Sunday’s match against Crystal Palace gave us some clues as to what side AVB will be fielding for the opening games of the season but the team news ahead of tonight’s first leg against the Georgian Champions adds a little more confusion.

Aaron Lennon and Jan Vertonghen have stayed at home to prepare for Sunday’s match with Swansea while injuries to Gareth Bale and Lewis Holtby keep them on the sidelines.

“With Jan, bearing in mind his injury in Asia, we decided to leave him out to have a full recovery and treatment on the ankle,” Andre Villas-Boas said in his pre-match press conference.

“We’ve decided it would be difficult for him to complete both matches, Dinamo Tbilisi on Thursday and Swansea on Sunday.

“Aaron Lennon has been complaining of pain in his foot. He was okay for the game against Palace and will be okay for the game against Swansea. It’s one of those situations where rest is vital for the recovery.”

Away from home would AVB settle with the 4-2-3-1 that he used against Palace? Would anyone be rested and who comes in for Jan at the back and Aaron on the right?

It’s another tough one to call – here’s our starting XI but what’s your view?




  1. I’d swap Paulinho for Townsend, but oterhwise I agree with your selection.
    Got a nasty feeling he’s going to start Soldado though……

  2. My team would be:

    Walker Dawson Kaboul Rose
    Capoue Carroll
    Townsend Sigurdsson Chadli

    Soldado needs minutes, he hasn’t had a proper pre-season. Bring on Defoe after an hour. I am curious to see whether AVB rotates the keepers again, Lloris did not join us to sit out European matches.

    • I like that lineup/logic quite a bit. Carroll and Townsend can both be great, but need chances to do so.
      Seems like the perfect opportunity for them.

  3. something like that. maybe naughton at RB, BAE at LB.
    Switch Dembele and Paulinho obviously. Maybe Sandro instead of Paulinho if he’s fit
    Maybe Townsend will get a run out instead of Siggy.
    Or Holtby.
    Crikey we’ve got a big squad already

  4. I would swap Sigurdsson for Townsend but other than that, spot on. I would also give Soldado 30 mins, the more time he spends on the pitch getting used to the team the better.

  5. Line-up works for me except for a couple of changes.
    I think Siggy on the right is a square peg in a round hole. Paulinho has played alot of football this summer and Siggy needs games as he’s just getting his stride.

    Townsend needs a run out for me, unless he’s going to be sold.

    Also give Walker a rest and Naughton some game time.

    Naughton Daws Kaboul Rose
    Capoue Dembele
    Townsend Siggy Chadli

    Subs: Lloris, Walker, Fryers, Paulihno, Carrol, Kane, Soldado

  6. ……………Hugo Lloris………………….
    walker……. Kaboul…… dawson ……rose
    Towsend,,, E.Capuoe… Dembele,… Siggy
    …………. Paulinho
    Soldado(first half)Defoe
    to travel all this way and use strong team this will be a hard came to play 52 thousnd p. at the came.

  7. Friedel





  8. Can’t believe that people are suggesting using players that matter in this match. Who apart from AVB cares about the Europa league? If Bale and Lennon hadn’t been injured playing in Europa matches last season we’d be in the Champions League (with all the benefits that follow) this season

  9. Friedel; Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose; Paulinho, Capoue, Carroll; Townsend, Defoe, Chadli.

    If we could rest the likes of Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Mousa Dembele, Aaron Lennon and Roberto Soldado, and keep them clear for Sunday, then I like that idea. Though with Arsenal winning so comfortably last night, it would perhaps be better to ensure that we progess tonight and then leave the second leg to do the resting of key players.

  10. Friedel
    Naughton Kaboul Dawson Fryers

    Capoue Dembele

    Siggy Paulinho Townsend

    Give some of the main team a rest as Swansea will be a tough game but one I think with resting some players we will win. 3-0 tonight and I’d got for a double with a 3-0 on Sunday as well.

  11. 4-2-3-1 – Inverted Wingers.
    Kaboom (If fit, if not, the Daw)

    Bench of: Lloris (I would start playing Lloris as soon as we are thru group stages and Friedel just in domestic cups) Rose,

  12. I would start Capoue, Paulinho and Sigurdsson in central midfield with Townsend and Chadli on the wings. Paulinho still doesnt look as much of a midfield force as dembele yet, so I think we should save Moussa to keep him fresh for Swansea.

  13. I get the impression that a good proportion of fans wouldn’t mind us ditching this competition to focus on the league and domestic cups, so why not put out a fairly strong side and get ourselves going properly against Swansea? My team would be:

    Kapoue, Carroll, Dembele
    Chadli, Soldado, Siggy

    Look to take off Dembele, Kaboul and Soldado after an hour

  14. Lloris
    walker dawson kaboul rose
    kapoue dembele paulinho
    townsend soldado chandi

    And keep freidel well away from the team to old

  15. For a start freidel has stil got it Avb and do trust then so do I!
    I agree that this comp is
    Less important than leauge and domestic cups but we gotta start making a name for ourselfs in Europe I reckon so we may as well with this size squad give it ago aye!! Simon that note 4231 formation

    Brad the dude




    I would give soldado and others game time for fitness and also to help gel quicker!!


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