Arsenal vs Villareal (UEL) 6 May 2021

Discussion in 'Arsenal' started by NorthBank, May 2, 2021.

  1. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #1 NorthBank, May 2, 2021
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    afc-villareal.jpg

    Thursday 6 May 2021
    Europa League - Semifinal Leg 2
    Ashburton Grove
    USA TV: TUDN, Paramount+/CBS-All-Access 3pm ET


    Ahead of this existential match, we created a helpful bit of feel-good factor by beating Newcastle, while never looking like it would be anything but a win there (at least that’s what it seemed like, my attention having been diverted by the Mancs Mayhem)

    We also saw a legit return by Auba from malaria, with a fantastic match-clinching goal by him, off of an inch perfect cross by Gabi. Two guys who we might just need Thurs night. Sadly, I believe Laca & Tierney are ruled out for this match, along with Luiz.

    But having rotated heavily and gotten good performances today, Arteta has given himself some good positional choice dilemmas, when he compares today to the debacle which was Leg 1 last Thurs.

    Gabriel over Mari? Paired with Holding? Leno over Ryan? Pepe over Martinelli? ESR vs MO or both? And can Auba go again up top, having really dug deep today??

    And perhaps the mother of all dilemmas (if this board is any guide): Xhaka returns to CMF? And then Saka over Cedric at LB?? (sadly I think since Cedric hasn’t seen a minute in weeks, those who want Saka back there might just get their wish)

    But no more personnel speculation... what’s 100% clear is that we have to WIN this match! However, starting with a 1-2 AGG, not all winning scores see us through to the final. So IMHO we have to channel our 2nd leg comeback at Prague, go all out right from the off, keep a clean sheet... or at least a 2 goal advantage. :D

    p.s. keeping in mind that we've beaten them in a European Semi once before!

     
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  2. And_ROOS

    And_ROOS Member+

    Dec 30, 2006
    Melbourne, Aus
    Need goals from Midfield? Need the Egyptian Messi.

    Hopefully we can run with our strongest team. No Luiz, Laca or Tierney from the sounds of it, so I wonder if we run with either Saka at LB, persist with Xhaka at LB.

    I would hope we go Xhaka at LB, Partey, ESR and Ode in midfield, and a front 3 of Martinelli, Auba and Pepe.

    And hope to god we pump in 4 goals because they will get at least one.
     
  3. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't disagree, but if Arteta sticks to his pattern of choice, then it's Xhaka at LB again.

    p.s. Hope you don't mind, but it dawned on me that I can redirect the convo to the more appropriate thread... the lonely new MD thread that I created just last night. :)
     
  4. Rewinder

    Rewinder Member+

    Jun 24, 2004
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    [​IMG]

    Arteta's last real game in charge.
     
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  5. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unless...

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Silva 5

    Silva 5 Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    1-0 is hardly a miracle
     
  7. wanye_stirrear

    wanye_stirrear Member+

    Sep 19, 2002
    Maryland
    I think Arsenal will continue its trend of playing badly in one leg and then winning convincing in the other.

    I expect Arsenal to win and to advance.
     
  8. And_ROOS

    And_ROOS Member+

    Dec 30, 2006
    Melbourne, Aus
    If you watched the first leg, it will be.
     
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  9. Tonerl

    Tonerl Member+

    Arsenal
    May 10, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Tierney in full training today. I’d probably risk him from the start here.
     
  10. mebeSajid

    mebeSajid Member+

    Feb 16, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Given the money riding on this match, I think we have to.
     
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  11. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    IF he's 100% fit, and IF his form is not too rusty, then certainly it would allow us to put other players in their best positions: Xhaka back to MF w/ Partey, and Saka as a forward winger.

    And IF we play a striker (Auba hopefully or maybe Martinelli), it would also allow us to play our most common, familiar and successful 4-2-3-1 configuration. I.e. no more clever tinkering at the last minute Mikel... no more false 9... go with what got you here.

    But that's a lot of IF's! All predicated on Tierney. That's an awful lot of weight on the shoulders of a guy with serial injury history and who's clearly being rushed back. To a big stage.

    p.s. I surely hope that the game gets to be played and there isn't another fan disruption a la the Mancs last Sunday. Protest loudly that's fine, but don't blockade the coaches or storm the bastille!
     
  12. Tonerl

    Tonerl Member+

    Arsenal
    May 10, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We can play a striker regardless of Tierney’s availability.

    He’s in full training with the squad. It’s a risk worth taking given what the stakes are and how little of the season is left. If he aggravates it we’re no worse off than we were three weeks ago when they thought he would need surgery and his season was over.
     
  13. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Of course, it just makes it that much more easy and likely that we'd go back to our old familiar line-up

    Except if he's not really fit and ends up being a liability, causing us to lose the Semi. You can't really assume he's going to come right back to the form & fitness he was before the injury. That's the risk I was implying before.
     
  14. CarlosKaiser

    CarlosKaiser Member+

    Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 30, 2018
    Kansas City
    Tierney makes the bench, Xhaka at LB. Laca also available but not starting.

    ESR playing the Ceballos role? I like that.

    Mari and Bellerin get the nod in defense.

     
  15. Rewinder

    Rewinder Member+

    Jun 24, 2004
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Surprised Mari is starting. He played a role in both goals we conceded last time.
     
  16. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Feels defensively frail to me, unless it's posted strangely and Saka is actually at LB.
     
  17. CarlosKaiser

    CarlosKaiser Member+

    Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 30, 2018
    Kansas City
    I don't get it either, I thought Gabriel looked good at the weekend. Granted, Newcastle, but still.
     
  18. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah me too! I thought it was a near no-brainer to have Gabriel replace him. Major fingers crossed for Pablo.
     
  19. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #19 NorthBank, May 6, 2021
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    Agreed. It seems a near certainty that we will allow them to score. Therefore we need to go out in a big way on offense to score several goals, and 2 more than them!! Big ask???
     
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  20. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    BBC and Google are guessing at the following shape, with Saka as LWB. Could be I guess, but it seems a bit odd for ESR partnering Partey in CMF...

    upload_2021-5-6_14-51-4.png
     
  21. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Xhaka (not Saka) is injured in warm-up! Tierney's coming in. Ah yay yay! :eek:

    Edit: Sorry I mis-heard that before. As vital has Granit has been, I'm much less bothered by losing him than Saka. BUT what a terrible last-minute switcheroo to have to deal with!
     
  22. Rewinder

    Rewinder Member+

    Jun 24, 2004
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    We couldn't even wait for the match to start to have things go wrong.
     
  23. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #23 NorthBank, May 6, 2021
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
    The many who wanted to see Saka at LB are disappointed. ;) I'm of course relieved to see him at what I think is his most effective position: right side of front line.

    p.s. So far it looks like a back 4 to me.
     
  24. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    United States
    Aug 5, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    If Tierney gets through the match without injury, it's a stroke of fortune more than anything else.
     
  25. NorthBank

    NorthBank Member+

    Arsenal; NYRB
    United States
    Mar 29, 2006
    Connecticut
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    5' dangerous swerving shot from Chukweze. Leno is up to the task.
     

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