4-3-2-1: Elneny/Iwobi start, Xhaka dropped: The Arsenal XI that can beat Man City

By on February 23, 2018

mohamed elneny arsenal 2016

Arsenal contest the Carabao Cup final with Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. Here is the team I would like to see Arsene Wenger select….

Goalkeeper: Ospina

Personally, I’d rather Cech started in the final but Wenger has already confirmed Ospina will keep his place after playing in every round so you can’t really argue with that.

Defence: Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal

There is a decent argument for us to switch to a back three/five on Sunday to try and contain City but I actually think we need to stick with a flat back four and be more creative in midfield [more on that later].

Kolasinac scored last night during the defeat to Ostersunds but there is no doubt Monreal should be recalled at left-back while Bellerin will once again start on the right after coming through the Europa League game unscathed.

It’s safe to say Chambers and Holding didn’t do their first team hopes any good with shocking performances last night so Koscielny and Mustafi should be recalled on Sunday.

Midfield: Elneny, Wilshere, Ramsey

No doubt Wenger will recall Xhaka but I’d like to see us go with Elneny in a deep holding role as the Egyptian international can drop in to the defence and offer extra protection if needed – something Xhaka can’t offer [what does he offer?!].

Elneny seemed to have a ‘free role’ against Ostersunds as he was running around the pitch like a headless chicken at times but if he’s given strict instructions to sit in front of the back four and drop in when needed then he’d be a useful player against City.

Wenger said at his press conference earlier today that Ramsey looked to be winning his race to be fit after recovering from a groin problem so fingers crossed he passes a late fitness test.

Wilshere, like all of his team mates, had a night to forget against Ostersunds but I’d love to see him play alongside Ramsey in a midfield three. However, Wenger seems reluctant to play them together so it will be interesting to see what he goes with on Sunday.

Attack: Ozil, Iwobi, Aubameyang

Ozil is expected to shake-off his latest sickness bug to start in attack and there is no doubt we’ll need our German playmaker on top form if we’re to have a chance of beating City.

Welbeck was woeful in front of goal last night so there is no way he should start this weekend while Lacazette will continue to recover from knee surgery.

Thankfully Aubameyang is fit and available for selection so he will start up front and he could have some joy on the big Wembley pitch if he’s able to use his pace to get behind City’s high-line defence.

Unfortunately Mkhitaryan is cup-tied so we don’t have too many options in attack meaning Iwobi is probably our best bet. I’m not his biggest fan as his final ball and decision making are atrocious but we’ll need him to put in a hard working display against City on Sunday.

This is the team I hope we see:

I think this side has a decent chance of getting a result on Sunday as long as we cut out any silly mistakes at the back, use the ball well when in possession and hit City on the counter with Aubameyang’s pace.

We always seem to step-up at Wembley so let’s pray the lads have saved a big performance for this weekend as last night was embarrassing.


  1. Arafat omar

    February 24, 2018 at 1:29 am

    It’s a cup final my dear,it needs no jokes in it, why not to play 2 strikers auba and welbek, instead of iwobi he’s too slow, according to me, let welbek start then iwobi be a substitude thanks.

  2. Tactics Matter Speed Kills

    February 24, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Take a look at our midfielder’s defensive stats. That’s what Xhaka does. Things Iwobi, Ramsey, Wilshere, or even Bellerin ever do. Another lineup to die a 6-2 death with. Iwobi is garbage. He’s as bad as Holding and Chambers. I.e. Never seen in an Arsenal shirt again would be great. Ramsey and Bellerin on the same side of the pitch. 2 players that are only interested in bombing forward. So basically you’ll let Sane and De Bruyne run rampant on our defensive right. Very Wenger tactics. Thank God we won’t see that lineup. It’s THAT bad.

  3. SirHantz

    February 24, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Pls l rather Arsenal play 10 against City 11 than to see that Iwobi or Welbeck on the pitch..Sead shld be in that team in front of Monreal

  4. SirHantz

    February 24, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Goalkeeper: Ospina
    Defence: Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal

    Midfield: Xaka, Wilshere, Ramsey,Kolasinac

    Attack: Ozil, Aubameyang

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