Arsenal got their first win ever last time out against West Ham, now they look to make it two in a row to top the Europa League group. Here’s the predicted XI against Standard Liege.
If you haven’t been excited about Arsenal football over the past couple of months, you’re not alone. Nine straight matches without a win nearly became ten when the Gunners went down 1-0 to West Ham at London Stadium Monday night.
It was looking like another pallid, spineless, bruised banana effort from a team dressed up like bruised bananas.
But then Gabriel Martinelli happened, followed by an outburst from Nicolas Pepe, and suddenly the Gunners were cruising to a conclusive 3-1 win that was by far one of the most exciting attacking turn-arounds of the season. And it all happened in about ten minutes.
With the switch now flipped, it will be curious to see how they react in a competition that has only recently been afflicted by the festering wound that plagued the Premier League. This is the competition full of youthful exuberance, yet even that faltered in the last two matches, drawing to Vitoria and losing to Eintracht Frankfurt.
The groups is not won yet. The Gunners will have to win this match to ensure they go through, or rely on a Frankfurt loss, and there’s a whole lot of other moving pieces going on in there too.
Whatever the case, this can all be made so much easier if we just win the match. If we do that, there is no wiggle room. We win the match, we win the group. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Still, with the clutter of fixtures, Freddie Ljungberg is going to trust some younger players here, leaving enough seniority in there to ensure that we don’t take the match for granted. Not that seniority necessarily helps things.
I’m feeling another 4-2-3-1 here, since that appears to be Freddie’s way. And while there are a ton of injuries in the way, he has the resources to make this work. Let’s start in goal.
We’ve been so spoiled by Bernd Leno lately that I am unnecessarily worried about Emiliano Martinez having to take over in this one. Martinez has been great, there’s no need to worry. But don’t mind me if I miss Leno.
Fullbacks are next.