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Arsenal vs Frankfurt preview | confirmed team news, Pepe to start + prediction

By on November 28, 2019

Unai Emery is under huge pressure to get Arsenal back to winning ways when we welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to the Emirates this evening.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Southampton was the latest in a string of woeful results as it extended our winless run to six matches in all competitions and made it just 3 points from our last 5 Premier League games.

Arsenal now sit eighth in the table – eight points off the top four – and the vast majority of fans now want Emery sacked. In fact, I don’t know a single Arsenal supporter who doesn’t feel it’s time for a change of manager.

We sit top of our Europa League group – four points clear of Standard Liege – so a win tonight would guarantee we progress as group winners and would probably buy Emery at least one more game.

However, it’s clear the Arsenal players have lost faith in the manager as the performances have been shocking throughout the season so a win over Frankfurt would only delay the inevitable.

Team news

Arsenal’s squad is in good health as Dani Ceballos is the only significant absentee with the Spaniard still nursing a hamstring injury. Hector Bellerin is also carrying a hamstring issue but it’s not serious – although he isn’t expected to feature tonight.

Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac and Bukayo Saka are all set to return after recovering from minor knocks that kept them out of the Southampton game while the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli are pushing for recalls.

Emery will rest his big guns so we shouldn’t expect to see the likes of Bernd Leno, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Matteo Guendouzi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette starting later.

Preferred line-up

I hope we ditch the back three/five and go with a back four of Kolasinac, Holding, Mustafi and Calum Chambers. I wouldn’t give Xhaka a way back into the team just yet so Lucas Torreira can start in the holding role with Joe Willock recalled in midfield. Maitland-Niles could also play in a central role to make up the numbers.

Pepe was left out against Southampton so he can start on the right wing – although I would be happy to see him rested for the Norwich game and Reiss Nelson getting a run out along with Saka. Obviously Martinelli should start and hopefully he carries on his excellent form in Europe.

This would be my line-up:

football formations

Prediction

It’s painful watching Arsenal right now as the players have pretty much given up on Emery and are just waiting for him to be sacked. The performances in recent weeks have been shocking and a low crowd is expected tonight so it should be a sombre atmosphere. Much of our best football this season has come in the Europa League but I don’t expect to see much free-flowing football tonight.

Arsenal won 3-0 in the reverse fixture but I don’t see it being that easy tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if we drew again but I’m backing the boys to edge it 2-1. It will probably be enough for Emery to keep his job but a defeat on Sunday at Norwich would be the final nail in his coffin.

Arsenal 2-1 Frankfurt 

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