Arsenal vs Leeds: Injury News, Preferred Line-up & Predicted Score

By on January 8, 2012

Emirates Stadium

Arsenal get their FA Cup campaign underway against Championship side Leeds Utd tomorrow at the Emirates with much of the pre-match talk surrounding the return of Thierry Henry.

The Gunners legend has returned to the club on loan and will most likely take his place amongst the substitutes tomorrow. Personally, i’m thrilled to see TH14 back in the Red & White but i hope he isn’t the only attacker Arsene is planning on bringing in this January.

Team News

The boss has stated he will play a strong side but i still expect a number of changes to be made. We’ve had a busy period of games and a few of the lads deserve a rest. Arteta and Ramsey in particular could do with a breather as they looked knackered during the second half against Fulham.

Johan Djourou is suspended, while Vermaelen, Wilshere, Diaby, Sagna, Jenkinson, Santos and Gibbs are still out through injury. I haven’t heard much about the return of Fabianski from injury, so can only assume Almunia will take his place between the sticks. Robin van Persie will definitely be left out and Gervinho is off on international duty for Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations. However, Marouanne Chamakh is able to take part after being allowed to delay his departure.

With so many injuries at the back, it’s difficult to see how Arsene can rest anybody but i think one of Mertesacker or Koscielny should be left out to lessen the risk of further injury or suspension to a first team regular. Leeds are a decent side but have injury problems of their own so i think we could get away with naming a largely second-string eleven. Here’s the team i’d like to see put out.

Preferred Line-up

Almunia

Coquelin     Squillaci      Koscielny      Miquel

Song      Rosicky

Chamberlain       Benayoun      Arshavin

Chamakh

Chamberlain certainly deserves a start and with Gervinho gone Arshavin should come in on the left. With the lack of alternatives up front, Chamakh will have to replace Van Persie. Benayoun and Rosicky should come in for Arteta and Ramsey. Ideally Alex Song would also be given a rest but due to limited options, he’ll most likely have to play. Thierry Henry should be given at least 30 minutes regardless of the scoreline.

That’s the team i’d go for, but i have a feeling Arsene Wenger will pick a more established side. With the exception of Van Persie, who we know will certainly be rested, Wenger may go with a more familiar first choice eleven. Whatever team the boss goes with, i just hope he gives young Chamberlain a chance because he deserves it, and Theo has been disappointing of late.

Predicted Score

Arsenal’s second string will be pushed all the way by Leeds. Of course we could put out our strongest eleven and win the game with relative ease, but that risks injuries and suspensions that we can ill-afford right now so it’s a wise decision to rest the big-guns. I can still see us progressing though, and i’m going for 2-1 to The Arsenal. Perhaps Thierry Henry coming off the bench to grab the winner?!

What team would you put out for the game? Leave your opinions in the comments section.

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36 Comments

  1. Arsenal

    January 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Sorry mate, leave squillaci out of it. I would prefer Superdry give a mannequin to stick on the pitch instead of the squid

  2. Birstall White

    January 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Whatever side you put out I think they will be wound up to do us first time after we nearly beat you last year. Also we’re not doing nearly as well as last year, so I think you will be 2 or 3 goals to the good by the time Henry comes on and if he still has the pace he will get 2 or 3 goals against our slow defence

  3. Kean Aikman

    January 8, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Pls no Squillaci N Chamakh. I can tolerate Arshavin but not those two. Chamberlain should start. Hope Henry will come in and get us some goals. That would be a massive boost for Arsenal. And you don’t have to feel mate, Arsene said he will be naming a strong 11, it’s all over the media, so maybe you should do your homework first, read before you write. Arsenal to win by 2goals at least.

    • RVP10

      January 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      @Kean Alkman

      Thanks for the comment, but perhaps you should read carefully before posting. I clearly say this is the line-up I would put out, NOT the one i think Wenger will select. I even said Wenger will choose a stronger 11.

      • Kean Aikman

        January 9, 2012 at 12:00 am

        @Rvp 10, Oops sorry mate i didn’t actually think you will read thru’ the comments let alone bother to reply to one. My apologies if i sounded rude. Just that i was a tad curious when you wrote “i have a feeling Arsene will name an establish side” when its all over the media. Again i’m sorry if i offended you. Don’t mean it. Good article though. Will keep reading…

  4. Lex

    January 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I would swap arshavin and benayoun but probably the team I would play

  5. Ahmed

    January 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    i would like to leave like that ,after half time we need Henry

  6. ARSENAL FAN 101

    January 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    henry has a good reputation of scoring headers and chamberlain could cross a couple of balls in. But chamakh is in the starting 11 for that match so maybe halftime henry and chamakh could swap over and it will give chamberlain a chance to shine with the assists but it is all down to henry if he plays as well as he used to. he might have got used to playing with LA Redbulls which is a team that has not got as good rating as arsenal…bring it on Leeds!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Idris Muhammad Rogo

    January 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Ofcourse monday night match hope arsenal legend henry will shine as it’s past.

  8. Tom

    January 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Leeds always seem to be up for a FA cup clash with Premier League sides. If we play too many bench players, it will be a long evening for us.

  9. Larry

    January 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    U guys are mad. Leave everyone in that list on. TAKE FREAKIN ALMUNIA OUT! THAT GUY IS A CURSE!

  10. Omar

    January 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I would love to see miyachi play instead of Arshavin

  11. arsenal fan 11 year old

    January 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    4-2-3-1 is the formation of the game and henry should be that number 1 of the formation for half time and should swap with chamakh. henry has a good reputation of scoring headers and that will be good for chamberlain to shine if he crosses some balls in to henry to header and he could be man of the match with the assists that he could peform. the only slight problem is that henry might of got used to NY Redbulls which everyone can agree the team is a lower star rating than arsenal. up the gunners!!!

  12. brdgunner

    January 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I would be disapointed not to see this team. Great selection.

    perfect given the circumstances

    • RVP10

      January 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      @brdgunner

      Thanks, i feel this is the best starting team given the squad available. Perhaps give Park a chance instead of Chamakh, he cant do much worse.

  13. Aussie Jack

    January 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Players need rest, that`s for sure, and there`s no ideal time but if we field the side suggested I think we can kiss goodbye to the FA Cup (no criticism intended). The mid field looks reasonable but a combination of Almunia and Squillaci at the back sends shivers down my spine. Song will have to be on his toes and drop back to cover and Koscieiny will pull out all stops I`m sure….Up front…everyone will be awaiting the Chamberlain/Henry combination to appear. Unfortunately the TV coverage in Australia is restricted and I`ll miss the game. Result? I see a replay.

    • RVP10

      January 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      @Aussie Jack

      I agree mate, but what choice do we have? We cant afford any more injuries or suspensions to first choice defenders. We only have Koscielny and Mertesacker available at the minute, if they both play and one gets injured we’re stuffed against Swansea next week and United are up the week after!

      Fourth is the priority so better for Squillaci to play against Leeds than United!!

      • Kean Aikman

        January 9, 2012 at 7:24 am

        Squillaci is a big NO for this game or any other games. I was totally dumbfounded with his display in the Fulham game recently. He just stood there watching the ball sail over his head by mere inches for Fulham’s equalizer. All he have to do was to simply jump. I really hope Arsene ship him out asap! And if he really starts today’s match then i don’t think we will keep a clean sheet. However, i think we are still good enough to win by 2goals. 3-1 maybe.If Arsene did name a strong line up as earlier announced, it will only goes to show he’s feeling the pressure from every quarter to finally end the trophy drought. It’s about time too and if we go all the way, win the F.A.Cup it might get Robin to sign a new contract.

  14. Isah Baba Kano

    January 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Henry availabity is fantastic

  15. le jeune pato

    January 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    jst liv the team lyk it is bt i’ll lyk to c rio,watt,afobe nd henry playing in the 2nd half

    • atid

      January 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Is there not a rule about playing for 2 teams in one season? if so i am.hoping that wenger will not.play almunia otherwise we cannot sell him. i would go for szcesney or shea if fabianski is not fit angha ansah and ozyakup have all been training with the first team this week. i have a feeling that all 3 will be in the 18.

  16. Isiaq surajdeen

    January 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I think AW should start miaychi, park. Aox for front, y middle song. Rosciky. Benayoun. and back nico. Squillaci. Kosciney, coquelin .good luck

  17. sam

    January 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    unfortunately we won’t beat leeds with this line but you could be correct. arsene himself doesn’t care about the risk of playing the gruesome foursome in one team he still thinks they are top players. an ambitious coach will remove almunia, chamakh,arshavin and squillaci from the first team.
    we will have a difficult game tomorrow because of arsene wenger’s arrogance then he will blame the referee if things go wrong. i think we will murder them with miyaichi and chamberlain on the wings and henri in the middle.

  18. Northwest Gooner

    January 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Song def needs to start… Arshavin has a foot out the door so I don’t like him starting we should have ryo out there at first my first two subs would be arshavin then Henry with about 23-27 mins left with Walcott as the final sub with 20 left that will stretch the already tired defense and have us in there half for long spells of the game with the playmaker brain Henry has now he can send Walcott through let’s jus hope he picks a corner on the breakaways and not the one with a flag on it

  19. nicky

    January 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I only hope the team Arsene selects will be supported by ALL the Arsenal fans at the Emirates. In that way we should receive a good performance from every player.
    So NO sighing and moaning at mistakes,
    RIGHT?

  20. Wasiu

    January 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Seriously?!, almunia and squilacci in the same line up?!, recipee for disaster

  21. Northbanksy

    January 9, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Can’t see why Szezzer needs a rest, or why Almunia should play.

  22. Kaceger

    January 9, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Yennaris at right back and park to replace arshavin.leeds have their own injury concerns,good pace and constant attack will give them hell away from home 4-1 to the Arsenal.

  23. Kaceger

    January 9, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Yennaris at right back and park to replace arshavin.leeds have their own injury concerns,a 4-4-2 with good pace and constant attack will give them hell away from home.4-1 to the Arsenal.

  24. yakubu joel

    January 9, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Up gunners.. Park, Miyaichi, Ox should start up front.. Then,Song, Rosicky, Benayoun or Ozyakub in d middle. Ars-5 Leeds-0.

  25. ny

    January 9, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Our real problem is in play making.Ramsey just cannot give the killer passes and Song usually gives better passes.
    I would like Wenger to take this opportunity to test Ozyakup and see how he performs as a play maker.

  26. wtf

    January 9, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Almunia????? Why not Fabiański???

    • hong

      January 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Fabianski is injured. But I think almunia is better than fabianski.

  27. Shizzle dixon

    January 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I Really disagree wit’ AW playin’ squillaci,Chamack en Almunia in a single match, Its more of complete Sucide. Shld see Oxlade en TH14 shakin a stubborn Leeds’ back 4.

  28. Dcc

    January 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Gents please we need to take the FA cup seriously. It is our only realistic opportunity of silverware this season. Surely we saw the damage Squillaci can do coming on as a sub, let alone playing for a full 90. Any way if he does pay I predict an injury to the centre half playing alongside him, after all they have to do the work of two….. Do not underestimate Leeds, they could turn us over, so let’s put out our strongest side available and welcome Villa in the next round…

  29. messi

    January 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I wish Henry was in first 11

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