With back to back games every 48 hours or so, Arsenal have had a busy schedule this November.
The Gunners are now ready to play again in midweek and Arsene Wenger is set to rest some of his key players while giving a first team youngsters a chance to hit the field against Southampton in the League cup quarter finals.
A win against Bournemouth brought an end to an estuary of draws for the North Londoners, who had little option but to settle for a point each against Tottenham, Manchester United in the league and Paris St. Germain in the Champion’s League.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, is ready to field a few youngsters alongside a few first team regulars. However, the Frenchman will rest his most dangerous attacking trio consisting of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott. Olivier Giroud, who sustained a knock on his hamstring at the end of the game against Bournemouth, will rested till the coming weekend.
In his place, Spanish no.9 Lucas Perez, bought in from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna in the summer will find place in the squad for this one. The Spaniard only recently returned to first team.
In goal, Emiliano Martinez will retain his place, while first choice central defenders Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi will be rested and replaced by Gabriel and youngster Rob Holding. Carl Jenkinson, who was rested against Bournemouth is likely to feature and right back while Kieran Gibbs will deputize for Nacho Monreal at left back.
In midfield, Wenger as a plethora of options and will chose from his young brigade; a part of which features on the first team fringes . Jeff Reine Adelaide, Ainsley-Maitland Niles, Chris Willock and Chuba Akpom are all certain to feature.
As per The Guardian, here is what Wenger had to say when asked about his team for the game against Southampton:
We will have a mixture of youth and experience but still 90% of a first-team squad,” Wenger said. “Debuchy is out and Giroud has a slight problem – he’s out, too. Pérez is in the squad and Jenkinson will play.
I rested Carl completely against Bournemouth because he had played in two big games [against Manchester United and Paris St-Germain] and I felt he needed a breather [having only recently returned from a nine-month injury lay-off]. Sometimes, mentally, three games in a week demands a lot.
Carl’s back in and we’ll put Gabriel in the centre
Wenger has in recent seasons not taken the League cup seriously. Whether an inexperienced Arsenal side, which has performed reasonably well in this competition so far will beat a promising and in form Southampton side in this one will depend completely on the team’s performance on the day.
Arsenal’s Predicted Line up:
Jenkinson Holding Gabriel Gibbs
Maitland-Niles Ramsey Iwobi
Subs: Ospina, Xhaka, Chamberlain, Lucas, Bielik, Coquelin, Willock
Do you think Arsenal can beat Southampton in the EFL quarter final round this year?
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