AFC vs Aston Villa or 12th vs 13th or Ramsdale vs Martinez or Arteta vs Smith…

Here we go again…It s back to EPL football and to start the week-end, we are treated with an interesting encounter between Arsenal and Villa at the Emirates.

It is safe to say that Aston Villa had a good season last year and are still playing well this year although they are letting in a bit more goals than before, which is hampering their ability to pick up more points. They love to play with width and have some devastating players in Bailey and Traore but also have a good GK in Martinez who has blossomed into one of the top 5 GK in the league…

We may be missing Saka tonight, which may force Arteta to play Pepe or Laca from the on set. I d also like to avoid seeing Odegaard next to Partey as part of our double-pivot. He needs to play higher up the pitch if he plays at all. Now, given the opposition, we need pace on the width and good recovery when we lose the ball. If I were Arteta, I d really consider playing Pepe, ESR, Martinelli and Lacazette from the on set. I know it leaves Auba out but I think he d be great later on the game….

So here is my preferred line-up: Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, AMN – Pepe, ESR, Martinelli – Laca

We are playing on a Friday, which until two years ago was good as we had won 7 in a row but the last two years were less kind. We are playing Aston Villa who is amongst the top 3 teams to have beaten us at the Emirates and who has beaten us 3 times in a row in the league now…

I expect a nervy game and the most likely outcome to be a high scoring draw like a 2-2 again but I am hoping for a 2-1 victory…



28 Responses to AFC vs Aston Villa or 12th vs 13th or Ramsdale vs Martinez or Arteta vs Smith…

  1. LBG says:

    So my question is does Pepe deserve a starting selection?
    Happy with a run out for AM-N in midfield but think Sambi should also be there as a extra “solidifyer”. I would then play Martinelli Lacazette and ESR as a front line. (Aubang and Pepe with 20 mins to go, but not if we are winning 2-0…my prediction)

    PS RA…and everyone knows, even a youthful Xhaka would have been ill-disciplined sh***!

  2. fred1266 says:

    Emi vs ramsdale ow boy

  3. RC78 says:

    I hope Ramsdale does not have to do much to do tonight and keeps a cleansheet and that Emi has a lot to do but that we manage to score a few 😛

  4. RC78 says:


    Team to play Aston Villa: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, White, Tavares, Lokonga, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

    Subs: Leno, Cedric, Holding, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Odegaard, Pepe, Martinelli.

  5. RC78 says:


    Team to play Arsenal: Martinez, Tuanzebe, Konsa, Mings, Cash, Luiz, McGinn, Targett, Buendia, Ings, Watkins.

    Subs: Steer, Hause, Young, Nakamba, Ramsey, Sanson, Bailey, El Ghazi, Archer.

  6. RC78 says:

    Arsenal to be set up in a 4231:

    Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tavares – Partey, Lokonga – Saka, ESR, Auba – Laca

    but it may move to be a 442 with Saka, Partey, Lokonga, ESR in the middle and Laca, Auba up front…

    Tierney not in the squad, Ode on the bench…

  7. RC78 says:

    Villa to continue in a 352
    Martinez – Tuanzebe, Konsa, Mingas – Cash, Luiz, McGinne, Targett, Bendia – Ings, Watkins

    No surprise here…We gotta hope for a good game from our back line and wingers…I think this is a game for a goal from ESR or Partey or Lokonga from a lay off from Laca…

  8. RC78 says:

    Buendia, Luiz, Ings and Watkins can be dangerous together with Cash and then they Bailey on the bench…not a bad team at all to be fair.

    Buendia will come inside quite a lot to play in the hole behind Watkins and Ings so we could target their left wing…Tomy and Saka, it is all yours for the taking 🙂

  9. RA says:

    I am happier with that team for tonight.

  10. RC78 says:

    Let us see if Lokonga and Tavares can cope with the EPL…

  11. LBG says:

    Pleased that Saka has come through, but hope we are not going to make anything worse.
    Martinelli must be used as an early substitute if things are not going well.
    Partey with Sambi has a chance to create with dynamic forward balls.
    MUST convert chances AND that is plural, please Gunners.

  12. LBG says:

    Measured, thoughtful pre match interview in the treasured Marble Halls with thinking supporters. Well done Cara and Neville, allowed them to speak….honestly….and without your normal prejudices coming out.
    Always remember Cara, it took your team 30 years.

  13. LBG says:

    Let’s be clear, Aston Villa have been chaotic, BUT the difference is a set of players who have bought in to the dynamic, pressing, aggressive game. Sambi makes a massive difference alongside Partey, Tavares has no fear and defenders are communicating.
    More please Gunners! Dont sit back.

  14. RC78 says:

    And Laca is creating the impetus for the press…

  15. RC78 says:

    Villa going 442 with Bailey and Buendia on the wings and Watkins-Ings up front…

    Martinez – Cash, Konsa, Mingas, Targett– Bailey, Luiz, McGinne, Buendia – Ings, Watkins

  16. RC78 says:

    White sometimes make simple things look hard and the other way around too…He needs to settle

  17. RC78 says:

    MOTM: Emile Smith Rowe

    Ramsdale – 6
    Tomy – 6
    White – 6
    Gabriel – 7
    Tavares – 7
    Lokonga – 7
    Partey – 7
    Saka – 6
    ESR – 8
    Auba – 7
    Laca – 7

  18. LBG says:

    The nervousness comes, and defenders who were hitting positive passes to each other, now underhit passes, and hit passes slightly behind the player receiving the ball. Consequence, more pressure, made worse by midfield now tired and not now available to receive a forward ball.
    Love Tavares and think he could have another role in front of Tierney. Sambi was close for MOM for me. Saka looking more himself and Laca must be given a chance to start more often. His passion is vital.

  19. VP says:

    Undefeated still and could have been a 6:1 win.
    What’s not to like. Everyone should be happy that we are following the script and are going upwards and onwards.

  20. LBG says:

    So true, if only we could shoot!
    Thomas Partey’s stats in the end were impressive – more passes, more touches and more successful tackles than anyone else on the pitch. And if HE could shoot, would have had the match ball.😁
    Martinelli and Balogun to start against Wimbledon and then go to Leicester and upset Vardy. Momentum Arsenal. Thanks for making my weekend.

  21. fred1266 says:

    Wimbledon didn’t we play them last round, think it Leeds this round

  22. LBG says:

    Absolutely correct, Fred. Glad to see you are keeping me on my toes! And the explanation is dementia brought on by a joyous win.
    Trust you will be cheering on England this afternoon!😁

  23. fred1266 says:

    what does England have this evening LBG

  24. LBG says:

    World Cup T20 cricket v West Indies this afternoon.

  25. fred1266 says:

    Or lol

    They were now talking about that in another group, not a cricket fan so shall not be watching but think I will want WI to win though

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