Reading v Arsenal Preview – Wenger to stick with same starting XI?

Reading VS Arsenal Preview by AH

Well what should we expect from Arsenal this week? One moment we are winning 2-0 against current table rivals West Brom and then the next moment we lose to League 2 side Bradford City in the Capital One Cup!

Next in the league we face the team that we beat in an enthralling 7-5 win in order to progress and meet Bradford in the Capital One Cup. I highly doubt it will be quite the same game on Monday night at the Madjeski stadium but you never know.

Arsenal welcome back Olivier Giroud to the first team after he missed Tuesday’s game with a back injury. Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott have reportedly returned to training but are highly unlikely to play any part in the game.
After 6 days rest I would expect Arsenal to line up with a fairly similar first XI that played Bradford.

Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs
Wilshire Arteta
Gervinho Giroud Podolski

I personally would drop Gervinho after several dire performances in recent weeks however this is the line-up I expect so what can we expect from this team?

Arsenal will look to control the midfield battle and if the passing geniuses we have in midfield are on top form and in sync should be enough to outplay the Royals who will look to bully us with strength and determination. They will be looking for revenge after that 7-5 loss and on top of the team’s performance against Bradford they will be going out for the win as they know we will be vulnerable.

I am particularly worried about Reading’s threat on the counter attack and that is how I expect them to generate the majority of their chances. They can be good from set pieces, which is another area that Arsenal are prone to being at fault on, however a strong performance from Mertesacker and Vermaelen should be enough to keep the likes of Jason Roberts and Adam Le Fondre out of the Arsenal goal.

On the back of recent performances and the current determination of the team, I am predicting a 1-1 draw; however we will need to go all out to win this game, as with Spurs winning we are dangerous close to being left behind in the race for top 4. Although it’s still close and a win for Arsenal and a West Brom defeat would take us at least 6th and that is the position that we held at Christmas last year.

The performances at the moment aren’t great at the moment and it’s difficult to see where this team is going however stick with them and be ready to support the team on Monday! I know I will be!

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32 thoughts on “Reading v Arsenal Preview – Wenger to stick with same starting XI?

  1. Dave

    If we can beat them with our youth players then we have no excuse not to beat them with our starting XI.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 0

  2. 14

    Lets smash them into pieces! Hope Giroud will score! COYG MUST WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0

  3. mullwash

    @Dave I like how u think but remember we put our ‘starting XI’ against bradford and we were beaten…so they may have an excuse..wishing them all the best…I think carzola is tired..wenger should consider starting with rosicky…

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  4. Swedish Gunner

    For this game none should be tired, they’ve had a minivacation for 6 whole days, so they Can’t be tired! And if they are they should retire from football or Do some frikkin cardio ;) I for one demand a good performance from the lads today, hopefully captain Jack will lead us to victory and collect the much needed 3 points. Also Gervinho just does’nt cut it,he f@2ks up the rythm of the game!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. always a gooner

    my squad against reading
    sagna mert verm gibbs
    wilshere arteta
    ox rosicky cazorla

    subs:giroud ,manonne,jenks, coq,giroud kos(if fit),walcott(if fit)
    i would start with poldi up front because no team have seen him play as a cf ….this time let us be unpredictable…also olivier is too slow and back from injury ….so let him be our sub …same with walcott sub after 55 or 60 mins….lets give a start to rosicky in amf and shift santi on the wing ……we will surely come up with 3 -0

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  6. Allan Michaud

    “as with Spurs winning we are dangerous(ly) close to being left behind in the race for top 4.”
    NO. Why push the panic button? If we win we are 2 points off 3rd, even 5 points is hardly a big concern at this point in time. Yes we dearly need some new blood but this team is good enough for 3rd as no one else looks particularly convincing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. always a gooner

    and i dont consider both ramsey and gervinho as our sbs until they improve …let them play u 21,s gam e for some time then only they will realise their mistakes …eisfeld and gnabry in ….they deserve it

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. artillery1

    Not at all!

    Wenger Must Use 4-1-3-2

    CAZORLA-JACK-ROSICKY- (all interchanging position)

    today if GERVINHO starts, i vl also Say Wenger has Lost His Brain!

    Rosicky Jack CAzorla Arteta Perfect midfield!
    No Place For GErvinho n Ramsey at all!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  9. always a gooner

    spurs are improving every week …….we have a better squad than spurs ….i dont know what is wrong with us …is it the board level problems affecting our performance on pitch …or is it because of lack of coordination between bould and wenger …please wenger allow bould to improve the defence ….atleast that cans ave our season …your youth policy is failing …so buy atleast some good who are available as free agents or in the last 2 yrs of teir contract …replace Rvp with huntelaar and song with sissoko ….atleast we can expect a fa cup and top 4 ..pls do it ….kroenke idiot please saction the money ….gazidis prove you can still do a good job for us ….Hilwood please retire and take rest…usmanov please protest and atleast get into the board saction some funds for our club

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. ams

    ‘They will be looking for revenge after that 7-5 loss and on top of the team’s performance against Bradford they will be going out for the win as they know we will be vulnerable’

    absolutely right….!!relegation team are very2 eager to win…please win!!!COYG

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. hamid

    Coq should start ahead of Arteta. Arteta is tired, he shouldn’t start the game. Gervinho shouldn’t play at all, Ramsey as well. Subs should be Ox, Arteta and Arshavin. And if there is god, Wenger will try 4 4 2 for once.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  12. Sank

    i feel our scout steve rowley watching psv vs ajax was watching erikson rather than strootmen.

    erikson contract ends this summer and he has said he will leave in jan.
    i feel he is worth buying. he is tricky, pacy, has good passing range, shoots long and also defends. he also participates in play and is always available. he ruled over man city def and is chance creator.

    if he comes we can move cazorla to wing and may be podolski to rotate with giroud.

    just get a dm, erikson, may be one of ba or huntleer or lorente.

    we are gone offload squillaci, chamakh, djohorou, arshavin, fabianski, mannone and may be santos. walcott will go for sure. many fring players are having their contract ending now.

    spend 30 to 40 millon and save your job wenger.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. davidrusa

    My argument is that whatever team Arsenal puts out is capable of playing and getting a result providing they play with a winning mentality. However there are some players who need to be rested going by recent performances (i.e. Gervinho, Ramsey). Giroud and Walcot need to return to starting line up and Kosielny if he is fit. I don’t mind either Vermaelen or Mertesacker giving way for Kosielny because he has a better fighting spirit than both. Rosicky should also be brought to the starting line up even if that meant Santi Cazorla being on the bench. The manager should also be ready to subtitute anybody who is not up to the fight. Wenger should also start bringing substitutes early because we know the players and their habits. If Gervinho doesn’t deliver in first half it is better to subtitute him at half time because he will not do any better. Young boy Mead should also be in the team because he showed a fighting spirit against Olympiacos in Champions League.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. aussie gunner 247

    I think arshavin and ox should be wingers rather than podolski and the great gervinho with such close control(not). Podolski come on as a sub and replace giroud so pod can be centre forward.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. fan arsenal from vietnam

    I have been so sad after many games without any progressing, arsenal now is boring, no stars, no direction, no ambition. I expect we loose this game and a big change will be made then our ever Arsenal will come back.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Tamil Sundram


    gnabry carzola Ox

    Coquelin Arteta

    gibbs per verm Sagna


    subs: Rosicky, Gervinho, Pod, Kos, Mannone, Ramsay, Jenkinson

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  17. holy14ever

    u think, he think, we think. arsene decides and although we r full of quality n possession, we lose.

    thats arsenal fc for u now.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. dalinho

    Rosicky must play n walcott n giroud are hopfully starting!
    Cazorla whilshere rosicky could be special with walcott giroud n poldi to aim for upfront

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. Uche

    Right now, I could not care less. This club just drains the life out of me. Just when you think we have learned our lesson, wenger just might decide to field Gervinho and Ramsey once again. So what is the point? I have no cause to be excited. I am more worried about arsenal causing me heart problems in the future.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Diocles phillymon

    arsenal fc should find another coach if the staff wants the trophies in the next couple years

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  21. Chris

    Dont really know why we dont play like this:

    Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs

    For me I think it makes more sense that the current line up.

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  22. Cathal

    Yes we beat West Brom by 2 penalty`s, 1 of which was very dubias to say the least, but we never looked like scoring from open play. At the end of the day we need help !!!!!!!!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Brendan...

    I believe we can and will win this game, convincingly aswell!

    Which will put us 2 points behind 4th place Spurs, due to the poor form from other teams, we are still in the running to clinch fourth spot. Our next four games seem to be must wins and within our reach, I predict that spurs will stumble and we can captilize on that and move up to fourth, then we can focus on catching Chelsea.

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