and must therefore be available. I really like Jenks – not as a player for Arsenal but as a proper Gooner. I wish him well and perhaps he will get a start in the Carabao. Maitland-Niles (Cons) has a big future at Arsenal and may well get some pitch time this evening.
Ramsey was poor in his 10 minutes at the weekend, he needs to up his game and I expect him to do so. A wonderful goal apart, he has struggled, but he remains a very influential player. Tonight he will want to show Emery he is deserving of a first team shirt.
Watching Emery’s press conference yesterday I was delighted that when questioned in Portuguese, Unai understood the question and then answered in English. This shows his commitment and also his intelligence.
Tricky away fixture (we have never won in Portugal), if we draw this and win the home tie we will top the group. but we have a very food squad in good form and there is no reason why we cannot win tonight in Lisbon then celebrate with a bowl of Sopa de Cacao.
When I read that Jenks is travelling I immediately thought, respect, he is a top supporter, goes home and away.
Can someone explain, if we win tonight do we win the group and so are able to play youth for the remainder of the games?
Mind the early kick off everyone……………
Looks like A.M-N hasn’t travelled unfortunately.
A top squad has gone to Lisbon. No-one wanting to miss out on such a great city and a bit of sunshine maybe.
So much so that 21 have gone and only 18 can appear in the squad!
Bit early for winning the group, LB.
Theoretically, one of either Vorskla and Qarabag could still get 12 points with 4 games left to play.
Even if Lisbon lose to us tonight, they could still get 15 points if they got 9 points from their remaining 3 matches.
Loving the deliberate typo, BR.
“we have a very food squad in good form”. 🙂
I reckon your mind was still on one of those heart attack Francesinha sandwich things from yesterday.
Perhaps that’s why so many players have gone out there!
Can anyone work out how it is that Emery can understand Portuguese so well? Is there a past work link? It is not automatic that Spanish can understand Portuguese. My understanding is that Portuguese understand Spanish but not the other way round.
In the same way that Danes understand Swedes but not so much the other way round. I may have got that back to front.
LB. Could there be a linguistic link between Basque and Portuguese? UE never worked in Portugal as far as I can discern.
Maybe he is just a very clever chap or it could be that the press conference recording was edited.
Is cech still injured,?
Or surely Martinez can get a run out giving Leno a rest
Babel fish, I reckon.
“When I read that Jenks is travelling I immediately thought, respect, he is a top supporter, goes home and away.”
Ha ha ha, brilliant 🙂
Thanks, not an easy team selection at all. I assume Unai has some previous in how he approaches the away fixture in this Europa group stage against the only other team that can possibly qualify
Does he go for the jugular to seal another confidence boosting win while getting to top spot guaranteed asap, or does he rotate heavily?
I’m guessing at the two half policy. Contain, silence the crowd, then wallop
Leno – Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Lichten – Ram, El Neny, Guen – Miky, Wellbeck – Auba
Will be a tough game.
I think Big Sok will start tonight.
ha ha. great one, Raddy. 🙂
Tough game. COYG.
Almost forgot the early start, thanks LB. 🙂
Errrr, for what Arnie?
Oh, for the reminder, doh.
ha ha. 🙂
Don’t think anyone would have guessed UE would play Xhaka at FB. Could it be a Back 3?
I love the way that it is impossible to guess what Emery is going to do, it makes it all so interesting.
Oh thanks alot for the heads up on ko time 🙄
Great to see the ref not rewarding falling over at the slightest touch.
you know what Auba is thinking….can’t wait for the good players to arrive 🙂
what do we reckon for 60 mins?
Mesut, Laca and Iwobi obviously
Danny, Ramsey and Mkhi off?
or Mesut Laca and Torreira
Danny Ramsey Elneny off?
right, nose bag on, back at 60
Not a lot to say about that half except that I am still awake.
Evening all, good to see we can make6 changes and still send out a good side. If we stick to our pattern of being twice as good in the second half we should breeze it. I’d forgotten what a scumbag Nani is …
Our corners have been dreadful.
Our players are not working hard enough …
Aha Torreira … that will up our work rate
Unless PEA or Welbz go wide we have no pace at all on the flanks.
Got cheated by the ref for the Welbz “goal”.
Lovely finish. And Fred doubts the clinical finishing talent of Welbeck!
3 good away points
can I go now? 🙂
You have got to love Lich. A more annoying opponent it would be difficult to find and it came as no surprise that someone headbutted him 😀
Micky. Must be your Ovaltine time
Is it me ….. or is our defending actually improving? …. Holding making the difference?
11 in a row and counting…So here is the assessment:
– Holding MOTM
– Good positional discipline defensively. Did not concede any shots on target.
– Our defensive discipline was good but it affected our free flowing football on the other side of the pitch. Wellbeck was industrious though.
– Slight disappointment with Ramsey and Miky though although they did work well in the second half.
A win is a win. LT is a machine and Lichten is a pain so their personality kind gives us a good edge
BR – indeed we lack pace on the flanks hence the need to get a player like Douglas Costa or Cuadrado or Mane or Sane.
RC. Any of those or Martial in a swap for Ramsey 😀
11 wins in a row, the first time in 11 years get in
Yea danny and Iwobi proving me wrong this season
I d take Martial for Ramsey 🙂 but to be honest, I think the one we have a shot with is Douglas Costa. The guy is warming the bench at Juve and he will really be pushing for a starting position with us. What about DC for Ramsey? Ramsey is in Juve’s radar – they love player like Ramsey and DC can play FB, RM, RLW and FW so gives us a lot of options.
Leno – Bellerin, Sok, Holding, Monreal – Xhaka, LT – DC, Ozil, PEA – Laca
Cech – Lichten, Must, Kos, Kola – Miky, El Neny, Guen, Iwobi – Wellbeck, ESR (or Nketiah)
Then we would need to get Gueye from Everton or Ndombele from Lyon and we can ship out El Neny and challenge Xhaka.
Do we need Martial anymore?
Chas there are a few words in drafts should you need, feel free to chop, change or even add.
Does Douglas Costa prefer the left or the right?
I’ve been out for the second half. Only just got back. You’re a life saver. Ta.
Chas, out for the second half?
Out for the count?
11 is a good number but 12 is better
d Costa don’t think he he warming the bench think he got a banned for spitting on someone
Douglas prefer the left LB
You know what even better than 12 BR, 50