Thoughts On The Starting Eleven And Tactics Against Ipswich Town

One big performance can earn Arsenal the ticket to Wembley for yet another final appearance that might be more cherished than previous ones due to the events of the past few years.

Ipswich Town bring a 1 – 0 lead to the Emirates. We can be sure the Tractor will be well anchored in front of their goal. And judging by their performance in the first game it’ll be a solid one that will prove difficult to break down. But the way to Wembley for Arsenal will go through that Tractor and the Gunners will have to prove themselves once again. All this, while hoping they don’t get ploughed at the back on a counter-attack.

Tactically speaking there won’t be many surprises in this game. A lot will depend on the performances of individuals chosen by both managers.

The timing of the first goal will be of utmost importance. If Arsenal can get one early the pressure will ease. That’s not to say that the Gunners can take it easy after the first goal. That will be suicide. But if the visitors can hold fort and go in level at half time they’ll genuinely believe they can get through.

Of course, there is a remote possibility of Arsenal conceding the first goal but I’m not sure if even Ipswich fans realistically believe in that. Interestingly though, in the last 7 games Arsenal have conceded 3 goals and all three have been scored by Championship sides!

In any case, I feel Arsenal will have to score 3 goals in this game. Given the result in the first leg, 1 goal won’t be enough while 2 – 0 will be an extremely risky score. Considering these issues I hope Arsenal concede early if they’re to concede at all.

I feel the game will boil down to the speed of Arsenal’s passing, the quality of movement and finishing, and the stifling ability of their pressing. The opponents will bring meticulous organization, unflinching tackles, and an adrenalin inspired work rate to the table. Ultimately, the side which can impose its style more effectively will head to Wembley.

Obviously, the starting eleven that Arsene picks will be critical. He cannot afford to make 8 or 9 changes. And based on his recent comments it seems Le Boss knows he needs a very strong team. I would be happy with four changes to the side that dispatched Wigan so ruthlessly.

I’d not want to start RvP against a side that might be a little agricultural in their approach. Also considering the fact that Ipswich might defend really deep I’m not sure Theo will be able to make a big impact against them. In the midfield Song could do with a breather considering the hectic schedule coming up in February wherein all the games are tough. In the back five I’d not mind giving Gibbs another game while resting Clichy.

Then comes the issues of picking the starters. Chamakh would come in for RvP, Arshavin or Bendtner could fill in for Theo, and Denilson for Song. I’m not sure if Arshavin has the form to start right now so I’d go with Bendtner on the left and Nasri on the right. The Dane has the ability to cut in from that side and has already scored some curlers this season.

My starting eleven would look like,

Szczesny – Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs – Denilson, Cesc, Wilshere – Nasri, Chamakh, Bendtner.

Arsene might even pick Eboue ahead of Sagna but that’ll make me very nervous.

I think this team is good enough to get the desired result but Wenger will have to be decisive with his substitutions. He cannot wait till 70 minutes if Arsenal concede a goal or have failed to score in the first half.

I have a feeling this one won’t be a comfortable game and will go down to the wire. As I’ve said in the past, I’ll be satisfied with a quality performance irrespective of the result.

35 Responses to Thoughts On The Starting Eleven And Tactics Against Ipswich Town

  1. puppyguts says:

    gd line up, but i think wilshere may be rested instead of song and i think rvp might get the nod as AW will be looking to rest him on the wkend

    • desigunner says:

      Wasn’t Wilshere rested against Leeds? I also feel Wilshere will get more opportunities for a break once Diaby comes back. For Song this might be vital.

      I’d be happy to have RvP in the line-up but it will be a real tragedy if he gets kicked out.

  2. SFOGunner says:

    I would prefer rvp in the middle instead of chamakh. Chamakh/Theo/Arshavin can sub for Rvp/Nasri/Bendtner once we score the three goals.

    • SFOGunner says:

      Also prefer a first choice back four (ie sagna,clichy) since conceding a goal is quite a disaster ..
      Both Eboue and Gibbs switch off occasionaly and are better attcking wise than defensively.

      • desigunner says:

        I agree about the risk with Gibbs but felt these are the kind of games where you have to push him if he has to develop. If the midfield in front of him is strong I guess Gibbs can do a job.

  3. IndianGunner says:

    Good line up.
    I agree with your assessment that the first goal is crucial. If we can get a goal in the first 15 mins they might panic and the defensive organization might suffer. In all the games we have started very well and have created a lot of chances early on and failed to finish them off(e.g. Mancity game)
    If we get an early goal i believe we will win comfortably. It’s because of this i would prefer Nasri or Rvp in the line-up
    Everyone else is a little short on goal scoring form and we cannot afford to miss any chances especially early-on.
    The other thing of importance is the ref Chris Foy. I don’t think he competent and allows a lot o bad tackles to go by. If they are allowed to get away with kicking us, it might disrupt our game
    I just hope he has a good game
    All in all the game has all it takes to be a cracker

    • IndianGunner says:

      Sorry my mistake. Ref is Mark Halsey. Chris Foy is 4Th official

      • desigunner says:

        Halsey will certainly be very lenient with tackles but he’s the kind who will give us a penalty if we deserve it.

    • SFOGunner says:

      Thought Foy was the referee in the chelsea bolton match on monday. Doubt he will referee another match on Tuesday.

      I think you mean Halsey. Don’t know if this bloke is competent or not ..

  4. Phil23 says:

    The Eboue situation is worrying. We kind of need to give him some games or he may not reach form in time for Barca. Imo an out of form Eboue is enough to sway the entire tie in Barcelona’s favor (even though Sagna will be back for the second tie). I would even prefer Koscielny to start at right back and lose out attacking threat down the right flank. Although this too is a huge risk. What a shame Sagna can’t play! If Cesc and Samir start (which I expect) we will create enough chances, with Chamakh playing the goal will come from midfield as he will create the space for Cesc and Samir to exploit.

  5. Boop says:

    Djourou Kos
    Sagna Gibbs
    Song Cesc
    RvP Chamakh Nasri

    Get men in the box, the more the merrier. I’d play Gibbs b/c he’s more capable in an advanced role. Song is better going forward the Denilson these days, but I’d still start Denilson as DM, despite his lack of mobility.

    I’d drop Theo and start Chamakh in the middle and RvP out wide with Cesc just behind Chamakh. Use the pass and move to open up Gibbs and Sagna and Nasri and RvP to drop crosses into the box for Chamak and Songinho. Why not? Get those two in the box with Nasri and Cesc prowling the 18, assuming we can work our way up back and forth via Denilson and up the touchlines well enough to allow Song time to maraud forward.

    Anyway, that’s my fantasy team of sorts.

    • fazizu says:

      i can’t see an arsenal team who’s main focus is to take the ball out wide and cross it for the tall strikers (nor do i want to. we are not stoke or the spuds (when crouch plays).even though this tactics come in handy sometimes its just not our style. arsenal are all about sharp movement,incisive passing,pace on the counter attack etc. it might not always work but it has proved to be a more successful approach, at least for us anyway.

  6. sebas says:

    Sagna will start he recently had a three match break, remember? Anyways I expect a big rotation as we play huddersfield on sunday then everton on tuesday. I would rest djourou but seeing how we have no other cb and he didnt do much against wigan he’ll get the nod.

    Szczesny – sagna djourou koscielny gibbs – fabregas denilson wilshere – nasri bendtner arshavin

  7. ashish says:

    Szczesny – Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs – Denilson, Cesc, Wilshere – Nasri, Chamakh, Bendtner.

    I think that Song should start in place of Denilson as when he is in the team it gives more freedom for Fabregas to go forward and is much better defensive midfielder.

    Although AW might want to rest Wilshere and and play Denilson instead of him.

    But my major worry is the forwards.I am not sure we will be more creative if we have both Chamakh and Bendtner in the team and the team tries to score more from headers then playing the normal Arsenal Way of football.

    Although Arshavin is out of form I think he is much better suited for this game and retaining the shape of the team.

    We have seen Arshavin has not made any impression coming on as a Sub in past few matches and hence would be better if he starts and bring Bendtner as a Sub to replace him

  8. augustus ighonmieyetan says:

    we don’t have to take any risk…my prefared line up is…..szczceny sagna djourou koscieny gibbs song wilshere fab4 nasri chamakh arshavin

  9. santori says:

    Wenger will probably go for the same lineup that he put out against Leeds.

    Whatever it is, I’d like Song in the side. Exposure I know but I think he makes the big difference.

  10. arvind says:

    Denilson makes me nervous in any game….

  11. awtachew says:

    any way either Nasri or Fabri should be there go up gunners.

  12. Shadkimko says:

    My preferred line up is szczesny

  13. Arsenal4 says:

    Hi Desi, I would go with the strongest team, same line up as Wigan. We’ll be 1 game away for trophy with this one. While it’s considered a Mickey mouse, it’s better off than semifinal in FA cup for instance. There’s still a lot games in league to catch up anyway, should better off deprioritise FA cup for this one. We need a 3-0 win for this game to avoid any nerve or chance to come back for Ipswich unfortunately. RVP, Cesc, Nasri, Song & Walcott will be a must in this case.

  14. kc says:

    Arshavin is sure to play in form or not. Benching a quality player just cuz he’s out of form will never get that player back on track now will it. We need Arshavin to get his mojo back asap to compete in the more competitive tourneys.

  15. akira says:

    i think AW will rest sagna, nasri and song the already play 90 minutes during 2 games in a the squad will be szchesney, eboue, JD, Kos, Gibbs, Denilson, Wilshare, Fabregas, Walcott/RVP, NB, Arshavin..while Chamakh will ready as a subtitute in bench and Miquel will came after we have margin of 3 goal

  16. akira says:

    i bet AA23 will make a great game and score some goal this time

  17. DaveP says:

    I don’t think the importance of the 12th man can be understated tonight. Ipswich will park the bus and try to frustrate; it’s important that the doomer element of our support do not let their frustration get through to the team.

    2-0 for me.

  18. Sobin the gooner says:

    My 11
    We can do it Come on Gunners.IN ARSENE WE TRUST.

  19. Jamie C says:

    It’s a semi final for goodness sake. Surely it’s the result that matters in this case and not the performance?

  20. stiko says:

    JD needs to play, we can’t afford any slip ups. He can rest during d weekend since SQ is back. Walcott sud start on d right and charmak in d middle, any one can take d left. Denilson without Song is asking for trouble. Funny how nobody seems even a lil concerned with schezny being in d post have heard one bad comment guess we have d nxt ike cassilas hmmmm.

  21. Edmond Dantes says:

    Theres no away goals rule I dont think in the CC. So we can come out and play and hopefully be 2-0 up by half-time. That will make life very comfortable.

    Anyway the boys need to get the taste of winning something. Even if its just the CC.

  22. Ameen says:

    Well Desi,
    I think we should start with the eleven that started against wigan and let the first team have a breather on sunday against huddersfield, by doing this we can have fresh first team available on tuesday against everton.
    I hope boss plays first team tonight and 2nd string in the Fa cup on sunday and then first team again on tuesday.

  23. Dilip says:

    Anyone pls let me know how many games Song and Koscielny going without a yellow after their 4th booking in domestic competitions??

  24. Arun says:

    I think you are little nervous about this fixture, Imo, whatever team Arsene puts out should be able to do the job for us tonight. I am supremely confident the players will all be fired up given that this could be the first piece of silverware for them and going out of this competition would be a disaster.

    With that being said, I also think if Arsenal are in the most vulnerable position right now. Its a one goal deficit for us and one more goal if conceded would make it a Himalayan task for us. If we go out tonight, it could demoralize the team.

    Its all going to depend on the first goal. My gut feeling is that we would score on the half hour mark.
    and two goals in second half would settle the tie for us

  25. ;) says:

    nasri wilshere
    RvP Arsh

  26. samir zidane says:

    sagna dj kolsny gibs
    Walcot fab denil nasri
    Chamakh vp

  27. […] Thoughts On The Starting Eleven And Tactics Against Ipswich Town One big performance can earn Arsenal the ticket to Wembley for yet another final appearance that might be more […] […]

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