Wenger reveals team news ahead of Chelsea semi-final second leg


Arsenal face Chelsea in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at the Emirates tomorrow night.

After a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, it’s winner takes all with the prospect of extra-time and penalties.

With no league game this weekend because of the FA Cup fixtures, Arsene Wenger can afford to pick his strongest possible team for this one in his attempt to guide his side to a Wembley final.

The Arsenal manager provided the latest team news update at his press conference this morning, and there wasn’t much different from the weekend selection.

“We might have Ramsey back in the squad, he has a test today,” he said.

“We have uncertainty about Nacho Monreal, who left the game against Crystal Palace, he also has a test today.

“Olivier Giroud is a fraction short, Danny Welbeck is a fraction short as well.”

Whatever team he selects, let’s hope they can do what’s required.

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50 Comments on "Wenger reveals team news ahead of Chelsea semi-final second leg"

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League Cup win and a top 4 finish would be a pretty decent season all things considered…

UEFA Cup would be the cherry on top!

Why not

Id take europa league win or top 4 as a success. The huggies cup can do one. Nonsensical competition.


League cup is such a mickey mouse cup. A win will be scant consolation.

Europa win is the one to salvage something this season (and hopefully sneak in to top 4…we are only 5 points off Liverpool who conspired to lose to bottom club having stop the invincible push of the top club a week earlier…Klopp revolution in the confused heads of Pundits)

Those who wish for dropping out of top 4 and Europa win, well Wenger is obliging you this season.

Be careful for what you wish for.

May not necessarily help us in any form when it comes to player recruitment in the summer. We are already obstinate spending on quality sufficiently…it will only make the job harder and create more excuses with a smaller pool of players to choose form.;)


Is mkhitaryan Cup tied? Not that chucking him in the team with 1 training session is ideal though


He is I guess. Given that he has already represented Moaninho this season. Too bad we didn’t play Sanchez against Nottingham. Might’ve taken him out of the FA cup for the season.


He is.


He is cup tied

Jack WilXhaka

He’s cup tied having played in the tournament with Manure


He can’t play the league cup but he can play Europa league.


Ok, there is a sixth way of answering Goonerink’s question of whether Alexis is cup-tied. Anyone knows it?

Donald\'s Trump

He’s not not cup tied

Mayor McCheese

Go fuck yourself in an alligator fuck house?

Off the top of my head.

Come back to the five \'n\' dime NickyB NickyB
Come back to the five \'n\' dime NickyB NickyB

Nacho had a great game against Palace, let’s hope he makes it. Hopefully we can serve Lacazette well and he can make the difference!? GOYG


Is he Europa cup tied too?


Nope. But if we get aubameyang aswell, I’m pretty sure we are made to choose between one or the other as both have played champions league.

I could be wrong. But I’m pretty sure I remember something like that happening to another team a few years ago.


As I understand Aubameyang would be cup tied for the Europa as Dortmund are in it, regardless if Mhkitaryan plays or not.

I think choosing between players is when a team does not meet the home grown quota (something like 8 of the 25 ‘first team’ players must be home grown). Man City had this problem a while back in the CL when they had to choose between Bony and Jovetic. I don’t think this is a problem for us though.

Andy G

Aubameyang would be ineligible for Europa League – even though he hasn’t played in it yet, his team are in it. And as ridiculous as it sounds, he’s therefore cup tied.


Alexis is not cup tied for Champions League apparently.

How’s that? It doesn’t work the other way round?

Group Captain Mandrake
Group Captain Mandrake

My understanding is that Sanchez would be cup tied if Arsenal was playing in the CL. Same way that Auba would be cup tied since Dortmund is in the same competition. Mkhi played in the CL so he is available for a different competition.


This is exactly what Sky Sports reported. So your probably right.

Indian Gooner

Looks like Aubameyang is not going to be on his way here. Looks like it was all a stunt to make our mouths shut. If they really wanted Aubameyang I would say they would have gone to any lengths to male it happen. Is Mkhitaryan alone good enough? Definitely not. Even he came because that was only way this deal was ever going to happen. Typical Arsenal. Just ready to make up for the numbers whenever someone leaves. Sucks.

Andy G

Glass half empty, much?

Indian Gooner

I would be surprised if this not your response as well after our next inevitably disastrous performance. Just trying to be the first one to do so.


Please don’t feel you have to.


“Trying to be the first one to do so” Maybe you should change your name to Nostradamus.


Don’t need Aubameyang.

We need a creative/technical player out wide.

Mahrez is a better buy.

Aubameyang is purely convenience for the current scout/negotiation team bc of connections (and frankly laziness)
They probably have a vested interest in it.

The striker replacement (Giroud) can wait till the summer.

If we buy Aubameyang now, we may get him at a better price than summer but its a mixed bag bc frankly we already have Lacazette and Giroud provides us with a different skill set.

Aubameyang is too similar to Lacazette and we run the risk of losing OG.

Lord Bendnter

I respect your opinion. I don’t necessarily agree with it just yet. But, surely if we only replace Sanchez with Mikitikitaryan, then once again we have managed to make a profit this transfer window, despite our league performances and position clearly pointing to the obvious need of fresh reinforcements.
That’s why I am not so hyper with this Mikitikitaryan deal. Let’s see if we end up securing more signings and manage to tie down Ozil n Wilshere. If not, then we are royally screwed for the remainder of the season…

Crash Fistfight

Mikitikitaryan is our new mongoose signing from India.


Guess not many got the Jungle Book and Rikki tikki tavi reference in your posting?

Crash Fistfight

Nope. I’d imagine it’s a load of ignorant people wanting to be offended by something. Maybe they should read a book or two.


I doubt Gazidis is over in Dortmund for the pretzels and steins. Nor has he taken Sven back home to be introduced to the relatives. Dortmund could easily tell us to get fucked over the phone if they had no intention of letting him go.

So your pessimism on signing Aubameyang sounds extremely unwarranted. We have sold 3 players this transfer window. We cannot simply bring in 1. Wenger and the board have made some bad mistakes, but they can count the numbers on the training paddock at the moment and easily realise we are short.

Cheer up lad. We just got a new signing!


You could always support one of the manc teams. They buy lots of players. And then you’d probably be happier.


Heh. Danny welbeck is always a fraction short in the games.
It’s always hitting his sheen, shoulders, heel or narrowly missing him.


Eventually, Welbeck will have to step up and try and replicate the power and direct game Giroud provides.

Currently he isn’t even plan C.

Remember the (SAME) excitement he generated coming over from United as a reject. People were wanking off to his pace. No point having all that pace if you don’t understand positioning and you have a poor touch.


I hope Wenger plays a strong team, I know you need to rotate but I don’t want to see too many changes. Would stick with a Midfield 3, and not play AMN at LB. Kolasinac if fit needs a start, would even consider Debuchy RB.

Up top we may as well start Ozil, Laca and Wilshere maybe further forward? Put AMN in the midfield?

Chelsea showed in the first leg they’ll play their strongest team so no doubt they will again this game.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage


I expect a strong side tomorrow given we have no game this weekend and Ozil was taken off early against Palace. Ospina will probably be the only regular cup player who will starts (Maitland-Niles has pushed above Kolasinac so I don’t really count his as part of that team now)


I don’t think AMN is above Kolasinac.

AMN has been great jumping into the deep end but he made several critical mistakes against Palace in not tracking players into the box on two occasions in which we could have been punished. Not to mention the pure pass to Elneny into the middle which almost led to an Zaha goal.

Its not all rosy with AMN either lets be balanced

He is still learning his trade at fullback.

I think Kolasinac pound for pound is the better option but he is struggling with fitness and is a bit overwhelmed by the pace of te PL (which is normal for a lot of players from the Bundesliga)

AMN has been less flustered by the pace being a younger man used to the environment of England.

Once Kolasinac gets up to speed, the Bosniak’s experience will be critical and better for us. His close control is superb for a big bloke.

AMN frankjly should cycle to right sid eof fullback to compete/cover Bellerin (Hopefully we can get rid of Debuchy)

Monreal I’d consider keeping another year at the club. Some wear and tear issues but we have tow other potentials coming through from Academy. Cohen Bramall has yet to convince on loan but there is also young Vlad Dragomir who has been pretty impressive for U23s.

Juan Cornetto

Arshavin was a fraction short.

Crash Fistfight

Maybe some of our players should go into space?



Mkhitaryan is an astonishing deal for us. Sanchez would have left for free or 20 million to City. Instead we have a potential great player who must be worth 50 million at least. Its a win win

SB Still

He is a Walcott replacement – similar position in the squad – excess (just that one manager is much more decent in handling his players, especially in public).

Walcott despite being an England international was sold for £20M.

ManU was looking for a way out Raiola’s big mouth!

I don’t understand how Mkhi got a pay rise to join us, as well as being the best paid in the squad on the back of his time in England so far.

However, if he lives up to the salary package, then I’ll be ecstatic.


Mhykitaryan was forced upon us.

We lost the City bid , United were the only ones left or we run the risk of losing Alexis for free more importantly having to potentially more than likely replace to top assets in the summer with higher prices on replacements (not to mention complications if we should be out of CL)

Essentially United had us by the balls.

More accurately the agents had us by our testicles.

Is he a player we may be able to use? Possibly yes but make no mistake we were not in control of this decision. Its a PR face to a shitty situation.

We bring in a player who at 29yrs should he not work out will be on high wages and difficult to shift. It may have impact to future additions (particularly if we are out of CL)

Plus he is low on confidence coming into a team fragile at the moment and the Mhykitarian now is not the same player as in 2016.

Frankly the negotiating team did poorly. They should have been more resolute that we do not want the swap. Its a band aid on the cheap that they were willing to contemplate rather than go for a player that could truly transform us with less longer term risks.

Always surprising how easy it is to pull the wool over people’s eyes.


Lets get this straight. When the City offer went off the table that was for 20M we decided to take the United offer of 30-35M. Sometime between us talking to United about that offer and about to say “yes” to it they said you must take Mhki? Or Raiola told United they must let Mhki go to Arsenal since that would make the most sense. Arsenal said how much is Mhki going to cost us? United responded with a Mhki plus 10M for Sanchez? Before we can say yes that offer Raiola stepped in and said, “what are you talking about? Mhki is worth double Sanchez. I won’t sanction the swap.”

So then Arsenal were going to accept the cash only? Then Raiola stepped in again and told Arsenal you have to take Mhki because he needs out of United and you guys don’t really want him at my valuation but you still need to take him or I will kill the Sanchez deal?

Am I understanding this?


Riaola played our negotiating team very well. He got 10m out of it and shoved an out of form 29yr old player in our direction with increase wages.


Mkhit…however that is spelled, appears to be anything BUT a Theo replacement. I’ve not watched him much, but there is a good piece on this site by Lewis Ambrose worth reading. Mhkit…. is more a Cazorla type player.

I don’t get it. We were in for this guy not so long ago and Yanited pipped us to him. He looks to be a top quality player.

(and who gives a crap about the salaries and that. we’re not paying them … and he’s not on that much when you consider other world class players in the Prem. Give the guy a chance.)


The squad against Palace should be it.

I would start Kolasinac though. AMN has been fantastic jumping into the deep end but he lapses some times due to inexperience. Against Palace, he failed to track his runners ahead of him (or keep up with them twice). This is no indictment against him bc far more experience players who ought to know better have done the same but you feel Kolasinac will be the more diligent.

The issue I think with Kolasinac is fitness. He seems a bit overwhelmed by the pace in the PL where young AMN has been anything but flustered if not competitive.

So its a bit of a toss up. Monreal of course is out with a hammy.

I think with Monreal back and Kolasinac, the natural thing to do is to eventually shift AMN to Rback cover/competition for Bellerin. Its his natural side on the right.

He’s been diligent learning the position so no point interrupting the process now with a move to midfield. It will just confuse the development like Chambers.

Eventually he can have some time in midfield to assess his qualities there but those should be in less consequential competitions at restricted detriment to us.

Given we pissed away the FA cup and the league cup has reached critical juncture, plus we have more experience options in midfield where experience counts, its best for AMN to continue his development at fullback.


What games are you watching with AMN? Are you just waiting for any mistake he makes and point it out to convince anyone that reads your post that you are right he shouldn’t be at LB but at RB because tracking back is an issue of being on the players weak side of the pitch? Or as you said he couldn’t keep up with them on the left but surely he ccan keep pace on the right? Kola is much faster right?


Elneny I’ve always said is average and frankly a bit flimsy but if he can stay diligent in the deeper position and release Granit to help Jack and Ozil further forward, it could put pressure on Chelsea.

The midfield arrangement looks fluid with either Jack or Granit also available to drop down and cover with Elneny if need be.

I think this is key. We simply don’t have the complete player at the moment so if the system works to cover the current players and their limitations, we should use it.

In essence we are almost playing a 4-1-4-1 which transforms into a 4-1-3-2 with Ozil pushing forward.

Iwobi (AGAIN) may be key. He is providing the dynamisim and take ons that Alexis did for us. His touch is sublime and he is discipline enough to track back (That recovery against Palace where he runs half the pitch in his funny way was superb). And he isn’t afraid to have a go with an instinctive shot.

I don’t understand how some people can even think to have him out on loan. Frankly I’d send young nelson out first.

Hopefully the midfield clicks and we swamp Chelski high up, put pressure and do the business early again.

The other side of the pitch, Mustafi and Koscielny were mostly good against Palace. Koscielny I lost count of the number of intercepts he made to put the ball back into play in the Palace box. Mustafi made some very critical clearances for us too. This is the main central pairing for us. Its night and day.


Iwobi touch is sublime? discipline enough to track back? instinctive shot?

Talk about seeing things what aren’t there. Now I undersstand the hate for Elneny and love for Iwobi.